Tracing Canadian Ancestors in the War of 1812

By Diane Haddad Premium

Sign up for the Family Tree Newsletter Plus, you’ll receive our 10 Essential Genealogy Research Forms PDF as a special thank you!

Get Your Free Genealogy Forms

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

The United States had designs on conquering Canada during the War of 1812, and assumed it would be an easy task thanks to Loyalist Americans who’d migrated there after the Revolutionary War. Former president Thomas Jefferson is said to have called the conquest “a mere matter of marching.”

But Canada’s English and French residents, local and volunteer militias and Aboriginal peoples united against American forces, galvanizing national pride—and giving the war a more-prominent place in Canadian historical consciousness than in that of her southern neighbors.

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) holds muster rolls, pay lists, claims for compensation, certificates of service, medal registers, maps and more records documenting their efforts. (No military service records exist for 1800s Canadian service members.) LAC is digitizing War of 1812 records. Some of the digitized military records encompass soldiers in this war.

Subscription site’s War of 1812 records include an index called War of 1812: Miscellaneous Canadian Records, listing prisoners, individuals’ property losses, and some pay lists and muster rolls. You’ll also find some muster rolls linked at the Canadian Military Heritage Project.

From the July-August 2012 Family Tree Magazine