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Ukrainians

Though it is believed that Ukrainians began arriving in North America since European exploration of the continent, there are no records of arrival for this earlier period. The first recorded Ukrainian settlers arrived in Canada in 1891 when two immigrants, Vasyl Eleniak and Ivan Pylypiw, from the Galicia province of the Austro-Hungarian Empire landed in Montreal. Within the years that followed, tens of thousands of Ukrainians arrived in Canada. Most Ukrainian immigrants of this period were identified on government records as arriving from their respective provinces in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, as Poles, Russians, or Austrians. The vast majority of these immigrants settled in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta where they obtained land to farm. Others who preferred industrial occupations settled in various towns in Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, and British Columbia. Approximately 150,000 Ukrainian immigrants arrived between 1891 and 1914.

During the First World War, Ukrainians from Galicia were classified as enemy aliens by the Government of Canada and over 5,000 Ukrainian Canadians were interned in camps. Ukrainian language schools were closed and the Ukrainian language press restricted. Regardless of this, over 10,000 Ukrainian Canadians fought in the War, with many anglicizing their names to avoid discrimination.

The second large wave of immigration from the Ukraine occurred after the First World War when the Ukraine became a part of the Soviet Union as the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. These refugees were welcomed by the already established Ukrainian communities. The Ukrainian Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant churches had parishes in most Ukrainian centres and these establishments were important places for social gathering.

Over 40,000 Ukrainian Canadians fought in the Second World War. After the end of this war, there was a third wave of Ukrainian immigration to Canada. These were mostly refugees who began arriving from all over Europe in 1947. By 1952, over 32,000 new Ukrainian immigrants had settled in Canada. Most of these immigrants settled in the industrial regions of Quebec and Ontario.

Research at Library and Archives Canada

Likacheff-Ragosine-Mathers (LI-RA-MA) collection (MG 30 E406)

The Likacheff-Ragosine-Mathers (LI-RA-MA) collection consists of documents created by the Imperial Russian Consular offices in Canada during the period from 1898 to 1922. The Passport/Identity Papers series consists of about 11,400 files on Russian immigrants from the Imperial Russian Empire who settled in Canada, including Jews, Ukrainians and Finns. The index and digitized images of the files of the Passport/Identity Papers series are available online.

Russian Consular Records / Likacheff-Ragosine-Mathers (LI-RA-MA) Collection

Canadian Ukrainian Youth Association, 1926-1969 (MG 28 V15)

The Canadian Ukrainian Youth Association was established in 1930 with the purpose of promoting educational, cultural, and social activities. The National Executive was formed in 1933. In 1935, the society expanded to include branches in Eastern Canada and the Eastern Executive was formed. This fonds consists of records of the Eastern and National Executives, correspondence, conventions, and photographs.

Reverend Michael Fesenko, 1912-1976 (MG 30 D226)

Reverend Fosenko was the pastor of a Ukrainian congregation of the Presbyterian Church in Toronto from 1929 to 1976. Fonds includes church records, registers of memberships, and marriage and communion administrative records.

St. George's Parish, Grimsby, Ontario, 1943-1974 (MG 31 H44)

This sub-series contains a marriage register (1949-1974), reports of executive members, and copies of parish minute books.

St. Demetrius' Parish, Toronto, Ontario, 1961-1967 (MG 31 H44)

This sub-series includes church bulletins, correspondence, and membership lists.

Immigration Branch, Central Registry Files (RG76)

  • Professor Josef Oleskow, 1895-1896, RG 76, volume 109, file 21103, part 1, microfilm C-4772.
  • S.A. Armstrong, Inspection of Prisons, Toronto, Ontario, 1908, RG 76, volume 529, file 803192, microfilm C-10621.
  • Ukrainian Refugees from England, 1946-1953, RG 76, volume 656, file B53802, microfilm C-10593.
  • Galician and other Colonies in Western Canada, 1898-1904, RG 76, volume 178-179, file 60868, microfilm C-7334.

Other Series of Records

Library and Archives Canada also holds other private records regarding Ukrainian families. Consult the Archives Search database using keywords such as a surname or an organization name.

Research in Other Institutions

Archives of Ukraine
[www.archives.gov.ua/Eng/]

Saskatchewan Archives Board
[www.saskarchives.com/web/index.html]

Thunder Bay Historical Museum Archival Holdings
[www.thunderbaymuseum.com/archives.htm#organizations]

Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Toronto and Eastern Canada
[www.ucet.ca/index.php]

Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada
[www.uocc.ca/]

Research in Published Sources

Dictionary of Ukrainian Canadian Biography Pioneer Settlers of Manitoba 1891-1900 edited by Vladimir J. Kaye, 1975.

Dictionary of Ukrainian Canadian Biography Pioneer Settlers of Alberta 1891-1900 edited by Vladimir J. Kaye, 1984.

The Ukrainians in Canada, by O.W. Gerus and J.E. Rea

Ukrainian Genealogy: A Beginner's Guide by John D. Pihach

Consult our Bibliography for further information on this topic.

Search for other books on Ukrainians in AMICUS, using authors, titles or subject keywords such as:

  • Ukrainian Canadians
  • Ukrainian genealogy
  • Ukrainians
  • Ruthenians
  • Galicians

Research Online

Community and Family Histories of Ukrainians in Canada
[http://communities.ukrainiangenealogygroup-pei.org/]

East European Genealogical Society
[www.eegsociety.org/Home.aspx]

Encyclopedia of Ukraine
[www.encyclopediaofukraine.com/]

Genealogy of Halychyna / Eastern Galicia
[www.halgal.com/]

Hamburg Passenger Lists
[www.germanroots.com/hamburg.html]

Info Ukes
[www.infoukes.com/]

Jewish Web Index / Ukraine
[http://jewishwebindex.com/ukraine.htm]

Saskatchewan Genealogical Society Cemetery Index
[www.saskgenealogy.com/cemetery/cemetery.htm]

Saskatchewan Homestead Index
[www.saskhomesteads.com/]

Toronto Ukrainian Genealogy Group
[www.torugg.org/]

Ukraine Genealogy Forum
[http://genforum.genealogy.com/ukraine/]

Ukrainian Canadian Research and Documentation Centre
[www.ucrdc.org/]

Ukrainian Collection of John Luczkiw of Multicultural Canada
[http://multiculturalcanada.ca/jl]

Ukrainian Collection of Multicultural Canada
[http://multiculturalcanada.ca/ukr]

Ukrainian Genealogy Group - National Capital Region
[www.geocities.com/uggncr/previous.html]

Ukrainian Genealogy Group - Prince Edward Island
[www.geocities.com/uggpei/]

Ukrainian Immigration to Alberta
[www.edukits.ca/multiculturalism/student/immigration_ukrainian_e.html]

Ukrainian Research Page
[www.maxpages.com/poland/Ukrainian_Research]