Canadian Military Genealogical FAQ

This page was maintained for many years by Don Park. We thank him for his efforts and will try to keep the page up to date.

I would like to request that all users who correspond with any of these agencies indicate that you found the information on the Internet. In this way, the word will get around that this is an effective communication medium. It’s a very effective form of education and such organizations all have self interest reasons for creating demand and constituencies for their services. Thanks.

  1. What information sources are available?
  2. What information may be obtained?
  3. How do I contact these organizations?
  4. I know my great step Uncle was in WWI and died overseas. Can I find anything out about his burial?
  5. What other resources might be available?
  6. What can I do if I discover other useful resources?

What information sources are available?

  1. Library and Archives Canada incorporating the Personnel Records Centre (holds archival personnel records).
  2. Directorate of History, Dept of National Defence.
  3. The War Museum of Canada.
  4. Regimental Museums and Associations.
  5. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
  6. There is also a Canadian Military Echo on the Fido net.
  7. While not strictly military, the RCMP (preceded by the NWMP) is also sometimes of interest.
  8. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission Web Site
  9. Veterans Affairs Canada Web Site

Of the many useful sources for Canadian military genealogical research of, the following immediately come to mind:

What information may be obtained?

  1. Library and Archives Canada has published a booklet entitled Tracing Your Ancestors in Canada which provides information of a general nature on their services and resources. Although somewhat dated, this is recommended reading for any Canadian researcher – there is MUCH more here than strictly military personnel data. For a more detailed summary (is that an oxymoron?) see the National Archives Home Page at National Archives of Canada. However, with respect to military information of genealogical interest, limited extractions may be obtained from the Personnel Records for former members of the Armed Forces of Canada. In order to release the information permitted under legislation, the administration must be satisfied that the member is deceased, either by reason of age or if evidence can be provided with the enquiry. Generally records of personnel serving in WWI are accessible, later records require the individual’s permission or proof of death.
  2. The Directorate of History‘s main function is the production of official histories of the Canadian Armed Forces. In support of this writing, the Directorate collects source documents on the Canadian Armed Forces. It consequently acts as an information centre on that history and provides research facilities for the public. This service however will no longer be available after 1 April 1996 but in the interim, enquiries should be directed to the Senior Research Officer. The Public Reading Room is open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 0830 to 1630.Their resources include:
    1. Book Collection. Official histories of allied and enemy forces, general histories, campaign histories and some technical works as well as numerous Canadian and British regimental histories. There is an extensive collection of officers lists and printed regulations and administrative orders, mostly Canadian – e.g. Admiralty Fleet Orders, Militia Orders, General Orders, Canadian Army Orders, Air Force Administrative Orders, Canadian Forces Supplementary Orders, etc.
    2. The Kardex and document collection. This includes papers from the Canadian Army and the RCAF, mainly 1939-64. Also included are the papers of LCol HM Jackson who compiled information on a number of military topics – in particular his heavily used notes on the careers of WWI Canadian Officers.
    3. Permanent reference files. These are working files of booklets, newspaper clippings, photographs, and materials. Files have been created for Bases in Canada and abroad, Canadian Units, Ships, Squadron of the RCAF and Canadian Forces, and aircraft types, both Canadian and foreign.
    4. Biographical files. Created for many Canadian servicemen and civilians, of all ranks and professions, and for some selected foreigners. These files are supplemented with other information on honours and awards, casualties, prisoners of war, etc for Cdn personnel. There is also a card file of Canadians who served in the British Flying Services in WWI.
    5. Other records and information. Other information includes:
      RCAF Second World War operations record books (ORBs) and unit diaries for squadrons and formations, Canadian Armed Forces Unit Annual Historical Reports, Mr. Steiger’ s collection of German language materials, large quantities of Public Record Office documents copied for their relevance to RCAF and RCN histories, a large collection of naval material from the naval historian, personal papers as collected from time to time (including those of E Pye, FH Hutchins, and the Clayton Knight Committee) and some donated personal papers of retired senior officers (the General Jean Victor Allard fonds, the Dr JJB Pariseau fonds, and those of Louis Noel de Tilly.
    6. Canadian Post War Military and Dependent Graves. In accordance with departmental policy, service members and their dependants who died outside of Canada and the USA were not returned to Canada but were buried in either military cemeteries or, in the case of dependants, in gravesites leased from the local cemetery. A Web site has been created as a virtual memorial to the more than 1400 post-war military members and their dependants who rest in Europe.
    7. Virtual War Memorial This site contains a registry of information about the graves and memorials of more than 116,000 Canadians and Newfoundlanders who served valiantly and gave their lives for their country. Included on this site are the memorials of more than 1500 soldiers who died in service to Canada since the Korean War, including peacekeeping and other operations. The site also contains digital images of photographs and personal memorabilia about individual Canadians. The purpose of the Canadian Virtual War Memorial is to recognize and keep alive the memory of the achievements and sacrifices made by those who served Canada in the defence of freedom and so have contributed to the development of Canada as a nation.
  3. The various Regimental Museums and associations which may also be able to provide assistance.
  4. The ontario government maintains a list of military museums in Ontario. Go to their search site and select Military Museums.
  5. The Maple Leaf Legacy Project is collecting photographs of all Canadian war graves. For a small fee they will provide copies of these photographs.DO NOT FORGET! When corresponding with non-governmental agencies, enclose a SASE (Self Addressed Stamped Envelope). If writing from outside Canada, and you cannot get Canadian postage stamps, enclose two IRC (International Reply Coupons) which you can get from your local PO.

How do I contact these organizations?

Library and Archives Canada may be reached at:

Library and Archives Canada,
395 Wellington St,
Ottawa, ON

For information relating to former members of the Armed Forces of Canada (deceased) The Personal Records Unit (formerly the Personnel Records Centre) may be reached at:

Personnel Records Unit, RSD, Library and Archives Canada, 395 Wellington St,
Ottawa, ON, K1A ON3

The Directorate of History can be reached by mail at:

Directorate of History,
National Defence Headquarters,
MGen George R Pearkes Bldg,
Ottawa, ON,
Canada K1A OK2

The Historical Section of the RCMP can be reached at:

RCMP (Historical Section)
1200 Vanier Parkway
Ottawa, ON K1A 0P2

While there are many military museums in Canada, the Regimental museums are most likely to be able to offer assistance and are listed below after:

Canadian War Museum of Canada, 330 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, ON,K1A 0M8

The Prince Edward Island Regiment Museum, Queen Charlotte Armouries, PO
Box 1480, Charlotttetown, PEI C1A 8H7
Tel: 1-902-368-0108 and Fax 1-902-368-3034

The Nova Scotia Highlanders Museum, Delta Coy, 1st Bn, The Nova Scotia
Highlanders (North), Acadia St, Amherst, NS, B4H 3L7
Tel: 1-902-661-6551 and Fax 1-902-661-6560

Les Voltigeurs de Québec Museum, Manège Militaire Grande
Allée, Station Haute-Ville, 805 Ave LaurierQuébec, Que.G1R 2L3
Tel: 1-418-648-4422 and Fax 1-418-648-4482

Royal 22e Régiment Museum,La Citadelle, PO Box 6200,Québec, Que,G1R 4V7
Tel: 1-418-648-3563 and Fax 1-418-648-4698

12e Régiment blindé du Canada Museum,574 St. Francois Xavier St, Trois-Rivières, Que,G9A 1R6
Tel: 1-418-374-8522 and Fax 1-418-693-4807

Les Fusiliers de Sherbrooke Museum,64 Belvédère S,Sherbrooke, Que, JlH 4B4
Tel: 1-819-564-5948 and Fax 1-819-564-5641

Le Régiment de la Chaudière Museum, Manège Militaire de Lévis, 10 Arsenal, St. Levis, Que,G6V 4P7
Tel: 1-418-835-0340 and Fax 1-418-835-0450

The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada Museum,2067 Bleury St, Montreal, Que,H3A 2K2
Tel: 1-514-496-1686 and Fax 1-514-496-2758

Les Fusiliers Mont-Royal Museum,3721 Henri Julien Ave,Montreal, Que,H2X 3H4
Tel: 1-514-283-7444 and Fax 1-514-496-5086

Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps Museum, 6560 Hochalaga St, PO Box 4000, Stn K, Montreal, Que,H3C 3R9
Tel: 1-514-252-2241 and Fax 1-514-252-2273

Canadian Grenadier Guards Museum,4171 Esplanade Ave,Montreal, Que,H2W 1S9
Tel: 1-514-496-1984 and Fax 1-514-496-2709

Royal Montreal Regiment Museum,4625 Ste. Catherine St. W,Montreal, Que, H3Z 1S4
Tel: 1-514-496-2003 and Fax 1-514-496-5085

Collège militaire royal Museum, Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean, Richelain, Que,J0J 1R0
Tel: 1-514-358-6810 and Fax 1-514-3586800

Cameron Highlanders of Canada Museum, Cartier Square Drill Hall, Ottawa, ON,K1A 0K2
Tel: 1-613-990-6562 and Fax 1-613-825-7020

Princess of Wales’ Own Regiment Museum, The Armouries, 100 Montreal St, Kingston, ON, K7K 3E8
Tel: 1-613-541-5010 and Fax 1-613-542-3894

The Queen’s York Rangers Museum, Fort York Armoury, 660 Fleet St W, Toronto, ON, M5V 1A9
Tel: 1-416-973-3265 and Fax 1-416-203-3675

The Royal Hamilton Light Infantry Heritage Museum, 200 James St. N, Hamilton, ON, L8R 2L1
Tel: 1-905-528-2945

The Grey & Simcoe Foresters Regimental Museum, Barrie Armoury, 37 Parkside Dr, Barrie, ON, L4N 1W8
Tel: 1-705- 728-3761 and Fax 1-705-728-7032

Thunder Bay (Lake Superior Scottish Regiment) Military Museum, 317 Park Ave, ON, P7B 1C7
Tel: 1-807-343-5100 and Fax 1-807-344-4109

Canadian Forces Communications and Electronics Museum, Vimy Post Office, Kingston, ON,K7K 5L0
Tel: 1-613-541-5010 and Fax 1-613-541-4489

Royal Military College of Canada Museum, Royal Military College of Canada, Kingston, ON, K7K 5L0
Tel: 1-613-541-6000 and Fax 1-613-542-3565

National Air Force Museum of Canada, Canadian Forces Base Trenton, Astra, ON, KOK 1B0
Tel: 1-613-965-2140 and Fax 1-613-965-7352

Canadian Forces Airborne Museum, Canadian Forces Base Petawawa, Petawawa, ON,K8H 2X3
Tel: 1-613-588-6238 and Fax 1-613-588-6446

The Ontario Regiment (RCAC) Museum,53 Simcoe St. N,Oshawa, ON, L1G 4R9
Tel: 1-905-723-3451 and Fax 1-905-434-1328

The Lorne Scots (Peel, Dufferin and Halton Regiment) Regimental Museum, The Armoury, 2 Chapel St, Brampton, ON, L6W 1Z3
Tel: 1-418-648-4422 and Fax 1-418-648-4482

Royal Canadian Regiment Museum, The Royal Canadian Regiment, Wolseley Barracks, CF Det London, London, ON,N5Y 4T7
Tel: 1-519-660-5102 and Fax 1-519-660-5344

Irish Regiment of Canada Museum, 333 Riverside Dr, Sudbury, ON, P3E 1H5
Tel: 1-705-675-7052 and Fax 1-705-675-5069

The Fort Garry Horse Museum and Archives, McGregor Armoury, 551 Machray Ave W,Winnipeg, Man,R2W 1A8
Tel: 1-204-586-6298 and Fax 1-204-582-0370

Royal Winnipeg Rifles Museum, Minto Armoury, 969 St Matthews Ave, Winnipeg, Man,R3G 0J7
Tel: 1-204-832-1311 and Fax 1-204-786-4384

26th Field Regiment Museum, 1116 Victoria Ave, Brandon, MB, R7A 1B2
Tel: 1-204-832-1311 and Fax 1-204-786-4384

Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery Museum,Canadian Forces Base Shilo, Shilo, Man,ROK 2A0
Tel: 1-204-765-3531 and Fax 1-204-765-3288

The Calgary Highlanders RegimentalMuseum, Museum of the Regiments, 4520 Crowchild Trail SW, Calgary, AB, T2T 5J4
Tel: 1-403-240-7011 and Fax 1-403-240-7190

Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians) Museum,Museum of the Regiments, 4520 Crowchild Trail SW, Calgary, AB, T2T 5J4
Tel: 1-403-240-7011 and Fax 1-403-240-7190

King’s Own Calgary Regiment Museum,Museum of the Regiments, 4520 Crowchild Trail SW, Calgary, AB, T2T 5J4
Tel: 1-403-240-7011 and Fax 1-403-240-7190

Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry Museum, Museum of the Regiments, 4520 Crowchild Trail SW, Calgary, AB, T2T 5J4
Tel: 1-403-240-7011 and Fax 1-403-240-7190

Canadian Military Engineers Museum, Canadian Forces Base Chilliwack, MPO 612, Chilliwack, B.C,V0X 2EO
Tel: 1-604-858-1011 and Fax 1-604-858-1083

The Royal Westminster Regiment Museum, The Armoury 530 Queen’s Ave, New Westminster, B.C,V3L 1K3
Tel: 1-604-526-5116 and Fax 1-604-666-4042

15th Field Artillery Regiment RCA Museum, Bessborough Armoury, 2025 West 11th Ave,Vancouver, B.C,V6J 2C7
Tel: 1-604-666-4387 and Fax 1-604-666-4083

The Rocky Mountain Rangers Museum,P.O. Box 3250, 1211 McGill Road, Kamloops, B.C,V2C 6B8
Tel: 1-604-372-7424 and Fax 1-604-374-1063

The Canadian Scottish Regiment, (Princess Mary’s) Museum, 715 Bay St, Bay St. Armoury,Victoria, B.C,V8T 1R1
Tel: 1-604-363-8753 and Fax 1-604-363-3593

The 1st Hussars Museum, London, ON

Vancouver Island Military Museum, 255-4750 Rutherford, Nanaimo, BC Tel:1-604-756-2554

The Canadian Airborne Forces Museum, Petawawa, ON K8H 2X3

Canadian Forces Base Petawawa Military Museum, Petawawa, ON K8H 2X3

Royal Canadian Regiment Museum, London, ON

Seaforth Highlanders Regimental Museum, Seaforth Armoury, 1650 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC V6J 3G4.

Canadian Forces Museum of Aerospace Defence, Hornell Hights, Ontario, P0H  1P0.
Curator- Sgt Tony Craig. Tel: 705-494-2011(ext. 2256), Email

I know my great step Uncle was in WWI and died overseas. Can I find anything out about his burial?

The Commonwealth Graves Commission may be able to provide some information if you can give them enough data to identify the serviceman (or woman).

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission was established by Royal Charter of 1917 and has the mandate to mark and maintain the graves of members of the forces of the Commonwealth who died in the two world wars, to build and maintain memorials to the dead whose graves are unknown and to keep records and registers. The Canadian Agency of the Commission can trace the burial location of all Commonwealth war dead worldwide. Traces are most easily completed if your enquiry has as much of the following information as possible: full name, rank, serial number, date of death, hometown, next of kin.

The address is:

The Commonwealth Graves Commission, 66 Slater St,Ottawa, ON,Canada K1A 0P4
PHONE: 613-992-3224 FAX: 613-952-6826

What other resources might be available.

A Mr. Hugh Halliday has compiled a database of information relating to honours, awards and decorations received by personnel of the Royal Canadian Air Force in the Second World War. This data is from the Routine Orders of the RCAF in the Second World War and other sources such as the Directorate of History, the British Public Records Office, etc. He has identified some 9208 awards including decorations, mentions in dispatches, foreign awards, etc and more significantly, has found the citations for more than 80 % of those. Mr. Halli day is willing to share this data and/or undertake further research on an individual basis. The details of such arrangements would have to be determined individually. Mr. Halliday can be reached at:

Hugh Halliday,1594 Delia Crescent,Orleans, ON, K4A 1W9

Another excellent Home Page and resource is the Canadian Book of Remembrance which is an excellent source of information about those who are commemorated in the Book for having paid the Supreme sacrifice in the service of Canada. It is also searchable by name. Please pay a visit.

What can I do if I discover other useful resources.

By all means send OGS Ottawa a email and we will consider adding it to this FAQ.

Finally remember to tell ’em you found it on the net. If we spread the word about this effective medium, it can only increase.

Library and Archives Canada does maintain a list of researchers for referral. GOOD LUCK IN YOUR SEARCHES!!