Resources for tracing your Scottish immigrant ancestors at The Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21

15 August 2022
Immigrant Children with Red Cross Port Workers, Pier 21, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, 1948
The Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 is a key resource for anyone with Scottish ancestors who migrated to Canada. Find out more about the key resources for your family history research in this special feature.

The Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 is Canada’s sixth national museum. Its mission is to share the ongoing story of immigration to Canada—past to present and coast to coast to coast. The Museum is located in the Pier 21 national historic site at the Halifax seaport where nearly one million immigrants landed in Canada from 1928 to 1971.

In this special blog, family history experts at the museum share some resources to help you get started on the quest to trace your ancestors.

This short video explains how the Scotiabank Family History Centre can help you:

Help with locating immigration records

Additional information on searching for immigration records can be found here

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The Scotiabank Family History Centre offers remote research services for people who are not able to visit the museum but would like to locate an immigration record. Staff use a variety of internal and external sources to locate:

  • Immigration records
  • Birth, marriage and death records
  • Census records

Search the collection

The search the collection page is a great place to start, whether you're browsing or hoping to locate a specific record. This is your gateway to more than 10,000 records and you can browse by record type or keyword. There are oral histories, ships galleries, documents and photographs.

Areas of strength include:

  • Immigrants who arrived from Europe between 1928 and 1971, and who entered Canada through Pier 21;
  • British Home Children;
  • Canadian veterans who embarked and/or disembarked for service overseas during the Second World War;
  • British Guest Children who were evacuated to Canada during the Second World War;
  • Postwar Displaced Persons and political refugees who entered Canada through Pier 21;
  • Canadian immigration and customs officials, as well as foreign service workers who served overseas;
  • Newcomers who arrived in Canada post-1971, through various ports of entry.

Finally, this “Historic Pier 21” blog post can help provide additional context and understanding around Pier 21.

The Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21., 1055 Marginal Rd, Halifax, NS B3H 4P7, Canada; e-mail; tel: : +1 902-425-7770; website.

Scots Overseas Month is produced in association with Highland Titles and
supported by National Records of Scotland and Family Tree.

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