I have two ancestors in my tree who are a royal pain in my...... These two gentlemen James Stapleton and George Vogel arrived in Canada in the early 1800's. However, ships and countries were not doing a very good job at tracking these early pioneer's arrivals. Some passenger lists do exist for these early days but I'm afraid there are plenty that do not exist. One other key problem, not all passengers were listed. Often the passenger lists will read the male travellers name but not his wife or children.They may only be listed as wife, 2 sons or family of 4. Slightly frustrating. Where do I go to scour passenger lists; Ship's List.
Every month I stop in at Ship's List to check out the new information added to the database. Ship's List has been online since 1999. They have immigration reports, newspaper records, shipwreck information, ship pictures, ship descriptions, shipping-line fleet lists and more; as well as hundreds of passenger lists to Canada, USA, Australia and even some for South Africa.
One downfall with the site is that you cannot search by the surname of your ancestor. Instead, you have to open each passenger list individually and scroll through to find the name you're looking for. However, the Navigation bar at the top of the home page will help you refine your search. It can be slow and tedious but I assure you if I were to find these two gentlemen, you would hear my jublilation from here. Click here to begin your search.
On a side note, if your ancestors settled in Canada in the area known as the Huron Tract then you will be very interested in checking out my article in the November/December issue of Discovering Family History Magazine. Finding Canadian Pioneers of the Huron Tract offers a brief history of the area, an overview of the pioneers who settled this land and a great many resources for seeking them out.