Canada’s Atlantic Provinces are spectacular. Why not combine a genealogical research trip to Pier 21 with an exploration of the area.

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Genealogy research needs context. We are different but we all belong to a family, social unit, have citizenship in a country and live on this earth.

We also all have family mysteries and preserving your family history will help solve them. Connecting with the past will give you a larger perspective to understand the information you discover and assess its impact on your family dynamics.

Are The Following Statements True or False?

  1. Pier 21 was an ocean terminal in the harbour of Halifax, Nova Scotia that received over one million immigrants from all over the world during 1928 to 1971.
  2. Pier 21was a departure point for approximately 500,000 Canadian troops during World War Two.
  3. The top ten countries of origin for immigrants coming to Canada during 1928 to 1971 were The United Kingdom, The United States of America, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, Poland, Greece, France, Portugal and the Ukraine.

All of the above are TRUE.

The Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 is Canada’s last remaining ocean immigration shed and I went there as part of my genealogical research years ago. The exhibits bring this chapter of history to life and the museum has been designated a National Historic Site. It opened in 1999 and is located on the Halifax, Nova Scotia waterfront. The source of the above information is

Would These Stories Help Solve Your Family Mysteries?

  1. One written by the daughter of an English War Bride who arrived at Pier 21 in 1946.
  2. One written by a British Evacuee Child who arrived at Pier 21 in 1940.
  3. One written by a Jewish War Orphan who arrived at Pier 21 in 1948.
  4. One written by a Sister of Service who cared for the immigrants landing at Pier 21 in the 1940’s.
  5. One written by a man who left Italy as a child in the 1950’s with his family and landed at Pier 21 to begin a new life.

Stories organized within categories such as those referenced above are available on the website. Go to the Homepage. Click on “Research” then “Online Story Collection.” The stories are free to access, available in PDF documents and printable from your computer.

Would These Resources Help Link Your Past and Present?

  1. Arrival information of individuals landing at Pier 21 between 1925 and 1935.
  2. Information about obtaining immigration records of individuals who arrived at Pier 21 after 1935.
  3. Information about obtaining details on Canadian soldiers who embarked from and arrived at Pier 21 during World War Two.
  4. Schedules of ships that arrived at Pier 21 between 1928 and 1971.
  5. Images of ships that arrived at Pier 21 between 1928 and 1971.
  6. Immigration statistics for specific periods during 1928 and 1971 pertinent to Pier 21.

There is tremendous research available online. For details on the above, go to the Homepage. Click on “Research” then “FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions.”

A Great Book About Pier 21!

I bought this when I visited the museum and it includes comprehensive articles, excellent black and white photographs and references for more information.

Le Blanc, J.P. and Mitic Duivenvoorden, Trudy. Pier 21: The Gateway that Changed Canada. Nimbus Publishing Limited. 1988.

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We all have family mysteries. How has connecting with the past helped solve yours? I’d welcome your comments.

Nova Scotia is a beautiful Canadian province and my photographs celebrate Peggy’s Cove, a small fishing community about 25 miles southwest of Halifax where Pier 21 is located.


Marianne at Peggy’s Cove in St. Margaret's Bay

The red and white lighthouse at Peggy’s Cove was lit in 1914. It is operated by the Canadian Coast Guard and marks the eastern entrance of St. Margaret’s Bay.

Marianne at Peggy’s Cove in St. Margaret's Bay

Peggy’s Cove is a busy tourist attraction known for its large granite outcrops.

Peggy’s Cove, St. Margaret's Bay

Peggy’s Cove, St. Margaret’s BayApproximately 50 people live in the small fishing community of Peggy’s Cove.