Free Access Terms and Conditions

Access to all Canadian Loyalist collections on Ancestry will be free from 12pm ET on Thursday 16th April until 12pm ET on Friday 17th April.

To view these records you will need to register for free with with your name and email address. We will then send you a user name and password to access the records.

After the free access period ends, you will only be able to view the records in the featured collection using an paid membership.

The records available during the free access period can be found here.

Five Top Tips on researching your Loyalist ancestors from Lesley Anderson:

  • Get a guide. Having a general research guide to assist the tracing of your Loyalist ancestors is the key to success. Brenda Merriman’s book, United Empire Loyalists, A Guide to Tracing Loyalist Ancestors in Upper Canada, is a great resource to help you navigate and interpret the records.
  • Curated Collections. Ancestry has made finding Loyalist records easy, grouping together 25 collections related to the Loyalists in one easily accessible database. The landing page for this database has curated lists of the digitized records, which mainly feature military records and published materials.
  • Look the Associations. The United Empire Loyalist Association of Canada is an organization dedicated to the preservation and education of the history of the Loyalists. Their website has wonderful resources to assist you with your research, including the Loyalist Directory.
  • Land ho! Land grants are a critical resource for uncovering the stories of your Loyalist ancestors, as both sons and daughters could apply for the grants. Make sure to check the collections at Library and Archives Canada to see if any of your ancestors received a grant.
  • Shake the trees. Don’t overlook the Public Member Trees on Ancestry. Many personal family documents, pictures, and portraits posted to online trees are from personal archives, and cannot be found anywhere else.

Key collections and records on Ancestry mentioned in the session:

Additional resources

  • Loyalist Association of Ontario/Canada. Resources include Loyalist lists and documentation, and Loyalist Trails – newsletter full of resources, interviews and information
  • Books:
    • Loyalists in the Southern Campaign of the Revolutionary War, Vol. I
    • United Empire Loyalists, A Guide to Tracing Loyalist Ancestors in Upper Canada (Brenda Merriman)


Lesley Anderson

Lesley has worked with Ancestry for over 12 years as our Canadian spokesperson and has done numerous presentations for genealogy societies and conferences across Canada as well as TV and radio appearances. 

She has been researching her family tree for over 50 years and her passion for genealogy has branched out to DNA genetic genealogy, teaching classes and researching for others. Recently she organized a group of 30 on a research and sightseeing trip to Ireland.  She was the Director of Education for BIFHSGO (British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa) for many years and volunteered at the Ottawa Stake – LDS Family History Center where she got great joy out of helping genealogists with their research.  

Bryony Partridge

Bryony is the International PR Manager for Ancestry where she implements strategic communications and social media programs that bring increased media awareness for the company.