Fonds menn-18 - Canadian Mennonite Board of Colonization fonds

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Canadian Mennonite Board of Colonization fonds

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on contents of the fonds.

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MENN menn-18

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  • Microfilmed 1999 (originally created 1923-1966). (Creation)
    Canadian Mennonite Board of Colonization

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Physical description

36 microfilm reels.

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Biographical history

The Canadian Mennonite Board of Colonization (CMBoC) was established in 1922 to assist in the anticipated Mennonite immigration movement to Canada from Russia. The CMBoC was to be headquartered in Rosthern, Saskatchewan, with David Toews of Rosthern appointed chairman and A.A. Friesen appointed Corresponding Secretary (later Secretary-Treasurer) of the Board. The major cooperating Mennonite bodies were the Conference of Mennonites in Canada, Mennonite Brethren, the Mennonite Church, the Church of God in Christ Mennonite, and the Evangelical Mennonite Brethren. The first group of Mennonite immigrants arrived in Canada in July of 1923. More contracts were made with the Canadian Pacific Railway until 1930 when the political and economic climate changed and Mennonite immigrants were not allowed into Canada. From 1923 to 1930 over 21,000 Mennonites came to Canada. In 1930 the board was forced to change its focus as the new Conservative government no longer admitted Mennonite refugees into Canada. David Toews resigned in 1946 due to failing heath and was replaced by J.J. Thiessen of Saskatoon. In 1947 the office of the Board was moved to Saskatoon. In the same year Mennonite refugees were again admitted to Canada and the CMBoC worked to bring more people out of Russia and Europe. Mennonite Central Committee played a big role as they handled processing work in Europe. Between 1947 and 1961 another 12,052 came to Canada. In 1959, the CMBoC merged with the Mennonite Central Relief Committee of Western Canada to form the Canadian Mennonite Relief and Immigration Council. This new Council was one of nine inter-Mennonite organizations which formed Mennonite Central Committee Canada in December 1963.

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Scope and content

The fonds consists of microfilm copies of approximately 12,000 Canadian Mennonite Board of Colonization household records, each of which primarily represents the birth information about the household, the details of the journey from various Mennonite settlements in Russia to five western Canadian provinces, and some facts of their settlement.

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Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Purchased from Mennonite Heritage Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba, 2002.


According to filming sequence provided by Mennonite Heritage Centre.

Language of material

  • The material is in German.

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Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

Access to personal information is subject to Mennonite Historical Society of Alberta privacy policy and Alberta legislation.

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Finding aids
The original household head index to the Canadian Mennonite Board of Colonization records was microfilmed along with the records and is available in that form as well as in paper-printed form. The records are indexed according to year, then alphabetically only according to the first letter of the surname and cross-references a four-digit alphanumeric code that appears on all records. A later household head index was arranged in full alphabetical order and cross-references the rubber-stamped four-digit number on the records. These numbers are also the sequence which the paper-copied records are bound. An index to names of household heads and those born in 1907 or earlier is available at

Associated materials

More Canadian Mennonite Board of Colonization archival records can be found at the Mennonite Heritage Centre in Winnipeg.

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No accruals are expected

General note

Record No. 2002.011<br><br>

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