Should Canadian Place Names include Canada as the country for events prior to 1867?

+8 votes
in Policy and Style by Ian Jones G2G1 (1.6k points)
recategorized by Jillaine Smith

Hi Ian, 

Generally on WikiTree we use the place names that were used at the time. A couple of years ago, Barry Sweetman put together a useful spreadsheet for US and Canadian Colonial place names over time:

Thanks for the link, this is an excellent resource.  I had heard that there was a spreadsheet with place names, but I was unable to find the link.  Now I have it.  Thanks again

4 Answers

+7 votes

This does not answer your question, but the article at the following link gives some background for the name Canada and it’s use. The citation for this link is:

Munroe, Susan. "The Story of How Canada Got Its Name." ThoughtCo, Feb. 22, 2019,

The name Canada and its use is thus quite old.

by George Fulton G2G6 Pilot (322k points)
+6 votes
Here is another link with some information (scroll up to top of page):
by Julie Kelts G2G6 Pilot (302k points)

The answer is no. Barry's table on the space page above is very useful for Canadian place names before 1867.

+7 votes
I would say no. To summarize the referenced articles, the name Canada applied to speck parts of what is now Canada. For example, the Maritime Provinces were not part of what was called Canada (East or West, Upper or Lower) prior to Confederation. Even after Confederation (1867) Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland were not part of "Canada" so care needs to be taken.
by Doug McCallum G2G6 Pilot (401k points)
Doug when did PEI and Newfoundland start using Canada?
Hi Cindy,

PEI was July 1, 1873

Newfoundland was March 31, 1949
PEI become a Province of Canada in 1873 and Newfoundland in 1949. Newfoundland became officially called "Newfoundland and Labrador" in 2001.
Hi, Doug, so researching Newfoundland, it seems it was french controlled from 1655-1713.  Then became Colony of Newfoundland 1713-1907 (controlled by the British per the Treaty of Utrect.  Then Dominion of Newfoundland 1907-1949 (but still not Canada?).

On 3/31/1949 it became Province of Newfoundland, Canada, upon joining the Canadian Federation, followed by name change to Newfoundland and Labrador on 12/6/2001.  Is that correct?
That seems correct. The Dominion was definitely not part of Canada. The Dominion of Newfoundland had self governing status as part of the UK. They gave up this status in 1934 (debt after WWI and the depression were factors). Note that Labrador was more complicated and usually considered part of Newfoundland in 1809 but Québec and Newfoundland disputed the exact boundary between them. Finally settled in 1929 but the UK.

This is a good example of why using the place as it was called at the time of an event is important.
+5 votes

If you scroll down to the guidelines for place names in Québécois project page, you will see what gets used when.

by Danielle Liard G2G6 Pilot (306k points)

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