Before 1865, passenger lists for ships arriving at ports in Canada did not have to be archived. It is therefore a challenging time period in which to find such lists.
The good news is that there are alternate records such as shipping agent records, emigration agent ledger books, and newspaper extracts, to name just a few. These records may record your ancestor’s name and arrival date.
Finding these alternate records is not necessarily an easy task, however. A new ebook has gathered together all known resources for those pre-1865 passenger lists. Each item in this ebook provides a brief overview of what is in each record set and where those records can be located. If it is online, links are included.