Canadian Civil Service salaries published online today launched over 200,000 Canadian Civil Service records for the period 1872-1918. The fully searchable records offer a fascinating insight into the machinery of government - from the Governor General's office and those employed in Parliament (House of Commons & Senate) to the 10 people in the "Slide and Boom" Service of the Inland Revenue all of whom are meticulously accounted for. The online records reveal the civil servants name, position, department, length of service, salary and date of appointment.

The period covers the early years of the Dominion of Canada from 1872 through to the end of the First World War, When immigration to North America was increasing Canada saw the majority of migrants arriving from Britain and Ireland which accounted for a large proportion of the Government Service Lists. In 1870 this influx reached its highest level.

The earliest Returns detail the origin and creed of those in the civil service. Canadians were described as French or British or even Irish and German but these distinctions eventually disappear.

When Engineers were paid more than lawyers

Interestingly the highest paid civil servant in 1872 was the Scottish born Sir Sandford Fleming, who was fondly known as the "Inventor of Standard Time" as well as being the founder of the Canadian Institute. The 19th Century was the Age of Steam and the innovator Fleming was the Chief Engineer for the Intercolonial Railway (later to become the Canadian National Railway) who earned $4,800. The importance of Fleming's position is underscored by the fact the Deputy to the Minister of Justice was paid only Canadian $2,600. An Under Secretary of State fared somewhat better with an annual salary of $2,840 - by contrast a labourer earned as little as 70 cents a day, the equivalent of $18.70 today. At that time the average annual wage was $1,695.

In 1872 there were 3,704 civil servants which increased to 8,312 by 1909. The latest figures show that there are now over 454,000 Canadian civil servants.

Included in this online collection are individuals who shaped and transformed the country in those early days. One of these was Richard Burton Deane, an officer and author educated in India and Ipswich ( England ) who in July 1883 was appointed by the Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald as an inspector in the North-West Mounted Police in July 1883. After the North-West rebellion Deane became responsible for the prisoners, including Louis Riel one of the most controversial figures in Canadian history.

These comprehensive records spanning 47 formative years of Canada 's Administration are a vital part of the Dominion's development and the source for family historians whose forebears left Britain for a new life and in many cases reached importance and fame in their adopted country. The collection is available online to all members and by way of an annual subscription of only £30.00 or US$50.00 with other datasets at


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