Getting Started


GRanDMA, the Genealogical Registry and Database of Mennonite Ancestry, is accessible via GRanDMA Online through a paid subscription. This comprehensive database includes genealogical information on Mennonite and Hutterite people, with ancestral lines tracing back to communities in Prussia (now Poland) and South Russia (now Ukraine).

The database is compiled from thousands of family histories, church records, obituaries, government records, and other contributions. GRanDMA features detailed records including dates and places, linked by relationships to parents and children.

These linkages allow researchers to create ancestry charts and descendants’ charts, enabling extensive data mining for various genealogical reports.

Manitoba Mennonite Sources: 1874-1921

This guide is designed for researchers looking to delve deeper than just collecting names and dates, aiming to obtain detailed information about their ancestors, including images of relevant records.

Once you have identified early Manitoba ancestors using family sources or the GRanDMA database, this guide will help with locating the original records or images. The focus is on digital records available online, providing access to images or instructions on how to order them, as well as records available in local archives and offices (church and municipal).

Emigration to Canada Sources: 1920s



Manitoba Historical Newspapers

Local newspapers are invaluable resources for understanding community history and tracing genealogical roots. For researchers focused on southern Manitoba, newspapers can reveal personal stories, public notices, and advertisements that paint a detailed picture of the past.

Manitoba Mennonite Church Records

Researchers can search a composite index of heads of household in the Mennonite church records of the Bergthal Gemeinde, Chortitzer Gemeinde, Reinlaender Gemeinde, Sommerfelder Gemeinde, and Kleine Gemeinde. These records document the first families that emigrated to Canada between 1874 and 1880.

Manitoba Mennonite Homestead Files

When Mennonites began arriving in Manitoba between 1874 and 1880, each head of household applied for a homestead. These homestead records provide an unparalleled window into the early years of Mennonite settlement. They include application forms, correspondence, naturalization papers, records of people, buildings, animals, implements, land broken, crops harvested, and more.

The files are available at the Mennonite Heritage Archives in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and at the Winkler Heritage Society in Winkler, Manitoba.

Canadian Mennonite Board of Colonization Registration Forms

The Canadian Mennonite Board of Colonization (CMBoC) oversaw the migration of over 20,000 Mennonites from Ukraine to western Canada and Ontario between 1923 and 1930.  As part of its record keeping, the Board produced registration forms.

Each record identifies the given and surnames of all household members (maiden name of the mother is occasionally identified), their birthdates, and generally their birthplaces. It also contains a single word indicating how the trip costs were paid, and the cross-reference numbers to the financial ledgers books (lower right).

The back of each record tells the story of the journey from Russia to Canada in the following detail: place of last residence, place and date when the journey began, all dates of arrival/departure at ports, including ship names. It identifies the intended first place of residence in Canada and may list a name of a relative who had previously immigrated to Canada or the United States.


Mennonite DNA Project


Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online

The Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online provides reliable, freely-available English-language information on Anabaptist-related congregations, denominations, conferences, institutions, and significant individuals, as well as historical and theological topics. It also includes secular subject articles from an Anabaptist perspective and full-text source documents.

Mennonite Archival Information Database

The Mennonite Archival Information Database is a discovery site for Mennonite archives, containing descriptions and photographs from fifteen archival partners.

About the Society

We seek to foster an understanding of and respect for the history and beliefs of the Mennonite people in the past and present, and to challenge them to give new expression to this heritage in the future.

Local Archives

MMHS Publications