Showing posts with label LAC. Show all posts
Showing posts with label LAC. Show all posts

Monday, September 22, 2008

BIFHSGO Conference is a success!

The conference was held this past weekend of September 19-21 in Ottawa, and was a success - the best I have felt about a conference in many a year!

This year's conference was the society's 14th annual one, and was entitled "Celebrate Your Anglo-Celtic Roots", which meant there was a special emphasis on England.

The keynote speaker was Sherry Irvine, a genealogist and one of the founders of Pharos Teaching and Tutoring from Victoria, British Columbia <> who gave an outstanding Don Whiteside Memorial Lecture Friday evening when she talked about "Genealogy With Wings: Reflections of a Family Historian in an Age of Techno-enthusiasm."

Her speech truly did set the stage for the rest of the weekend because it advanced the setting of genealogy on the Internet to "Genealogy 2.0".

She explained that genealogists who are willing to go that one step further and get on the train going towards "techno-enthusiasm" by becoming involved with such Web 2.0 technologies as collaborative family history sites, blogs, wikis, and Facebook and other social networking websites, will find their genealogy expanding and taking on new meaning for those involved in it.

You and your cousins can go on the Internet and build your family tree together, bringing a new dimension to genealogy that I will look into because my cousins are all across Canada and in the United States, and this will bring us closer together! (I will look into putting the genealogy of Andrew BARCLAY, the progenitor of the United Empire Loyalist BARCLAYs of Boston, New York City, and Shelburne, Nova Scotia on such a site.)

And it just continued through the next two days as it encompassed Marian Press in her talks about "Genealogy 2.0: What Do I Need To Know" and "The Past, Present and Future of Librarians for Family Histories", and Alison Hare and her talk about how to properly document your genealogy work called "Citations for Genealogists."

The rest of the time I spent in the Marketplace where I said my "Hellos" to everyone, including Ed Zapletal, the editor at Mooreshead Magazines Ltd. (Internet Genealogy, Family Chronicle); Derek Hopkins and John Reid of the Quebec Family History Society, who gave me a demonstration of the new Quebec database that the society owns, and which is only available only to members <>; and Mike More from the Ottawa Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society <> spent a hour or so on Friday afternoon talking about Canadian genealogy in general.

Doug Rimmer, Assistant Deputy Minister - Program and Services Sector, also gave a brief summary of the accomplishments of the Canadian Genealogy Centre of the LAC over the past year.

He touched on the hours that the LAC is open and how they were increased when they were reduced last fall, and this was because of the "public reaction", and he also discussed a few of the databases which have been put on last year - the North West Mounted Police; Black Loyalists; Chinese Immigration; the 1881 Census; and the Second World War - Killed in Action.

Congratulations should be given to all of the team who worked on this year's conference, especially the Program Co-Chair, John Reid, who put together a wonderful conference by bringing the speakers to us from Victoria, B.C., Toronto, and England, and Wills Burwell, who as Past President and Co-Chair (Administration) of the conference, helped to make everyone feel welcome. Their cadre of volunteers are also to be congratulated for their dedication and hard work in the face of the onslaught of the many harried and hurried genealogists who took over the LAC this past weekend!

Mark your calendar for next year's conference from September 18th to the 20th. Their website is <>, and John Reid at his blog, Anglo-Celtic Connections, also has some comments on the conference.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008 Launches Online the "Canadian Passenger Lists 1865-1935"

At 10 o'clock this morning (on Tuesday, September 16, 2008), Josh Hanna —'s Senior Vice-President — announced in Toronto that it has put the Canadian Passenger Lists, 1865-1935 online at <> in both French and English (simply click the language link at the top of the page).

I have been on the site (even though all of my ancestors came to Canada pre-1865) to see what it is all about, and there is 1,441 BARCLAYs who came to Canada and 178 BLADES. (To those who don't know - my father's line is through the surname of BARCLAY, and my mother's name was BLADES - both of them descendent from United Empire Loyalists who came to Canada in 1783 and 1784, respectivly, from the United States.)

The passenger lists covers the provinces and cities of Quebec (Quebec Ports, May 1865-June 1908, June 1919-July 1921, April 1925-November 1935); Montreal (April 1925-November 1935); Halifax, Nova Scotia (1881-October 1922, 1925-1935); North Sydney, Nova Scotia (November 1906, August 1908-August 1922, 1925-1935); Saint John, New Brunswick ( 1900-September 1922, 1925-1935); Vancouver, British Columbia (1905-September 1922, 1925-1935); Victoria, British Columbia and Pacific Ports (April 1905-September 1922, 1925-1935) and some eastern U.S. Ports (July 1905-1919, 1925-1928) and New York City, which covers 1906 to 1921.

When you put the name into the search engine you may get their estimated year of birth, their birth country (although many of the immigrants did not mention their country of birth), date of arrival, name of the vessel, and port of departure. You can then view the image from which the information was taken.

It appears that the partnership that was forged between and the Library and Archives Canada (LAC) in May, 2007 was not adhered to in this instance because nowhere is the LAC mentioned in the press release.*

But it may be worth checking the LAC site <> because they have some of the passenger lists onsite, too. They also have the Moving Here, Staying Here. The Canadian Immigrant Experience online, and it's worth looking at it because it can give you the background behind immigration.

This past August, Sylvie Tremblay, Chief Project Manager of the Canada Genealogy Centre, said that the LAC has embarked on a three to five year project where they hope to develop a family history site where you will go to get the "story behind the headlines". They will make the connections for you between the databases, and the history in family history, and they are looking towards wikis to do this - so watch for that.

In the meantime, you can look up your ancestor on, and decide if you want to spend the money to do a deeper search. Remember, you can also get a 14-day trial at <>.

*The LAC is mentioned in the CNW News Release. It refers to the LAC in that the LAC holds the official records on microfilm.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Conference - BIFHSGO

I plan to attend the 14th annual conference of the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa <> September 19th to 21st at the Library and Archives Canada - it will be a weekend of meeting old friends and of learning new information about to research my family tree.

The first event which I will attend will be on Friday morning, and is an Intermediate Course in Genealogy sponsored jointly by the Ottawa Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society <> and BISFHGO.

That evening, I will attend the Don Whiteside Memorial Lecture and listen to guest speaker, Sherry Irvine, and her talk about "Genealogy with Wings: Reflections of a Family Historian in an Age of Techo-enthusian".

This talk is open to the public (free of charge), is usually very good, and is an excellent entry way into genealogy for the new researcher.

On Saturday, I will visit the marketplace to see what is new and will listen to lectures given by Jeffrey Murray, "Terra Nostra: The Stories Behind Canada's Maps 1550-1950"; Marian Press, "Genealogy 2.0: What Do I Need to Know", and on Sunday, I will listen to Alison Hare, "Citations for Genealogical Sources". There will be a panel discussion on genealogy.

I will report back on the conference next week - just to let you know how it went.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Canada Genealogy Centre is 5 Years Old!

It's hard to believe, but the Canada Genealogy Centre (GCG) is already five years old!

It was on March 29, 2003——a cold windy Saturday——that I bundled up and went out to Nepean (now Ottawa) to see the launch of a new genealogy site at the Library and Archives Canada (LAC).

The first site was 93 pages long, and by June 5, 2004, the number of pages had increased to over 300 pages.

Today, there are 20 databases online, the two newest being the Chinese Immigration List and the 1881 Census.

In fact, it is so popular that it is the second-leading website among the federal government sites - a close second to the weather website!

The top four databases, in terms of hits, are Immigration (1925-1935), Western Land Grants, the Soldiers of the First World War, and the 1871 Census.

They also have online "That's My Family", developed in partnership with the Bibliotheque et Archives nationales du Quebec and Ancester Search.

According to John Reid's blog, the hardcopy of the 1916 Census for the Western Provinces has just arrived at the LAC, and is now in the CGC Microfilm Consultation Room. The index of the census is being done by

These days, 60 percent of visits to the LAC are to the CGC.

Monday, August 11, 2008

1881 Census of Canada Released

At exactly 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 7th, the 1881 Census was released online!

The people who first got the news were the attendees at the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) who were at the Library and Archives Canada attending a conference on Genealogy and Local History. I was one of the attendees.

On the database, researchers can access the name, age, country or province of birth, nationality, religion, and occupation of Canada's residents at the time of the 1881 census. It also has the actual census return itself, which you can also access.

The press release said that "It is the first regularly scheduled collection of national statistics in Canada. Information was collected for Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, British Columbia, and the North-West Territories".

I checked the census Thursday evening for the BARCLAY (my direct line) family in Nova Scotia and I found them, but I found the children in one grouping and the mother and father in another grouping. Funny - but that is how it was.

Also, their surname was spelled as BARCKLAY - which was also unusual.

Sylvie Temblay, the Chief Project Head at the Canadian Genealogy Centre, expects 750,000 searches per week on the 1881 census.

The index was created by, and access to the digital images of the original census was work done by the Library and Archives of Canada.

The database is available at <>.