Showing posts with label Library and Archives Canada (LAC). Show all posts
Showing posts with label Library and Archives Canada (LAC). Show all posts

Saturday, September 20, 2014

LAC Podcast - Sign Me Up: CEF Files, 1914-1918


The Library and Archives Canada has issued a another podcast, and this one concerns the First World War Service Papers in Sign Me Up: CEF Files, 1914-1918. These papers are being digitized and are being put online.

I listened to the podcasts, and although nothing new was mentioned in the podcasts, I feel that there will be questions that will still be asked about the papers. The researcher will have to study the various papers in detail in order to reconstruct the life of the soldier. For example, if the soldier was in the Canadian militia before signing the Attestation Paper, what militia unit was it, where were they located, what was his service, or if he served in different regiments while overseas (which many did), why was this so? Who did he serve with, his time of service, in what battles was he involved, and so forth.

I had the occasion to download a complete service record a couple of weeks ago, and depending on the length of the records, it can be a rather long process from start to finish. Some of the records were difficult to read because of the use of abbreviations, and the faded ink, but some of the papers were very clear.

I think the best thing to do before one starts to read the service papers is to read the book, Canadians at War 1914-1919: A Research Guide to World War One Service Records, by retired Library and Archives Canada archivist, Glenn Wright.

This book, although it was written in 2010, is still THE book to read when researching CEF papers. If you read and study this book, you will have a good understanding of the records that you are viewing.

The book is for sale through Global Genealogy at http://globalgenealogy.com/countries/canada/military/resources/101160.htm

Don't forget to scroll down this page and see the book review I wrote for Families, the journal of the Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS) http://www.ogs.on.ca, of which I am its editor.

Although the review was published four years ago, my opinion of his book has not wavered, and, in fact, the more I use it for research, the more invaluable I find it as a resource.

A table of contents of the book is available as a PDF file here - http://globalgenealogy.com/countries/canada/military/resources/images/101160-contents.pdf

For more on this blog, go to http://genealogycanada.blogspot.com/2011/12/my-list-of-books-for-holidays.html

To listen to the podcast, go to http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/news/podcasts/Pages/cef-files-1914-1918.aspx

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Royal Canadian Navy Ledger Sheets Database (1910-1941)


Canadian Corvettes, on antisubmarine duty while escorting a WW II convoy. National Archives of Canada / PA-115350

Library and Archives Canada has just announced the launch of a new online database, "Royal Canadian Navy Ledger Sheets (1910-1941)".

The LAC says that "Through this online database, researchers can access more than 16,700 references to individuals who served in the Royal Canadian Navy and the Naval Reserve between 1910 and 1918. It also includes some records for those who enlisted between 1919 and 1941".

The database is available at the following address:
www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/navyledgersheet/index-e.html

For more information, please contact webservices@bac-lac.gc.ca.

I had one uncle in the Royal Canadian Navy in the Second World War, and his name was John (Johnnie) Turner Barclay (b. 1916 – d. 1975) from Jordan Falls, Shelburne County, Nova Scotia. He was my father's brother, and his home base was CFB Halifax.

He often talked about the stormy weather that they had as they crossed the Northern Atlantic to fight off of the coast of England in the Battle of the Atlantic. He was in the engine room, and he said that there were cramped conditions in which they lived and worked during those long days at sea.

The navy lost 24 ships and 1,797 sailors in the war.

Admiralty House Museum, Halifax, NS http://psphalifax.ca/marcommuseum/convoys.html I have been at the museum in Halifax, and it is a beautiful place. The website says, "The museum has a library of over 50,000 volumes, archives, and a permanent collection displaying historical artifacts including model ships, weapons, photos, medals and much more".

Tomorrow's Post: New/Improved Canadian Websites and Blogs, Week 10

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Ottawa Branch, OGS - September Meeting

The next meeting of the Ottawa Branch, OGS will be held on Tuesday, September 15th at 7:30 p.m. in Room 156 of the Library and Archives Canada building at 395 Wellington Street.

Coreen Atkins-Sheldrick will speak on her new book, "In Our Defence: The Veterans & Military Heritage of Historic Osgoode Township", about the military history of Osgoode Township, Carleton County.

She is going to talk about the stories she learned while working on this book.

I see where she has another book called, "The Yorke Families of Historic Osgoode Township, Carleton County", written in 2003.

For more information, please visit <www.ogsottawa.on.ca>.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Canadian Census of 1891

The 1891 Canadian Census is fully online now at the Library and Archives Canada (LAC) www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/census-1891/index-e.html.

The 1891 Census was taken in Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, and the Northwest Territories (which, at the time, covered modern-day Alberta, Saskatchewan, Northern Manitoba, Northern Ontario, Northern Quebec, Labrador, Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut).

The census was taken on April 5th, 1891, and very little change was made to the collection of the data from previous censuses. Information was gathered for 4,833,329 individuals in 1891.

Unfortunately, only Schedule I remains (a nominal list of the people in the country) - all of the other schedules (there were 8) were destroyed - and only Schedule I was microfilmed.

There are 25 columns, and you can read their definitions and explanations at www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/census-1891/001081-2000-e.html.

There are three things which struck me about this census, and I think they are really good - it's free; you get to view the complete image of Schedule I; and you can add a comment, if you wish.

Congratulations and "Thank yous" go out to the LAC and to Ancestry.ca for this much-anticipated release.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Canadian Genealogy Centre Has New Look

Sylvie Tremblay, Chief Project Manager of the Canadian Genealogy Centre (CGC), informed me yesterday that a "new look" was in store for their website www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/genealogy/index-e.html, and this morning when I logged on - there it was - new and improved!

I have chosen my words carefully because it is "new and improved". When the website for the CGC first appeared, its design seemed somewhat haphazard (and with the generous addition of information over the years, it became a bit unwieldy) - but now it is crisp, uncluttered, and divided into readable blocks that makes it easier for the public to follow.

On the left are the major divisions of the site, in the middle of the page are links to the "Most Requested Records", "How to Begin", "What You Can Do" and "Learning Resources" pages, and on the right of this page are links to the "What's New at the CGC" and "That's My Family" sections.

The Centre has come a long way in the five years when it first appeared, due in large part to the hard work of Sylvie and her crew. Many Canadian databases have been put on the site over the years, and it's all free!

Canada is the only county in the world to have such a site, and the Library and Archives Canada is to be commended for putting "our" (Canadian) genealogy online.

In the coming years, emphasis — in part — will be put on wikis, social networking websites like Facebook and YouTube, and other sites. This will help spread the words of the introduction which hangs over their website: "Welcome to a great place to research your family history".

Saturday, November 22, 2008

FamilySearch Looking for Volunteers!

FamilySearch International is going to make the indexes to the 1861, 1871, and 1916 census available online for free with the help of online volunteer indexers, and an agreement with Ancestry.ca.

The press release says that "Online volunteers are needed to help transcribe select information from digital images of the historical documents into easily searchable indexes."

The completed indexes will be available for free at <www.familysearch.org>.

If you want to become a volunteer, you can start right away by registering online at <familysearchindexing.org>, by downloading the free indexing software, and selecting the 1916 Canada Census project.

It will take about 30 minutes to finish one page of the census, and the volunteer has one week to finish it, if need be.

"The 1916 census was selected first because it is the most recent and smallest of the three census targeted in the first place. It included three of the western provinces (Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Alberta), and has about 1.7-million names - so it will not take long to complete," said Stephen Young, FamilySearch Project Manager.

It is interesting that they have picked three personalities known to people, that is; Arthur Gordon Kelly (Art Linkletter), Sir William Samuel Stephenson (real-life inspiration for James Bond), and Elvina Fay Wray (Fay Wray) who appeared in the 1916 census as example of people you can meet along the way to indexing the census - to make it more interesting to transcribe, I suppose.

The Library and Archives Canada (LAC) owns, and is providing the digital images for, the Canada Census Project.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Library and Archives Canada Launches Flickr

As a part of the Irish Symposium which took place at the LAC Monday and Tuesday at the beginning of this month, the LAC has put 84 images of the Irish-Canadian connection on www.flickr.com/photos/28853433@N02.

"The objective of the project is to explore new ways to improve access to Canada's documentary heritage," said Ian E. Wilson, Librarian and Archivist of Canada. "Library and Archives Canada is excited about the opportunities that social media sharing communities provide for Canadians to discuss and contextualize an important selection of our collective history."

Visitors to Flickr.com can comment and tag the content of the pictures, and can explore history in the context of their surroundings by navigating the album on a virtual map of the world.

I was on the exhibit twice in the past few days, and find it to be very good. It gives both the Irish and Canadian view of each other from the turn of the 19th century, and it rounds out the perception of the Irish-Canadian had of each other of that time.

LAC is planning to put videos on YouTube later in the year.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Ancestry.ca and the Library and Archives Canada

This is a story that's turning into a soap opera of sorts - it's becoming "the continuing story of LAC and Ancestry.ca".

In 2007, a partnership was drawn up between the LAC and Ancestry.ca, and it was announced at the 2007 Ontario Genealogical Society Seminar. I was there to hear it as well as were about 500 other people. It was as if the air had been sucked out the room - people were astounded by the news! "We didn't know that this was going on" - was the complaint of the people. It had come as a complete surprise!

Ancestry.ca said at that time that the release of the Quebec City Immigration Records was Number One on its list of things to do, and that they would make it available online at Ancestry.ca as well as the free LAC website. It is not on the LAC site - yet.

Then the Passenger Lists (Canada's Immigration Lists) from 1865 to 1935 was made public the first part of September on Ancestry.ca. That sort of caught me by surprise because I was expecting it to be released early in 2009 - but there it was - much to everyone's surprise. And it was not released at the LAC in Ottawa - but at Ancestry.ca headquarters in Toronto. It is supposed to be on the LAC site - but so far, it hasn't appeared.

And now, another press release in which Josh Hanna, a Senior VP of Ancestry International, and Ian Wilson, Chief Librarian and Archivist of Canada, are saying that Ancestry.ca will "digitize and index microfilm and original records (my italics) held by LAC and make these available to Ancestry.ca members." It goes on to say that "all of the digitized records will eventually be available free of charge to users of the LAC website". Notice that they say "digitized" records, and not "indexed" records.

Mr. Hanna says that "This is a win-win relationship for Ancestry to offer a wide range of Canadian collections to its members and in turn LAC will receive the expertise, experience and person hours that are required for imaging and indexing these records."

We all know that the LAC, being a government department, doesn't have the money to hire people (as the National Archives of Ireland has found out in its transcription of the 1901 and 1911 Irish census, and now has put it out to transcription companies to bid on it - they have said that they have chosen the company - but wouldn't say who it is at the Irish Symposium in Ottawa in November).

But I believe that this is the crux of the matter - the LAC simply does not have the money. So it has turned to Ancestry.ca to do the digitization and indexing of the microfilm and original records - and the LAC will take whatever it has agreed to put onsite. We will see what that is as time goes by.

In the meantime, were you as surprised as I when you opened the Globe and Mail newspaper yesterday morning, and read where Ancestry.ca had made a major mistake by putting a German soldier where there should have been a Canadian soldier in its Remembrance Day advertisement in the paper the previous day?

Ancestry.ca issued an apology and it said it will never happen again.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Virtual War Memorials

With news this weekend that they have found the remains of another unknown solider in Europe—and that he has been buried at a Remembrance Day Ceremony at Vimy this past weekend—brought home the fact that the wars in which they have fought will never die. It is our duty to remember them.

Canada now has 5,890 Vitual War Memorials that you can visit online on the Canada's Veteran Affairs website. Go to <www.vac-acc.gc.ca/remembers/sub.cfm?source=memorials/memcan>.

On a personal note, Mario Lapointe, my husband and a full-time reservist in the Air Force, will be in the Remembrance Day Parade tomorrow at the National War Memorial in Ottawa.

I will be there, too, and afterwards we will go to a reception at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier Hotel to mingle with the veterans and with fellow sailors, soldiers, and airmen/airwomen who marched in the ceremony that morning.

There also won't be a blog on Wednesday because it will be Mario's birthday! I've got a full day and evening of activities planned for him, so I won't be home at all on that day.

If you wish, you can go to the Juno Beach Parade article that both of us wrote for that day five years ago <www.genealogycanada.com/Juno%20Beach.htm>.

So I'll see you Thursday when I will talk about the "partnership" between the Library and Archives Canada (LAC) and Ancestry.ca!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Library and Archives Canada Releases a New Guide

Today, the LAC has released a new research guide called "Canada At War: A Guide to Library and Archives Canada's Website Recalling the Canadian War Experience".

For the first time, this guide brings together the complete compendium of resources regarding the First World War available at the LAC ranging from Exhibitions such as Aboriginal Soldiers to Research (Digital Collections/Bibliography) which feature such online databases as Court-Martials of the First Word War, the Soldiers of the First World War, and Canadian Historical Sound Recordings of the First World War Era.

The last item that is mentioned in this itemized list of resources is the "War Diaries of the First World War", and they are very interesting. <www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/veterans/025001-4000-e.html>.

They are not diaries written about the individuals in the war, but diaries of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF), where they were required to keep a daily account of their "Actions in the Field" <www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/archivianet/020152_e.html>.

I checked the establishment of the 1st Canadian Stationary Hospital as it mobilized in Quebec City in September, 1914, and the Cyclist Division with the Canadian Reserve Cyclist Company as they set up their operations.

If you know what unit your ancestor served in during the war, these are very helpful diaries, and offer a bit of reflection into the war. I got the feeling while reading them that they understood what was at hand, and they prepared the best they could for what the four years of the war would bring to them - reward, misery, and death.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Attestation Papers of Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF)

In 1996, the Library and Archives Canada (LAC) started working on the transcription of the Attestation Papers of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) of the First World War. There were 600,000 Canadians who signed up for service in the war, which lasted from 1914 to 1918.

The LAC hired students from Renfrew, Ontario over the summer of 1996 to start work by scanning and processing the images. The Gatineau Preservation Centre Team worked on the project from 1997-1998, and the LAC team worked on it from 1999 to 2000.

You can find the person in the online database at <www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/cef/index-e.html>, and by putting the name in the search feature, and it will give you the soldier's rank, reference number, the date of birth, and the digitized copy of the Attestation Paper itself, which contains even more information.

Also, one can find chaplains and nurses online in this database.

On the other hand, I see where Ancestry.ca has issued the Attestation Papers!

They say that the papers were issued to mark Remembrance Day in Canada - but if the Attestation Papers and other information are already on the Canada Genealogy Centre's website - isn't this duplication of effort?

By the way, the "other information" which is available from the CGC is the record of service, casualty form, discharge certificate, war service gratuity, hospital cards, medical history sheet, body temperature chart, last pay certificate, dental history chart, and medical examination upon leaving the service.

You can get this information by simply filing out the form contained online at <www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/genealogy/022-300.001-e.html>.