Thursday, August 15, 2013

Tracing Forward ‒ Searching for Relatives in Recent Times

Gwyneth Pearce, Secretary of the Toronto Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society, let us
know this morning that registration is now open for Tracing Forward - Searching for Relatives in Recent Times, a special fall event co-sponsored by the Toronto Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society and the Canadiana Department of North York Central Library.

She says to “Join expert speakers and fellow family history enthusiasts for a full day of lectures designed for researchers interested in expanding their family trees to find living relatives. Find out why we all should build “tracing forward” into our family history research, and discover new tools, techniques and strategies for tracing people who are either still alive or recently deceased. Learn how to navigate privacy and access rules and how to connect with “DNA cousins”, pick up tips from professionals who locate people for a living, and prepare to be inspired by stories of how family history mysteries have been solved”.

It will be held on Saturday, 26 October 2013 at the North York Central Library, 2nd floor Auditorium, 5120 Yonge Street, Toronto.

For full program and speaker information and to register online, visit OGS members pay reduced fees, and an additional early-bird discount applies for those who register before 30 September.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Your photos could have a snowball effect!

The deadline to get your photos on Canadians and snow in to the Museum of Civilization has been extended to September 15th, 2013.

The Museum has already gathered 200 photos from across Canada. The objective: 300 colour and black-and-white photos, new and old, showing such activities as tobogganing, skiing, snowstorms and shovelling, etc

New deadline: September 15, 2013.

Your photos could be included in the Museum’s upcoming special exhibition on snow in Canada, scheduled to open December 6, 2013.

Do you have any such photos?* If so, please send them to the Museum following the instructions at

High resolution photos are required (minimum 300 dpi).

*Excludes photographs showing activities or sports related to ice.

New deadline: September 15, 2013

And let us know if you are planning to send a photo in for the exhibit.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

OGS questions are answered by LAC

This morning, Shirley Sturdevant, President of the OGS, has put the answers to her questions she asked the LAC last Saturday in an open letter. 

The morning, her letter was answered by M. Fabien LengellĂ©, Director General, Content Access Branch of Library and Archives Canada (LAC).

So what do you think? Are these the answers you were waiting for – has he answered her concerns completely? 

You can read my blog at where she asked the questions.

You can read the answers at Clarifies Access to 1921 Canada Census

Jeri Brown, Senior Consultant with, has written to me to make sure that everyone understands that -

Under the terms of the partnership with Library and Archives Canada, Canadians will be able to access the 1921 Census of Canada images free of charge through the website. If you currently do not have an account or registered login with, you will be prompted to register (for free) to access the images. Registration requires the entry of a name and email address only. As the images are free for Canadians only, those attempting to access the 1921 Census via the other sites (ie:,, etc…), will be prompted to sign up for a 14-day free trial”.

Meanwhile, how is everyone finding the census? Is it easy to work with? Any problems?  

I have heard from some people that the census itself is rather “marked up” and some writing is difficult to read, and that the names are difficult to decipher.  

Other people have said that they have had no problems, everything has gone as planned, and that they found the people they were looking for, without delay.

Remember, the "every name index" will be available in 2 -3 months on

Monday, August 12, 2013

Canadian Week in Review 12 August 2013 Special Edition: The 1921 Census


The 1921 Census Remember that this census is in “browser mode only” at the current time, not an “every name index” Go to


This week the OGS came out questioning the partnership between the Library and Archives Canada and Ancestry. Read the full blog at

The 1921 Canadian Census is now Available Online There are some helpful hints on Eastman’s blog, in the comments section, for finding your ancestor.

Dear Myrt has a question about why Ancestry would put on “browsable images” when, according to her; they usually wait until the index is finished before they put it online. (I think the answer is in the agreement between Ancestry and the LAC). 

John D. Reid has all sorts of census information on his site at,  and Lorine McGinnis Schulze in her Olive Tree Genealogy Blog at

There is a statement on the Library and Archives Canada site at

Facebook, Videos, You Tube

The Library and Archives Canada Facebook page The conversation continues....

Newspapers Articles of the Week

1921Canadian Census data released online, to genealogists’ delight 

Story of the Week

Release of the 1921 Census

It’s been quite a week.

Wednesday morning, there were rumors swirling around Ottawa about the immediate release of the census, either on Wednesday afternoon or Thursday.

And then later on Wednesday, the word was that it would be released on Thursday at around 2 pm. And the census was released by Ancestry – which have upset some people. Some people are upset because it isn't an “every name index” – it is only available by district and sub districts, at the present time.

So the fallout (good and not so good), has followed on the weekend. There have been statements made on the pro and con side of the argument of the partnership between the Library and Archives Canada and Ancestry which will go on for years to come, I suspect. And the basic partnership arrangement was made some years ago when the LAC was starting to feel the budget crunch, and realized they couldn't sustain such a large undertaking as indexing the census or the passenger list – but it has raised its ugly head once again.

And that brings up all sorts of questions. For instance, should there be one genealogy society in Canada to speak for genealogists in such matter as to who handles such delicate data as that found in the country’s census? Questions like this one were asked back when the 1911 Census was being delayed, but nothing came from it, except a few scattered meetings.

So that leaves the census in a limbo of browsing by districts and sub districts until the “every name index” is put online by Ancestry, 2-3 months from now. It is a   subscription site, although you can view for free if you take advantage of their 14 day or 30 day offer, or have a subscription with, or is included in your package, or you can go to a library which has access to Ancestry - the library edition.

So it’s onto our next census challenge – the 1926 Prairie Provinces (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta) census which will be released in 2018.

Reminder: Check out Canadian Week in Review every Monday for the latest in Genealogy, Heritage, and History news in Canada. It’s the ONLY news blog of its kind in country! The next post will be 19 August, 2013

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Canadian Week in Review - SPECIAL EDITION

Reminder: Check out Canadian Week in Review every Monday for the latest in Genealogy, Heritage, and History news in Canada. It’s the ONLY news blog of its kind in country! 

A special edition of the events which surrounded the release of the 1921 Census will be covered.

The Canadian Week in Review will be posted at midnight tonight.

What is the partnership between the LAC and Ancestry?

Yesterday, the president of the Ontario Genealogical Society, Shirley Sturdevant offered the opinion of the society on the release of the 1921 census.  This was done by releasing a statement on their blog, entitled Library and Archives Canada and Ancestry Partnership Results in Release of 1921 Canadian Population Census.

In part, the statement says -

“Although The Society is very pleased that these images are finally available to the public, we are concerned about its release through a subscription site. The lack of consultation with Canadian heritage organizations ignored their skills, experience and offers of assistance. Details of the arrangement are still unfolding and we hope that answers to our questions will be forthcoming regarding the arrangement between Library and Archives Canada and Ancestry.
  • Was there no Canadian organization that could handle this?
  • Is this deal exclusive to Ancestry?
  • Has LAC given away its rights to use the digitized images later on their own web page, indexed or not?
  • Might other organizations have access to the images and produce their own indexes as has been done successfully in the past, perhaps then making the information free to all?
  • For how long will there be free access to the raw images or indexed information on the site?
  • Is there a limit to the number of years Ancestry will have the sole rights before the census might appear elsewhere or is this material solely in their hands?
  • What of access to the other census schedules?
  • Why have the microfilms or images not been available at Library and Archives Canada until now?
There are many unanswered questions being asked by our members and others in the heritage community. We look forward to more details”.

To read the full statement, go to the web site at

So what is the nature of the partnership between the LAC and Ancestry? Does it give such societies, as the OGS, any room to have their say? Or are they looked upon as outsiders? Interesting questions, to say the least.

The waters on releasing the census issue is starting to get muddy. Let us hope that the OGS receives answers to their questions.

Disclaimer: Although I am employed by the OGS as editor of their journal Families, the views expressed in this statement are strictly by the OGS.