View Full Version : Canadian Genealogy
07-12-2007, 8:57 PM
I'm not sure if this is right place to post but one of the forum members mentioned how difficult it was to research Canadian genealogy. I live in Canada so decided to try it out thru various sites. I don't know why it is so poorly done here, it is shameful! I am glad that my family is all British born! However, I found this gov't site:
I would never have thought of this site as being anything other than a bill collection agency, but it isn't. It is a real genealogy site. Also the GRO in UK has links to various provinces that you can order certs from.
I hope that this information will be helpful to someone:D
07-12-2007, 9:50 PM
Thanks for the link,
My sisters husband hails from Canada, so it may help her with her research. I'll pass it on to her.:D
07-12-2007, 11:47 PM
That difficulty arises, at least for Vital Statistics, because these have always been under the purview of provincial governments. As a result there are not only multiple sources, but they each handle them differently!! One of the joys of living in a federation...:p
Some governments HAVE actually put indexes online, usually where the records remain with the vital statistics agency, then you can find your ancestor an order a printed certificate (for a fee) if you wish to do so (but the basic record is usually there for no cost) -
British Columbia http://www.vs.gov.bc.ca/genealogy/electronic_index.html
New Brunswick http://archives.gnb.ca/APPS/GovRecs/VISSE/?L=EN
Unfortunately in many cases, the records have devolved to the provincial archives that are chronically underfunded for online projects of this kind.
Ontario (arguably Canada's richest province) has NOT put indexes online, although they have put online the microfilm numbers of the microfilms with the records. You can then borrow the appropriate film by interlibrary loan (I believe they even do international loans), at a minimal charge or free, I forget (probably the cost of postage).
In Québec, as usual, things are completely different, because you have to know the region where the event took place, since the archives in each region house the microfilm records and you have to get them from the region. Having said that, they have a pretty good website with the addresses of each of the regional archives and you CAN write to them and say "where should I be looking?!" There is a fee for this. Here's a really good (third-party) article for Quebec vital stats records: http://globalgenealogy.com/globalgazette/gazfd/gazfd71k.htm
Alberta, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador have sites where you can print an order form and then send it in, with your fee:
The www.collectionscanada.gc.ca site you quoted is for the national archives and library, Library and Archives Canada, and its Genealogy Centre. You may be interested to know that this web address came about as a result of extensive focus group testing, where they asked people how they thought it might be easiest to find the site where they might look for the sort of information that archives generally hold. The tax agency, BTW, is called Canada Revenue Agency. :D Go figure.
Anyhow, the Genealogy Centre site has a lot of great searchable databases relating to genealogy, and more being added all the time – passenger lists, military records, etc. ...and, best of all, this is all FREE.
And, of course, the various provincial historical and genealogical societies can also be extremely helpful. Just Google the name of the province and the words "genealogical society" or "historical society".
As usual, it does help to do a little research on the geography while you are researching the genealogy ;)
08-12-2007, 7:16 PM
Brilliant Mary Ann! ;) Maybe the powers that be will put this under genealogy - beginners resources. It will sure save a lot of :confused: and |banghead|
08-12-2007, 8:19 PM
My mum got this website from another BG forum member.
I managed to find, view and order a copy of the 1928 marriage of Albert James PEARCE and Kathleen MELROSE with ease.
I am having a little difficulty retrieving the electronic version I was sent by them.
Thanks for the other websites I'll see if they have any other information on Albert or Kathleen.
08-12-2007, 9:09 PM
Glad it was useful. It can all seem pretty byzantine from time to time ;)
Oh, and I forgot the tenth province |banghead|, Prince Edward Island www.gov.pe.ca/vitalstatistics/
Cyndi's List also has lots of good Canadian links www.cyndislist.com
08-12-2007, 10:51 PM
For those researching Ontario the Ontario Genealogical Society has several transcription projects and a project to put Ontario burials online
I found my gg-uncle's marriage and burial which confirmed family stories that he'd emmigrated to Canada. With the information gained I posted on a Canadian message board & made contact with one of his descendants.
17-12-2007, 6:58 PM
I moved from the UK to Canada five years ago. After many years of UK research with my own family, I was shocked and dismayed at the apparant disregard that a significant amount of Government institutions have for the history of their country.
The situation is not helped by a Government that is French first and Canadian second.
In the last five years, Provinces, cities and libraries are waking up to the fact that descendants of the people who helped create this country would like to know more about their ancestors. There has been an increase in the amount of digital information available on line and one hopes that it will continue to increase. There is so much genealogy garbage out there, viewing the original documents is essential.
In the space of 200 years Canada has managed to burn. lose or destroy so much of it's history and it continues to this day.
Winnipeg is at present debating the future of the Fort Garry, or the little that remains. It is little over 120 years that the city demolished it, in order to make way for a new road. A road to nowhere that could have been sited anywhere
The Catholic Church not only lost a significant amount of its records to the flames in 1860, it repeated the same folly with an even larger fire in the 1960's.
Old house here, are those built in the 1950's and really really really old ancestors are those born in the early 1800's.
Critical yes, but the only other option is complacency, and when it comes to history, Canada has square miles of that also.
To those who are slowly changing the way Canada looks at its history, I applaud you, to the rest. for goodness sake wake up and drag yourselves into the 21st century, before the history of that is lost too.
17-12-2007, 7:27 PM
Welcome aboard this forum. There are some that are very good at Canadian genealogy so take heart.
You must take into consideration that our climate is very different than Britain. Only the very wealthy in the western provinces had brick houses. Most of the old houses made of brick are in the eastern sector of Canada. As Canada is a young nation so to speak, much was built of wood from the vasts forests, whereas Britain was already into brick/clay/stone works, especially after the London fires. I agree that it is disgusting to see "old" buildings torn down when they are only 50-75 yrs. old. I certainly miss the grand architecture of Britain. Canada is slowly waking up to :
1. Using brick instead of pillaging its dwindling forests
2. Genealogy research is 2nd to gardening and they are developing easier access to information.
I personally do not like using LDS as I don't like microfiche and they don't have current records and or the information is hit and miss in validity. But I do use them to search online. I don't know if they have much in Canadian records as I have no relatives here. My children's relatives hail from Canada and one day I will get around to searching. I would rather search out Ireland first!:D
17-12-2007, 7:55 PM
Sadly not everyone is aware that the prime reason behind the LDS records was not genealogy. They do however power some of the largest non-government resources on the internet and in order to read what was originally government data, I now find myself having to help swell their coffers in order to gain access.
Still, better that than nothing at all.
17-12-2007, 8:11 PM
Yes, theirs is sort of a like a "prime directive"! But helpful indeed! I do beleive that Maryann in the above thread is quite knowledgeable on Canadian information. I tried ancestry ca but they wanted another subscription on top of the UK one I have, so I will forget that for the present. Good luck on searching. Shout if you get stuck. I lived in Ontario for 22 yrs before I travelled around and settled out west!
If they lived in Winnipeg, died in Winnipeg, then they are most likely buried in Winnipeg.
The three city cemeteries do have online searches which does help. Also if you find someone you are looking for try this link: http://www.british-genealogy.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12942
I still look for graves when the weather is nice.
18-12-2007, 3:40 AM
Whoa, Peter, cool your jets, buddy ;)
As Vanessa has pointed out, Canada is a relatively *young* country and things weren't built of brick and stone in the early *pioneering days* of my ancestors (and not many generations ago!!!) who settled here, as they had been in Europe -- this for a wide variety of reasons.
You also need to remember that our difficult federation is the basis for the sometimes scattered state of vital and historical records in Canada. Provinces were long ago given jurisdiction over many of these things, and they may not have had - or not now have - the resources to do what we would like them to have done (nor, admittedly, did they often see it as a priority, especially when their citizens were unable to find work where they lived, and they had to go 3000 miles to do so, leaving their families behind...just to name one example that happened to people in more than one of these ten provinces! :().
I would suggest that my English great-grandfather, who came to Winnipeg from Northamptonshire, via Ontario, would wonder what you were on about, to be blunt. He was a *pusher* - an entrepreneur, a land speculator, in the early days - but he was very focused on what he thought were the *important* things in a new land - education, jobs, land, work and so forth, not only bricks-and-mortar buildigns for show. He and others of his ilk came here and forged something here - not perfect, by any means, but something they could call their own and that they felt comfortable leaving their descendants. A lot of that was about their attitude to the future, and what *should* be available to Canadians.
And, I am afraid you are overlooking the fact that the Canadian government in fact is one of the FEW, world-wide, that determined from the beginning that it would -- and it continues -- to spend public resources to put genealogical and historical materials that are important to Canada and Canadians - ONLINE - FREE. Not as fast as we would like perhaps (and not indexed - alas!), nor as fast as might be allowed by making a *deal* with a private sector partner, that could benefit financially (and, in one case, at least, make a further deal with off-shore folks who cock up the transcriptions...but I won't go there |blush|).
I'll get off my |soapbox| now...
Anyhow, there are lots of good resources here...even if there aren't so many 16th century buildings......;) Please feel free to get in touch and ask for whatever you need.....
18-12-2007, 3:36 PM
I must remember not to voice my opinion in future
18-12-2007, 6:53 PM
We all moan and groan Peter. Don't worry about it. It can be verrrrry frustrating not being able to have the information at your fingertips. |banghead| We all think that everything on the earth related to genealogy should be online but it isn't, but there's hope. It IS getting better!:D
18-12-2007, 7:29 PM
Not wanting to take away your right to express and opinion...but I defend anyone else's right to come back at ya with their own opinion. And all with the best of intentions |hug|
That's what all this free speech stuff is supposed to be about, init? and why I got off my soapbox, 'coz as you may have guessed, pay-per-view is a bit of a hobby horse of mine ;)
And as Vanessa says..."Getting better and better every day" - or is that my therapy mantra? :confused:
I any case, it seems that one or other group of whoever's ancestors burned up something at one time or another...like who set fire to the Dublin vital statistics buidling?!|banghead|
(Like your Chaboillez site. Nicely set up. Keep up the good work. And keep digging, it's in there somehwere!)
19-12-2007, 4:46 PM
As you have gathered, I also have a soapbox, in fact I have several.
I guess that what annoys me most is complacency, anyway, thanks for taking the time to add your comment.
Free speech is great, especially when everyone agrees with me :)
The website thingy (Chaboillez) is very much a winter project for us, we tend to spend the summers outside.
20-12-2007, 7:46 AM
I might point out at this stage that things on line are changing very quickly. There are a lot of us on this forum who started when there was nothing !! Most research had to be done physically as it were. For me- searching the IGI and ordering films of parish registers, sitting for hours in front of a microfiche reader scanning quarter after quarter of very difficult to read GRO indexes (call St. Caths in those days).
I came to Canadian research very late having spent many months looking for the death of my fathers sister, without success. How could that be- she wasnt still alive at well over a 100- but why no listing ? Then with the magic of on line indexes found she had emigrated to Canada- very quickly then to the arrivals lists, then the 1911 census, then Ontario Directories- as I said "Magic".
None of the on line stuff is perfect- but a lot of it is free- and the rest are for the most part reasonably priced- compared with the way we had to do it before. No petrol costs, train fairs, and in my case -air fares.
20-12-2007, 9:30 PM
Hello Ed. I too started out when there was no internet and a weird attitiude by many libraries and local authorities, who never seemed too anxious to even share information.
The internet has provide a wealth of information for the wary and a minefield for the nieve.
It is close to 8 years since I first went online, and could never have imaged the advances in such a short time. I trust that the digitizing processes continue, thus allowing one to bypass the detritus that has accumulated
20-12-2007, 10:12 PM
Much research in Canada by nature of it's huge size can only be done online unlike in the UK where for the price of a 1 day excersion ticket one can have access to a vast number of historical records Much of the UK online and digital developement has been because of the commercial oppertunity afforded Commercialism is not so viable in Canada because of the much smaller 3rd 4th 5th 6th......generation bases compared to vast number of ancestors in the UK Europe and the US (a factor of 100,000's:! you can do the arithmetic yourself)
Take away the comparitively easy travel access to County Record Offices & Archives, the London Record Offices and Archives and take away the Commercial Online Services, sale of CD's and access to the LDS FHCs outside of the major cities and I think the UK would start to look much more barer and as inconvienient as does Canada.
20 years ago there wasn't much online or available on CD in the UK and for the genealogical layman it was mainly a diet of travel and fiche and search as does Canada seem to you today
Hope this and the other postings help to understand the subtle reasons why we are somwhat lacking here in CAnada
In your case you have the additional burden of the windchill factor which we here in Lotus Land do not. When we run out of things genealogical we can put our raincoats and wellies on and go paddle in our gardens
PS I left the UK 40yrs ago to work on 2 yr project in Sask and am still here in BC
30-12-2007, 3:19 AM
I came across this article on Canadian Genealogy which gives an update on what's going on.
30-12-2007, 5:38 AM
Ken. An excellent article and one that should be brought to the attention of all those who's research involves Canadian archive and library material.
30-12-2007, 5:52 PM
You might also try the following concerning young immigrants to Canada:
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