Canadian Genealogy Centre Opens

by E.B. Lapointe

Ottawa - The Canadian Genealogy Centre of the Library and Archives of Canada had its official opening at the annual Gene-O-Rama genealogy conference on 29 March, 2003 at Ben Franklin Place in Ottawa, the country's capital city.*

A spokesperson for the centre is quoted in the accompanying press release as saying that "The Canadian Genealogy Centre Web site is an online centre that will provide access to all genealogical resources in Canada."

The centre had its origins in the fall of 2002, with a conference in Ottawa-Gatineau's National Capital Region, when the National Library and National Archives of Canada gathered genealogical experts together to exchange ideas of what should constitute a centre to study Canadian genealogy and help bring it closer to people researching their ancestors in Canada.

The result is the bilingual Canadian Genealogy Centre/Centre Canadien de genealogie at Already on the website, under the title of "Directory of Resources," are searchable databases of websites such as the selected database of people, "immigrants at Grosse-Ile Quarantine Station, 1832-1937," a very important part of Canada's history. Coming soon is the database of "The Naturalization List and the Canada Gazette (1915-1932)," a name index developed by the Jewish Genealogical Society of Ottawa and the Jewish Genealogical Society of Montreal.

On another site at the online centre is a "Links" section, where researchers can search the Directory of Canadian Genealogical Resources at the AVITUS centre in which are located databases, catalogues, and websites. For example, under the title of "Institutions", resources are listed by genealogical societies, provincial and territorial archives, university research centres, libraries, and reference sites. Under the title of "Provinces and Territories" are found direct links to provincial and territorial resources.

There is also the very important "How to Get Started" section, in which "Tracing Your Ancestors in Canada" can be downloaded, providing a guide to genealogical resources at the National Library and National Archives in Ottawa, as well as to various archives and genealogical societies across the country.

For specific genealogical questions about a Canadian ancestor, there is a Genealogy Inquiry Form on-site, in which one can place a query about a specific person, and e-mail it to the centre.

The contact for the Canadian Genealogical Centre is the Library and Archives of Canada, 395 Wellington Street, Ottawa ON, Canada K1A 0N3. Local callers can call (613) 995-5138 for information.

One can also call toll-free 1-866-578-7777 from Canada and the United States for information. Their fax number is (613) 995-627, and the TTD number is (613) 947-0391. The e-mail address is "".

* There are plans to soon combine the National Library of Canada and the National Archives of Canada into one entity. For now, they are referred to as the Library and Archives of Canada.

To the left is Marie-Louise Perron, Content Specialist, and to the right is Jean-Sebastien Potvin, Project Manager of the Canadian Genealogy Centre.

To the left is Marie-Louise Perron, Content Specialist, and to the right is Jean-Sebastien Potvin, Project Manager of the Canadian Genealogy Centre.

Credit for photo: J. Mario Lapointe, CD

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    "A former newspaper reporter in Canada's capital, Ottawa, I became interested in writing about genealogy when researching my own ancestor, Andrew Barclay, an American Loyalist from Boston, Massachusetts, early in 1990. Quickly, my interest spread beyond my own family, and by 1994, I was editing a genealogy newsletter and by 1997, I was editing the Sourcing Canada series of books. Since then, I have gone on to write "My Ancestor Was French Canadian" and a series of booklets on Canadian genealogy. I love to travel the Canadian and American countryside looking for interesting people and places to photograph and to write about." - E.B. Lapointe

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