Top Ten Events in Canadian Genealogy

by E.B. Lapointe

The year 2004 was very good for Canadian genealogy. A number of websites came online, and those already online expanded their databases and holdings. There was even the launch of a website (http://www.genealogycanada.com) designed to document Canadian genealogy news stories. Here, then, are the top ten websites as chosen by E.B. Lapointe. Visit them, and maybe a connection you have wanted to make for a long time will be found within the websites chosen for the top ten of 2004.

1. GenealogyCanada.com Starts News Website

Want to know what the news is in Canadian genealogy, or wish to read columns and articles by E.B. Lapointe? Then this website is for you!
The news is covered on a monthly basis through a news service, including columns and articles on genealogy, heritage, and history. These items are posted on the website as soon as they are written.

2. Library and Archives of Canada Come Together Under CollectionsCanada.ca

Canada has combined its library and archives onto one website, which makes it easier and faster for the researcher to find material. They have also added the Canadian Biography website, and have highlighted the Amicus and ArchiviaNet websites, where one can research the library holdings as well as the archival holdings.
Located in Ottawa, the material being researched is available by inter-institutional loan to researchers who live outside of the National Capital Region of Ottawa-Gatineau.

3. The Canadian Genealogy Centre Makes a Contribution

The online centre has increased its material threefold since opening in 1993. In addition to a listing of topics, the database centre contains such online databases as the 1871 Ontario Census, the 1906 Western Canada Census, and the 1901 Canadian Census, although the latter two censuses are not indexed. The website is (http://www.genealogy.gc.ca).

4. Still No Progress Made on Post-1901 Census Release

The fight to release the Post-1901 Census Returns is still not over. Gordon Watts, co-chairman of the Canadian Census Committee, is working hard to make sure that Canadian parliamentarians get the message by sending petitions to members of parliament as well as members of the Senate, for it is up to them to make sure that the proper legislation is passed so that this material can be released to researchers. Canada's law says that a census must be taken every 10 years, and so far, only Canadian national censuses up to 1901 have been released. The website is (http://www.globalgenealogy.com/census).

5. Provincial Archives Increase Online Records

There has been an explosion of genealogical archival records on the Internet. In addition to the Library and Archives of Canada and the Canadian Genealogy Centre, every provincial and territorial archive has increased their databases. For more information on these archives , please visit (http://www.genealogy.gc.ca/09/0902_e.html).

6. Directorate of History & Heritage Website Launched by Canadian Forces

Launched in 2004, the website (http://www.forces.ca/hr/dhh/engraph/home_e.asp) is a Department of National Defence/Canadian Forces website for history, heritage, traditions, military honours, museums, and music systems within the military. It is host to "Today in History" and a "National Inventory of Canadian Military Memorials".

7. Ancestry.com Adds Canadian Content

This website has increased it researchability by adding Canadian content to both its online database section and its research section. Start with a click on the "Search Records" at the top of the page and choose the Canadian region you wish to find out about. The resources are listed on the website, e.g. local history, births, marriages, deaths, wills, and family history.

8. Canada Celebrates 400th Anniversary with France

It has been 400 years since Samuel de Champlain sailed over the St. Croix, an island in the St. Croix River between New Brunswick and Maine. This year, Canada and France had extensive celebrations to commemorate the occasion. The next year, Champlain sailed across the Bay of Fundy and secured a settlement at Port Royal. In 2013/2014, Canada will also celebrate the further explorations of Champlain in the St. Lawrence and Ottawa Rivers. Samuel de Champlain's story, in an interesting book-like format, is found online through the Museum of Civilization's Virtual Mueum of New France exhibit at: (http://www.civilization.ca/vmnf/expos/champlain/indexeng.htm).

9. OurRoots.ca Puts Canadian Local History Online

If researching your family roots, make sure that you pay a visit to this site to see if a history of the locale being researched has been placed online. Place the province in the search engine to see if there are books on the province, and then simply read them online. The books are also printable.

10. AutomatedGenealogy.com Indexes 1901 Census

The 1901 Census of Canada and the 1906 Census of the Northwest Provinces are being indexed and placed online. At the moment, only Nova Scotia and New Brunswick have been completed, but the rest is in progress. After a name has been found on the index, a researcher can go to the Library and Archives of Canada, locate the microfilm on which the census is located, order the inter-institutional agreement with their library, and read the complete record.

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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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