New Canadian Images Posted at Ancestry. Free Access to 269 M Canadian Records thru July 2

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Ancestry is providing free access to all of the site’s 269 million Canadian records – including the two new collections – from June 28 to July 2, 2016. Visit www.ancestry.ca to discover more.

The following news release is from PR Newswire:

New collections contain more than 82,000 images and 668,000 historical records that paint a picture of life in post-Confederation Canada

Historic photo albums and Homestead grant records span period of nearly sixty years, ranging from 1872-1930

Photos include scenes of early Prairie life and images of well-known Canadian landmarks taken more than 100 years ago

Ancestry is offering free access to entire collection of Canadian records from 28th June – 2nd July to celebrate Canada Day weekend

TORONTO, June 28, 2016 /CNW/ – A collection of more than 3,000 historic photographs of Canada, spanning 25 years from post-Confederation to the First World War, have been published online for the first time.

The photographs are part of two new historic Canadian collections made available today on Ancestry, the leader in family history and consumer genomics, to celebrate Canada Day. Canada, Photographic Albums of Settlement, 1892-1917 include thousands of photographs of villages, cities, vistas, landmarks, settlers and aboriginal Canadians from the Prairies to the Maritimes, capturing a glimpse of everyday life for Canadians during the earliest days of statehood.

The Canada, Homestead Grant Registers, 1872-1930 showcase Canada’s growth from small farms to towns and cities and detail demographic and biographic information of some of Canada’s earliest settlers. The collection includes historical records of homesteads in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, established under the Dominion Lands Act. Under this Act, Canadians across the Prairies were provided with 160 acres of land to develop and improve upon, for an average fee of only $10.

With a combined 668,000 records and more than 82,000 images, these two collections provide fascinating insight into the true north as it was becoming a nation.

Canada Photographic Albums of Settlement 1892-1817 Collection

Compiled by the Department of the Interior, the Canada Photographic Albums of Settlement collection contains more than 3,300 photos from Library and Archives Canada.

Found in this collection are images illustrating the hard work and labour that went into nation building, from the early stages of railroad construction that connected communities from coast to coast, to photos that bring to life the back-breaking work of the logging process. While the photos capture the gruelling and often dangerous work of cutting and chopping lumber from the treetops, they also show moments of joy, such as the local population dancing on the fresh tree stumps in celebration.

The collection also captures expansive ranches, vintage farming and fishing procedures used in some of the earliest days of Canada and show the establishment of systems that would continue to feed and transport Canadians for generations to come.

Snapshots in Time

Some of Canada’s top landmarks from 100 years ago feature in the photo albums, including:

Niagara Falls – With more than 12 million visitors each year, Niagara Falls is one of Canada’s top destinations for visitors near and far. Surrounded by tourist attractions, the Niagara Falls we know today is in stark contrast to The Falls at the turn of the century. These black and white images show Niagara Falls before the illumination of the Falls began in 1925.

Canadian Rockies – Home to some of the most diverse wildlife and breathtaking views, the Canadian Rockies draw adventure seekers and nature lovers alike. This image shows some of the first Canadians enjoying Jasper National Park around the time the park was established, in 1907. Jasper Park is the largest national park in the Canadian Rockies, with 10,878 square kilometres of mountains.

Government Buildings – Built between 1907 and 1913, the Alberta Legislature Building is the meeting place of the Legislative Assembly and the Executive Council, and due to its Greek, Roman and Egyptian architectural influences, is a beautiful attraction for visitors. This image shows the drastic difference in city development compared to the city of Edmonton today.
Lesley Anderson, family historian and content specialist for Ancestry says: “This incredible collection of photographs is a real treasure trove that gives us insight into the hardships of everyday life and how simply people lived during those first years of our county’s existence. The images capture human experiences against the backdrop of the vast and – what was then – largely unknown landscape of Canada; the place that many of our ancestors called home

“As we approach our 150th anniversary as a country next year, it is wonderful to see how far we have come by comparing what we see in these photographs to the Canada we know today.”

Ancestry is providing free access to all of the site’s 269 million Canadian records – including the two new collections – from June 28 to July 2, 2016. Visit www.ancestry.ca to discover more.

ABOUT ANCESTRY.CA
Ancestry.ca was launched in January 2006 and is part of Ancestry, the leader in family history and consumer genomics. Ancestry harnesses the information found in family trees, historical records and DNA to help people gain a new level of understanding about their lives. Ancestry has more than 2.3 million paying subscribers across its core Ancestry websites and 2 million DNA samples in the AncestryDNA database. Since 1996, more than 17 billion records have been added, and users have created more than 80 million family trees on the Ancestry flagship site and its affiliated international websites.

Ancestry.ca Offering Free Online Access to Canadian Military Records Through November 12, 2013

The following was written by Ancestry and is from www.newswire.ca:

Ancestry.ca to offer free online access to historic military records to help Canadians discover their military ancestors for the first time – Many Canadians unaware of ancestors who fought in First or Second World War
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TORONTO, Nov. 6, 2013 /CNW/ – In honour of Remembrance Day, Ancestry.ca, Canada’s leading family history website, is giving Canadians the chance to discover the military hero in their family by providing free access from November 7 to 12 to more than 4.4 million online military records from some of its most popular collections, some of which are available free for the first time.

Each Remembrance Day, many Canadians remember the sacrifices and bravery of those who served their country in times of battle, especially those with ancestors and family who fought in wars past and present. Surprisingly, a large number of Canadians don’t know if they have anyone in their family to remember at this time. According to a recent national online survey, almost one-third of Canadians do not know if any of their ancestors fought in either the First or Second World Wars.

“For Canadians, Remembrance Day marks a time of reflection about the soldiers who fought, and in many cases died, for their country. Unfortunately too many of us don’t even know who these people are,” says Lesley Anderson, a genealogist and Content Specialist at Ancestry.ca. “We are thus happy and proud to be able to provide Canadians the chance to look into their past to discover whether their ancestors were among the many that fought in the great wars that defined our nation. It is our pleasure to share these collections in the hope that Canadians will discover more details about their ancestors and the lives they lived.”

The military records free to view cover the First and Second World War, the Rebellion of 1837 and the War of 1812. They highlight the everyday lives of soldiers who served their country, some even before they had a country to fight for. The records include military awards, service records and information on pay, which will provide Canadians with a greater understanding of the men and women who fought in the conflicts. Men like Frank Brown.

The story of Frank Brown
Frank Brown was born on December 18, 1893 in Waterford, Ontario. A prolific writer of poetry, he had two wishes near the start of the First World War; first, to join his comrades in battle and second, to have his poems published. Both of his wishes were granted, but sadly he only lived to see one fulfilled.

After enlisting and joining his fellow troops in England, the well-liked Brown soon won an early promotion to Sergeant thanks to his sharpshooting skills. Shortly after, his first wish was granted when on February 3, 1915 he joined Captain Talbot M. Papineau and the Third Company of Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry in the trenches in France.

During his first day, the soldier-poet fired approximately 80 rounds, estimated to be as much as the rest of his company put together. Now being known to the Germans as a great shot, it is suspected that he drew the attention of German sharpshooters, and at about 3:30 p.m. that afternoon Sergeant Frank Brown was struck in the head. He died instantly and with no pain.

His second wish was granted soon after his death. Brown’s sincere, strong and musical poems were published in a book titled Contingent Ditties and Other Soldier Songs of the Great War, by Frank Brown.

The story of Sergeant Frank Brown is an example of some of the stories that are waiting to be discovered on Ancestry.ca, and for the 54 per cent of Canadians that claim to have an ancestor that fought in the First or Second World War, these records can provide vivid details into their lives as soldiers. For the 30 per cent of Canadians that do not know if they have an ancestor in the military, these records can bring that history to light.

The collections that will be offered for free from November 7th to 12th include the following:

Canada, Military Honours and Award Citation Cards, 1900-1961, containing almost 70,000 records documenting awards and honours received by Canadian service personnel, both men and women. Some records include valuable and rare information on the soldiers’ next of kin, a physical description, their home address and an account of the meritorious action.

Canada, Nominal Rolls and Paylists for the Volunteer Militia, 1857-1922, contains more than 1.6 million records that provide detailed information about a soldier’s everyday life, including payroll. The records also include travelling expenses, battalion or regiment, rank, pay for the use of a horse and signature of the member for received pay. These small details can help paint a richer picture of the day-to-day routine of Canada’s servicemen and women.

Canada, War Graves Registers: Circumstances of Casualty, 1914-1948, contains almost 30,000 records of military burial documents from Canada, as well as casualty records from the U.S., prisoners of war and members of the Australian Air Force, Polish Air Force and Royal New Zealand Air Force.

Canada, CEF Commonwealth War Graves Registers, 1914-1919, contains over 56,000 records from the War Grave Registers for service personnel of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) who died during the First World War in Belgium, France and the United Kingdom. These registers were used to record the final resting place of the soldier, nurse or other individual, and to record the notification of the next of kin.

Canadians looking for information about their ancestors, or for those who want to start their family tree for free can visit www.ancestry.ca. Those who want to explore the military heroes in their family tree can do so by visiting www.ancestry.ca/honouryourheroes.

About Ancestry.ca
Ancestry.ca was launched in January 2006 and is part of Ancestry.com, the world’s largest online family history resource with approximately 2.7 million paying subscribers across many of its websites. More than 12 billion records have been added to the Ancestry.com sites and users have created more than 55 million family trees containing more than 5 billion profiles. In addition to its flagship site www.ancestry.com, the company operates several Ancestry international websites along with a suite of online family history brands including Archives.com, Fold3.com and Newspapers.com, all designed to empower people to discover, preserve and share their family history.

1921 Canadian Census Now Available FREE for Browsing at Ancestry.ca

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If you had folks living anywhere in Canada in 1921 – and you know about where they lived, you’ll most likely want to go check out the 1921 Canadian census, now posted at ancestry.ca. According to their website, “with the recent release of the 1921 Census of Canada by Statistics Canada, it is now available for browsing on Ancestry.ca through a partnership with Library and Archives Canada!”

The Canadian census of 1921 is the most recent census available to the public. The records cover Canada’s peak immigration period, the rise of aboriginal and women’s rights and the formation of this country’s modern identity. The indexing of all 8.8 million records is currently in process. Although you’ll need to know the place where your people lived, you can currently browse the collection online at no charge. When you click on the link, and attempt to browe, there’s a good chance you’ll be asked to do a FREE registration. Since I’m a member, I just went to the top of the screen and logged in, thus bypassing the free registration.

I had family that lived in Brantford, Ontario years ago. So I immediately checked out the images for area. It turned out there are a lot of them! I counted 54 databases just for Brantford. However, the images are superb.

Ancestry.ca Reveals the Most Interesting Baby Names in Canadian History

The following news release is from marketwire.com:

TORONTO, ONTARIO – (Marketwire – Sept. 28, 2009) – In honour of the birthday today of two of the ancestryca-logo most absurdly named children the world has ever known – Pilot Inspektor, son of actor Patrick Lee, and Moon Unit, daughter of legendary musician Frank Zappa – Ancestry.ca has dug deep into its historical records to reveal some of the worst baby names in Canada’s history, and discovers that giving children strange names is neither a new trend, nor one reserved for Hollywood celebrities.

Some of the most unusual names in Canada can be found as far back as the 1840s and prove that when looking for a unique name for a child, parents took cues from almost anywhere. From the palace to the barnyard and from fruit orchard to the heavens above, here are some of the finest, funniest and often times most unfortunate historical Canadian names.

Names of divine inspiration:

  • Jesus Christ Long – born in 1879 to Samuel, a watchmaker, and his wife Isabella in Middlesex County (from Ontario, Canada Births, 1869-1909)
  • God Moses Fleshman – born in 1883 to parents Hannah and Joseph, Russian immigrants, in Lanark County, Ontario. Moses would later move to the Prairies – or as some people like to call it – God’s country (from Ontario, Canada Births, 1869-1909)
  • Church Blessed – born in Quebec in 1880 (from Quebec Vital and Church Records/Drouin Collection, 1621-1967)

Canada’s ‘Royal’ family:

  • King Farrell – born in 1886 to parents William and Frances, Irish immigrants who raised King as a Methodist (from 1911 Census of Canada)
  • Queen Brittain – born in 1900 in Brant County, Queen grew up in a house with seven siblings, none of whom were named after royal titles and no doubt felt aggrieved (from Ontario, Canada Births, 1869-1909 and 1901 Census of Canada)
  • Prince Hutchison – born in 1842 to John, a farmer, and grew up in a house in the Maritimes with six other children (from 1851 Census of Canada East, Canada West, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia)
  • Princess Orth – born in 1881 to parents John and Alice in Oxford County, Ontario (from Ontario, Canada Births, 1869-1909)

For the animal lovers:

  • Horse Love – this 17-year old worked, perhaps predictably, as a farm labourer, earning a meagre $180 in 1910 (from 1911 Census of Canada)
  • Cow Cordeau – born 1895 in Quebec (from Quebec Vital and Church Records/Drouin Collection, 1621-1967)
  • Duck McPhee – born 1857, and lived for 64 years – a long life, for a Duck (from Ontario French Catholic Church Records/Drouin Collection, 1747-1967)

The Gwyneth Paltrow/Chris Martin Wing:

  • Apple Coutts – born to Alfred, a farmer, and his wife Elizabeth in 1904 in Elgin County, Ontario (from Ontario, Canada Births, 1869-1909)
  • Festus Apple Ryder – born in 1881 to his wagon-maker father, Hugh, and wife Sarah. Festus would grow up to become a labourer and marry at the age of 27 in what one can only imagine was a festive ceremony (from Ontario, Canada Births, 1869-1909)

Everyone loves the holidays:

  • Merry Christmas James – not born to Jesus Christ Long, but in fact to parents John and Jennie in 1867 (from Ontario, Canada Births, 1869-1909)
  • Happy Newyear Kerwenyee -born on New Year’s Day in 1877 to John, a farmer, and his wife Louisa (from Ontario, Canada Births, 1869-1909)

The Joke’s on you!

  • Jester MacNut – lived in Colchester, Nova Scotia (from 1891 Census of Canada)
  • Ruby F. Hoax – claim that she was related to Colchester’s own Jester MacNut is currently being investigated… (from 1911 Census in Colchester, Nova Scotia)
  • John Joke – a jovial Finnish immigrant that had settled in Kindersley, Saskatchewan (from 1916 Census of Canada)
  • Lidwine Prank – must have been thrilled to take a new last name after her marriage in 1906 in St. Jacques, Ontario to Rene Charbonneau (from Quebec Vital and Church Records/Drouin Collection, 1621-1967)

Be my valentine?

  • Love Peace Joy – a 25-year old who was born in India and came to Canada to work in the Bible industry (from 1911 Census of Canada)
  • Amor Figydt – this 35 year-old lived in a small house on St Paul Street in Toronto, Ontario with his three children and his mother (from 1911 Census of Canada)
  • Romance Clark – born in the US, this 15-year-old lived with her family in Moosejaw, Saskatchewan in 1911, after immigrating to Canada the previous year (from 1911 Census of Canada)
  • Myholy Cupid – a 24-year-old recent Polish immigrant to Canada, working 40-plus hour work weeks as a street labourer, sharing a lodge with other Polish immigrants (from 1911 Census of Canada)
  • Valentine Couture – a 3-year-old with a love of fashion? (from 1851 Census of Canada)

Karen Peterson, Marketing Director for Ancestry.ca comments: “Searching through historical records has never been more fun or easy, thanks to the online preservation and indexing of family history records such as censuses, birth and marriage records, passenger lists and immigration records.”

To find out more about your family history visit Ancestry.ca and let the journey begin.

ABOUT ANCESTRY.CA
Ancestry.ca has 125 million Canadian family history records in such collections as the complete Historical Canadian Censuses, 1851-1916, Ontario and British Columbia vital records from as early as 1813, Canadian Passenger Lists, 1865-1935, and U.S. / Canada Border Crossings, 1895 -1956.

Ancestry.ca was launched in January 2006 and belongs to the global network of Ancestry websites (wholly owned by Ancestry.com Operations Inc.), which contains four billion family history records. To date more than 11 million family trees have been created and one billion names and 22 million photographs uploaded. 7.4 million unique visitors logged on to an Ancestry website in June 2009. ((i)comScore, June 2009)

Ancestry.ca Announces Online Launch of Canadian Censuses 1851-1916 – With 32 Million Names!

The following was written by Ancestry.ca staff:

An estimated half of all Canadians will have an ancestor in the historical censuses / one in four Canadians cannot trace roots back beyond their grandparents

  • 32 million names and 1.3 million images of original records
  • Famous names with ancestors in the censuses include Conrad Black, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Liberal Party Leader Michael Ignatieff, Pamela Anderson and Alanis Morissette

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(Toronto, June 10, 2009) – Ancestry.ca, in partnership with the Library and Archives Canada (LAC), today completed the world-first online launch of the Historical Canadian Censuses, 1851-1916. Never before have all of the nine available national censuses[i] been published online, fully indexed and including original document images.

Together, these censuses contain more than 32 million names – all searchable for the first time – of those living in Canada from the mid 19th century through to the early 20th century – a period of nationhood, new arrivals, great change and significant growth.

It is estimated that half of all living Canadians (16 million people)[ii] will be able to trace their ancestors in the censuses – Ancestry.ca has found those of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Opposition Leader Michael Ignatieff, jailed businessman Conrad Black, singer Alanis Morissette and actress Pamela Anderson (original images available).

So what is a Canadian? Canadians have been asking themselves this very question for as long as we have existed as a country.

A recent national online survey[iii] showed that 74 per cent of Canadians consider themselves ‘Canadian’ first and foremost yet more than half of all Canadians still identify with a nationality other than Canadian. Furthermore, a quarter cannot trace their ancestors back more than 50 years (beyond their grandparents), and just 16 per cent can trace their ancestors back more than 150 years (five generations).

The good news is that despite this lack of general knowledge, 85 per cent indicated that they were keen to learn more about their family history. With a one in two chance of finding ancestors in the Historical Canadian Censuses, 1851-1916, the originals of which are held by LAC, Ancestry.ca expects the collection to explode interest for family history in Canada.

Digitizing and indexing the nine censuses, which contain a range of information about individuals, families and residents living at a particular address, took an estimated 600,000 man hours to complete (the equivalent of a person working 24 hours a day, seven days a week for approximately 70 years).
Making all the historical censuses available and fully searchable online will enable both new and advanced family history researchers to learn more about all members of a given household including family, lodgers and ‘the help’, on the day that census was taken.

For many, this will mean having first-time access to vital information to help them search and map their personal history: of family members, their ages, occupations, religions, native tongue and ethnicity, addresses and house type, parents’ birth place where applicable, and immigration year and military service (in selected censuses) at both given and multiple points in time.

Given the richness of the information they contain, censuses are considered the ‘backbone’ of family history research, representing both a comprehensive starting point and a vital guide for researchers by providing further clues on other record sets such as birth, marriage, death, military and immigrations records, which may also contain information about their family members.

In making this collection available online, many Canadians who are interested in knowing more about their family history but who simply don’t know where or how to get started may now be inspired to do so.

The Historical Canadian Censuses, 1851-1916 contain records from the ancestors of present day politicians, business moguls, actors, movie directors and athletes. These prominent names have roots firmly planted in Canadian history.

  • Prime Minister Stephen Harper – Harper’s grandfather Harris Harper is found in the 1911 Census as an 8-year-old boy living in Westmoreland, Ontario with his parents Joseph and Agatha. His father is listed as a salesman.
  • Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff – The Liberal Leader spent many years working in the United States and UK, but his roots are firmly Canadian. The 1881 Census lists his maternal grandfather William L. Grant as an 8-year-old boy living in Kingston, Ontario with his parents George and Jessie. Michael’s great-grandfather George is listed as the Principal of Queen’s University.
  • Conrad Black – Quite fittingly, Black comes from a family of businessmen. His grandfather George Black is listed in the 1916 Census as a 5-year-old living with his parents, George Senior, who is listed as a financial agent, and mother Margaret. The family lived in some comfort with three servants listed as members of their household.
  • Alanis Morissette – The Canadian songstress’ great-grandmother Noellah McConnell can be found in the 1901 Census living in Nipissing, Ontario. She is enumerated as Luella, aged 10, with her date of birth listed as December 25, 1890. Noellah’s father Erie is listed as a foreman.
  • Pamela Anderson – Anderson, arguably Canada’s most famous blond, has Finnish origins – her great-grandfather Juho Hyytiäinen arriving from Finland in 1908. Having anglicised his name, Juho appears in the 1911 Census as Herman Anderson. He is listed as a Miner living in New Westminster, BC.

Josh Hanna, Senior VP, Ancestry.ca, comments: “Canada’s early censuses are among its most valuable historical documents, providing a broad snapshot of life in a particular place and time as well as detailed accounts of the lives of millions of individual Canadians during a period of change, growth and prosperity.

“Ancestry.ca’s partnership with LAC has ensured the digitization of these vital records and will enable millions of Canadians, not to mention countless others around the world in countries such as the UK, France and the US, to access the records online for the first time and search for their family.”

Familysearch International also worked on this ambitious project to deliver the images and indexes for the 1861, 1871, 1881 and 1916 Censuses.

The Historical Canadian Censuses, 1851-1916 are now available to Canada and World Deluxe members and through a 14-day free trial and can be viewed at www.ancestry.ca/census.

FOOTNOTES
[i] Due to Canadian privacy laws, no Canadian census may be made public until 93 years after it has been commissioned therefore the 1916 Census of Canada is the latest to be made publicly available. 1851 marks the first time a comprehensive census of the Canadian population was taken.

[ii] Using Statistics Canada data, the cumulative immigrant population post 1916 was mapped, including births within this population. This was then subtracted from the current population to give the number of Canadians who descend from the eight million people living in Canada in 1916 (approximately 16 million).

[iii] MarketTools online survey of 1,000+ Canadians, commissioned April, 2009

ABOUT ANCESTRY.CA
Ancestry.ca was launched in January 2006 and has 425 million Canadian names in such collections as the Historical Canadian Censuses, 1851-1916, Ontario and British Columbia vital records from as early as 1813, Quebec vital records (The Drouin Collection), 1621-1957, Canadian Passenger Lists, 1865-1935, and U.S. / Canada Border Crossings, 1895 -1956.

Ancestry.ca is part of the global network of Ancestry websites (wholly owned by The Generations Network, Inc.), which contains eight billion names in 28,000 historical record collections. To date more than 10.5 million family trees have been created and one billion names and 19 million photographs uploaded. 8.7 million unique visitors logged on to an Ancestry website in April 2009 (comScore, April 2009).

The Ancestry global network of family history websites – www.ancestry.ca in Canada, www.ancestry.com in the US, www.ancestry.co.uk in the UK, www.ancestry.com.au in Australia, www.ancestry.de in Germany, www.ancestry.it in Italy, www.ancestry.fr in France, www.ancestry.se in Sweden and www.jiapu.com in China.

ABOUT LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA
The mandate of Library and Archives Canada is to preserve the documentary heritage of Canada for the benefit of present and future generations and to be a source of enduring knowledge accessible to all, thereby contributing to the cultural, social and economic advancement of Canada. Library and Archives Canada also facilitates co-operation among communities involved in the acquisition, preservation and diffusion of knowledge, and serves as the continuing memory of the Government of Canada and its institutions.

The Canadian Genealogy Centre (www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/genealogy/) includes all physical and online genealogical services of Library and Archives Canada. It offers genealogical content, services, advice, research tools and opportunities to work on joint projects, all in both official languages.

Complete Canadian Censuses from 1851 to 1916 to Be Online at Ancestry.ca in June

Lorrine Massey at Olive Tree is reporting this morning that on June 10, 2009, Ancestry.ca in partnership with the Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is holding a media event in Toronto to launch online the complete Canadian Censuses from 1851 to 1916. See her blog for more info.

Jester MacNut, meet Burn Clown! Ancestry.ca Discovers Names Kids Wish Were April Fool’s Pranks

The following news release was written by ancestry.ca staff:

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TORONTO, March 31 /CNW/ – Is there a Fool in your family tree? How abouta Prank or Jester or Joke? From the hilarious to the bizarre, Ancestry.ca, Canada’s leading online family history website, has dug deep into its vast collection of Canadian historical records to find some comical April Fool’s inspired-names.

These names reveal that Canada has a long history of being a country of people with a good sense of humour. Though, it is entirely likely that Jester MacNut, found living in Colchester, Nova Scotia in the 1891 Canadian Census, would not have necessarily shared that opinion of his parents. Nor perhaps would have Lidwine Prank, who must have been thrilled to take a new last name after her marriage in 1906 in St. Jacques, Ontario to Rene Charbonneau, the record of which can be found in the Drouin Collection.

Searching through the 1916 Canadian Census, John must have been a perfectly common first name. But for one Finnish immigrant that had settled in Kindersley, Saskatchewan, changing his last name may have prevented years of ridicule. Alas, for John Joke it seems as the joke really was on him.

Teenage years can be the most difficult in a man’s life. More so, one would imagine, if your last name is Clown. More still if your parents decide to saddle you with the handle Burn Clown. Sadly that was the reality for a teenaged farm labourer in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba, found in the 1916 Canadian Census.

Other names from our collective past that would have fit right in on April Fool’s Day include:

George H Trick – This father of three was found in the 1906 Canadian Census living with his wife and family in Lisgar, Manitoba. We understand he was very good at card tricks!

A Ruse – Found in the 1911 Census living in Vancouver, British Columbia. Claims to have been a lodger from England, living in a household with 12 other people. But with that name there’s no reason to trust anything he says really.

Francis Fool – Found in the Drouin Collection in 1893 in Notre Dame, Quebec.

Ruby F. Hoax – Found in the 1911 Census in Colchester, Nova Scotia. Claims that she was related to Colchester’s own Jester MacNut are currently being investigated…

Karen Peterson, Marketing Director for Ancestry.ca comments: “Searching through historical records has never been more fun or easier, thanks to the online preservation and indexing of censuses, birth and marriage records, passenger lists, immigration records, and so on. “Canadians have long been known for their distinct sense of humour and if you search far back, you just might find that there really is a Fool in your family tree.”

To find out if a sense of humour runs in your family, visit Ancestry.ca and let the journey begin.

ABOUT ANCESTRY.CA
Ancestry.ca was launched in January 2006 and has 410 million Canadian names in such collections as the 1851, 1891, 1901, 1906, 1911 and 1916 Censuses of Canada, Ontario and British Columbia vital records from as early as 1813, Quebec Vital Records (The Drouin Collection), 1621-1957, Canadian Passenger Lists, 1865 to 1935, and U.S. / Canada Border Crossings from 1895 to 1956.

Ancestry.ca is part of the global network of Ancestry websites (wholly owned by The Generations Network, Inc.), which contains seven billion names in 27,000 historical record collections. To date more than 9.3 million family trees have been created and 915 million names and 16 million photographs uploaded. 7 million unique visitors logged on to an Ancestry website in January 2009.(*)

The Ancestry global network of family history websites: www.ancestry.ca in Canada, www.ancestry.com in the US, www.ancestry.co.uk in the UK, www.ancestry.com.au in Australia, www.ancestry.de in Germany, www.ancestry.it in Italy, www.ancestry.fr in France, www.ancestry.se in Sweden and www.jiapu.com in China.

(*)comScore, Unique Visitors, January 2009

From the March 31, 2009 edition of newswire.ca.

Ancestry.ca Celebrates St. Patrick’s Day With Rare Irish Immigration Records

The following News Release was written by Ancestry.ca staff:

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Collection may provide family history clues for 4.3 million Canadians with Irish heritage.

TORONTO, March 11 /CNW/ – Ancestry.ca, Canada’s leading family history website, has launched online the records contained in the book Irish Emigration to New England, Through the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick, 1841-1849 by Daniel F. Johnson, which includes 7,000 names, fully indexed with original images, making it easier for the 4.3 million Canadians with Irish heritage to discover their family history.

The Irish Potato Famine of the late 1840s saw droves of Irish fleeing to North America in search of a better life. The Canadian Port of Saint John, New Brunswick became a stopping point for those en route to the United States. Many, however, arrived destitute or in ill health and so took what they thought would only be temporary refuge before making their way on to New England to be reunited with their families.

During this time, the government in Saint John built a quarantine station and a hospital to protect residents from the sick new arrivals, many of whom actually stayed in Canada, with their strong Irish-Catholic presence changing the dynamic in Saint John, which until then had a strong Loyalist-Protestant heritage.

Prior to 1865, there were no comprehensive nominal lists of immigrants to Canada so the records kept by the hospital, work houses and asylums are the sole evidence of their arrival to North America. These records help to piece together the mass movement of the Irish to North America during this time.

Family and social history enthusiasts can search the collection by first and last name, year, country, state and key word.
Karen Peterson, Marketing Director, Ancestry.ca, comments: “These extremely rare records are a veritable treasure chest of information for those researching their Irish-Canadian roots and also help set the scene for what would have been the first months of their ancestors’ new lives in Canada.

“There are millions of Canadians that can trace their heritage back to Ireland, and in addition to this collection, Ancestry.ca offers a variety of Irish records that can help Canadians discover the Irish ancestry in their family tree.”

From passenger lists to censuses and border crossing records to birth and marriage certificates and even Irish Parish registers, there are many collections on Ancestry.ca that can help Canadians find their Irish ancestors.

One of the more popular pastimes for family history enthusiasts is trying to find a link to a celebrity or famous individual. Around St. Patrick’s Day, everyone likes to try to claim some Irish ancestry and many now have the chance to try to prove it by researching online records. Some Canadians just might find out why they like green beer so much and can see if they are related to some of the famous Irish Canadians found throughout the records on Ancestry.ca, including:

  • Paul Martin – the 21st Prime Minister of Canada, who is part Irish. His grandfather, Phillipe, was a modest store clerk according to his marriage record dated February 17, 1901, when he was 29 years old. Phillipe also appears in the 1911 Census of Canada living with his wife and children, including Paul Joseph James, Paul Martin’s father.
  • Brian Mulroney – the 18th Prime Minister of Canada was born to Irish-Canadian Catholic parents, Benedict and Irene (O’Shea) Mulroney. Benedict Mulroney was a paper mill electrician and would likely not have foreseen his son’s rise to leader of the government at Brian’s baptism in Baie Comeau, Quebec in 1939, the record of which can be found in the Quebec Vital and Church Records, known as the Drouin Collection.
  • Conn Smythe – one of the builders of the National Hockey League can be found in various collections, including the 1911 Census, where he lists his nationality as Irish, his Attestation Paper for service in the First World War, signed October 15, 1915, and a marriage certificate dated March 20, 1920, in Toronto where he would go on to become a principal owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs from 1927 to 1961, and the builder of the famed Maple Leaf Gardens.
  • Louis Saint-Laurent – yet another former Prime Minister from humble beginnings. Louis was born in Compton, Quebec to Jean-Baptiste-Moise Saint-Laurent, a French-Canadian, and Mary Anne Broderick, an Irish-Canadian. Louis appears in the 1911 Census.

The Irish Emigration to New England, Through the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick 1841-1849 is available through a 14-day Free Trial at Ancestry.ca.

ABOUT ANCESTRY.CA
Ancestry.ca was launched in January 2006 and has 410 million Canadian names in such collections as the 1851, 1891, 1901, 1906, 1911 and 1916 Censuses of Canada, Ontario and British Columbia vital records from as early as 1813, Quebec Vital Records (The Drouin Collection), 1621-1967, Canadian Passenger Lists, 1865 to 1935, and U.S. / Canada Border Crossings from 1895 to 1956.

(*)Ancestry.ca is part of the global network of Ancestry websites (wholly owned by The Generations Network, Inc.), which contains seven billion names in 28,000 historical record collections. To date more than 9 million family trees have been created and 900 million names and 15 million photographs uploaded. 7.9 million unique visitors logged on to an Ancestry website in January 2009.(*)

The Ancestry global network of family history websites – www.ancestry.ca in Canada, www.ancestry.co.uk in the UK, www.ancestry.com.au in Australia, www.ancestry.com in the US, www.ancestry.de in Germany, www.ancestry.it in Italy, www.ancestry.fr in France, www.ancestry.se in Sweden and www.jiapu.com in China.
(*) comScore, Unique Visitors, January 2009

Ancestry.ca Announces World-first Online Launch of 1916 Manitoba, Saskatchewan & Alberta

The following was written by Ancestry.ca staff:

canada1916censusMore than 1.7 million names indexed and fully searchable – 38,000+ images of original documents

In a world first, Ancestry.ca, Canada’s leading family history website, today launched online the 1916 Census of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, which contains 1.7 million names and more than 38,000 images of original Census pages in an indexed and fully searchable format.

From 1906 to 1956, a separate Census was taken for the Prairie provinces five years after every national Census, providing a more complete picture of Canada’s west at this time. By law, the collection was kept private for 92 years and this is the first time ever that Canadians can view these important records online.

Family and social history enthusiasts can search the collection by first and last name, residence, place and year of birth, by father, mother and spouse’s name. This Census was also the first ever in Canada to ask about military service, providing much more detailed information about one’s ancestors.

In addition to recording basic population and demographic statistics, the Census recorded primary migrant communities, which originated from England, Ireland, Scotland, the U.S. and Russia. In fact, 1916 was the year that the famous Doukhobors – a group of Christian Russian immigrants that would come to play a great role in building the Prairies – first arrived in Alberta.

Karen Peterson, Marketing Director, Ancestry.ca, comments: “The 1916 Census of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta is a fascinating and valuable snapshot of the Canadian Prairies and the people living there during a time of tremendous significance in the shaping of our country.

“Not only are Census records one of the most vital resources for family history researchers but they help paint a picture of the times in which these people lived and the many challenges they overcame.”

1916 was a milestone year in Canada’s history, especially in the Prairies. On January 28, women in Manitoba were finally given the right to vote; this was the first time that right was granted in Canada, and thanks to the efforts of great women such as Nellie McClung, who appears in the 1916 Census living in Edmonton, Alberta.

It was also in 1916 that Canadian troops fought in some of the most significant battles of the First World War – the Battle of Mont Sorrel and the Battle of the Somme, in which Canada’s heroic role helped pave the way for a future Allied victory.

Many Canadians will be able to find ancestors in this collection and Census records are excellent for narrowing down individuals and families in a particular place and time. But family history enthusiasts can also scan the 1916 Census of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta to see if they are related to notable Canadians from the Prairie Provinces, including:

Nellie McClung – One of the most important leaders of Canada’s first wave of feminism, she is still remembered for her role in the women’s suffrage movement. McClung appears in the Census living in Edmonton with her husband Robert and their five children.

Tom Three Persons – A famous Blackfoot Indian bronco rider, he broke many bronco records and was the first native person to be the world’s bucking horse champion. Persons appears in the Census living with his wife, Wolf Long Face, on the Alberta Blood Indian reserve near Hanna, Alberta.

Chief David Crowchild – As a young adult, Crowchild worked in the rodeos and at Indian fairs in Alberta. He became a Chief in 1946 and stood as the Tsuu T’ina People’s leader for seven years from 1946 to 1953. He appears in the Census living with his parents on the Sarcee Indian Reserve near Edmonton, Alberta.

Sarah Ramsland – Born in Minnesota, Ramsland moved to Buchanan, Saskatchewan after she was married and became famous for being the first woman elected to the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan. She is found in the Census living with her two children and husband, Max.

W. O. Mitchell – A famous author of novels, short stories and plays, he was born in Weyburn, Saskatchewan in 1914 and later settled in High River, Alberta. Mitchell is best known for his 1947 novel, Who Has Seen The Wind, which has sold close to a million copies in Canada. Two year-old William Ormond Mitchell appears in the Census living with his parents and older brother John, in Weyburn.

William “Bible Bill” Aberhart – Born in Kippen, Ontario in 1878, he later moved to Calgary, Alberta to teach. Called “Bible Bill” for his religious preaching, Aberhart helped found the Social Credit Party, which had power from 1935 to 1971. During this time he served as the Premier of Alberta, Minister of Education and Attorney General. He appears in the Census living in Calgary with his wife and two children.

The 1916 Census of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta is available through a 14-day Free Trial at Ancestry.ca. The data is also available to those having Ancestry.com World Deluxe memberships.

Ancestry.ca Celebrates Canada’s Black History With Large Collection of Online Records

The following News Release was written by Ancestry staff:

Ancestry.ca Celebrates Canada’s Black History With Largest Collectionancestry.ca of Online Records – Highlighting the Black Battalion, Abraham Shadd, and Ancestors of Hundreds of Thousands of Black Canadians. In honour of Black History Month, historical records allow almost 800,000 black Canadians enhanced opportunity to uncover their heritage.

TORONTO, Feb. 5 /CNW/ – Ancestry.ca, Canada’s leading online family history website, celebrates Black History Month with an unprecedented array of online historical records that trace the lives of black Canadians dating back to pre-Confederation, including records from the First World War’s Second Construction Battalion, the only all-black military battalion in Canada’s history. These records are a treasure trove of information for almost 800,000 black Canadians living today.

Public records, personal narratives, legal documents and letters all detail the contributions of the black community in defending our country, in government, in forging new ideas and in helping lead thousands to freedom through their involvement in the Underground Railroad.

Some of the significant black Canadians that appear in these records include members of Canada’s Second Construction Battalion. At the beginning of the First World War, black men were turned away at recruiting stations when they tried to enlist for battle. Many would not accept the policy that excluded them based on racial grounds.

After lobbying the government, 605 men from across Canada formed a segregated unit on July 5, 1916 in Pictou, Nova Scotia. The attestation papers of these men can be found in the Canadian Soldiers of World War I collection, most notably:

  • Roy Fells from Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, was awarded the Military Medal while serving with the famed 25th Battalion
  • Curley Christian born in Pennsylvania, was the only quadrilateral amputee to survive the war and he was present at the unveiling of the Vimy Ridge memorial in 1936
  • Jeremiah Jerry Jones from Truro, Nova Scotia, was remembered for crossing the bloody battlefield at Vimy Ridge to take an enemy machine gun nest
  • James Grant from St. Catharine’s Ontario, was awarded the Military Cross in 1918

Karen Peterson, Marketing Director, Ancestry.ca, comments “Historical records such as attestation papers, censuses and marriage records, to name a few, are surviving documents that paint a picture of accomplishments of black Canadians and the important role they played in this country.

“More and more Canadians are interested in tracing their roots and now, thanks to the online preservation of these kinds of records, people of any background can discover where their ancestors came from.”

By making this information widely accessible, Ancestry.ca is making it easier for people to uncover and share the personal stories that make up their family history and heritage.

Other prominent figures that can be found through various collections on Ancestry.ca include:

  • Abraham Doras Shadd (1801-1882) an active member of the American Anti-Slavery Society as a conductor for the Underground Railroad and President of the National Convention for the Improvement of Free People of Colour. In 1851 he settled in North Buxton, Ontario and became the first black man to be elected into political office as the Counselor of Raleigh Township (record found in the Canadian Passenger Lists)
  • William Edward Hall (1827-1904) was the first Canadian Naval Officer and the first person of African ancestry, to receive the Victoria Cross, the highest military decoration in the British Empire. (record found in the 1901 Census)
  • Ray Lewis (1910-2003) from Hamilton, Ontario was a track and field athlete and the first black Canadian-born Olympic medalist. He won a bronze medal as part of the 4 x 400 relay race in the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics (record found in 1911 Census)
  • Delos Davis (1846-1915) was born in Maryland and came to Canada via the Underground Railroad to Colchester, Ontario, a destination for slaves escaping the US. On November 10, 1910 he became the first black person appointed as a King’s Counsel (Records found in 1891 Census and 1901 Census)
  • Anderson R. Abbott (1837-1913) was the first black Canadian doctor to be granted a medical license under the Medical Board of Upper Canada. He participated in the American Civil War and attended the death bed of Abraham Lincoln (multiple records found including marriage and death certificates)
  • Lincoln Macauley Alexander Sr. was the father of Lincoln Alexander, Canada’s first black Member of Parliament and the 24th Lt. Governor of Ontario. Alexander Sr. can be found in the Canadian Passenger Lists, arriving in St. John from St. Vincent to start his new life in Canada on April 13, 1920
  • William Daniel Peterson and Kathleen Olivia John were the parents of internationally acclaimed pianist Oscar Peterson. Their marriage on October 9, 1918 in Montreal can be found in the Drouin Collection

For the many Canadians who can trace their family roots to slavery in the United States, Ancestry.ca offers access to a wealth of records through the African American Research Center (http://www.ancestry.ca/aahistory). Some of the records available include:

  • Freedman’s Bank Records, 1865-1874 – Shortly after the Civil War in March 1865, several New York businessmen started the Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company, or Freedman’s Bank – a savings bank where soldiers and former slaves could invest their money. The Freedman’s Bank records show depositors’ names and sometimes other personal information such as age, place of birth, and occupation
  • Slave Schedules, 1850 & 1860 – Slaves were counted separately during the 1850 and 1860 U.S. censuses. In most schedules, the names of land owners only were recorded; individual slaves were not named but were simply numbered and can be distinguished only by age, sex, and color
  • Afro-Louisiana History and Genealogy, 1718-1820 – Detailed information on over 100,000 slaves who arrived in Louisiana between 1718 and 1820. The records include rich personal details such as, gender, race, birthplace, family names and relationships, skill or trade, personality traits, and information about how the person was freed
  • Slave Narratives – A collection of one-on-one interviews with more than 3,500 former slaves collected over a ten-year period from 1929 to 1939. The interviews, written exactly as they were dictated to preserve the spoken dialect of the former slave, are very rich in family history data and often identify ages, places of residence and birth, and names of spouses, children, siblings, and parents
  • .

ABOUT ANCESTRY.CA
Ancestry.ca was launched in January 2006 and has 410 million Canadian names in such collections as the 1851, 1891, 1901, 1906 and 1911 Censuses of Canada, Ontario and British Columbia vital records from as early as 1813, Quebec Vital Records (The Drouin Collection), 1621-1967, Canadian Passenger Lists, 1865 to 1935 and U.S. / Canada Border Crossings from 1895 to 1956.

(*)Ancestry.ca is part of the global network of Ancestry websites (wholly owned by The Generations Network, Inc.), which contains seven billion names in 26,000 historical record collections. To date more than 8.3 million family trees have been created and 810 million names and 14 million photographs uploaded. 6.6 million unique visitors logged on to an Ancestry website in November 2008.(*)

The Ancestry global network of family history websites – www.ancestry.ca in Canada, www.ancestry.co.uk in the UK, www.ancestry.com.au in Australia, www.ancestry.com in the US, www.ancestry.de in Germany, www.ancestry.it in Italy, www.ancestry.fr in France, www.ancestry.se in Sweden and www.jiapu.com in China.

From newswire.ca