Showing posts with label Remembrance Day. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Remembrance Day. Show all posts

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Military Great Moments in Genealogy

The British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa (BIFHSGO) is having a special monthly meeting in honour of Remembrance Day on Saturday November 9th, when they will feature seven 15-minute talks.

The meeting will take place at Library and Archives Canada, 395 Wellington Street, Ottawa.

Come early and browse the Discovery Tables, and meet with family history experts.

9:00 to 9:15 am
Over the Top: Researching our First War Ancestors in Fifteen Minutes Glenn Wright

9:15 to 9:30 am
Finding a Family Member on the Western Front Jane Down

9:30 to 10:00 am
Discovery Tables — Military Memorabilia Helen Garson

10:00 to 10:15 am
BIFHSGO Monthly Business Meeting Glenn Wright

10:15 to 10:30 am
Sam Cromie: Canadian Private to British Officer Wendy Croome

10:30 to 10:45 am
A Family in Service Mark Lloyd

10:45 to 11:00 am
Slipping Backward: A Canadian Prisoner of War, 1915-18 Brian Watson

11:00 to 11:15 am
William Sterling Lamb (1894-1918): A Promising Life Cut Short Anne Sterling

11:15 to 11:30 am
What Did He Do for Armistice? By Brian Glenn

If you want to hear speakers Glenn Wright, and Anne Sterling as they are interviewed by Dave Cross about the subjects of their talks, go to

The BIFHSGO website is

Discover your family’s hero this Remembrance Day, is offering free access to their Canadian military records in honour of Remembrance Day.

They say that “In honour of Remembrance Day,, 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.

Our Canadian Military records include details such as rank, home address, salary and more, and can connect your family to the front lines of Canada’s most historic wartime battles. With these records that date back to as early as 1710, you may follow an ancestor’s journey from enlistment, to their post overseas, to awards received and, in some cases, to their final resting place".

The records are

Canada, Military Honours and Award Citation Cards, 1900-1961, containing almost 70,000 records

Canada, Nominal Rolls and Paylists for the Volunteer Militia, 1857-1922, contains more than 1.6 million records

Canada, War Graves Registers: Circumstances of Casualty, 1914-1948, contains almost 30,000 records

Canada, CEF Commonwealth War Graves Registers, 1914-1919, contains over 56,000 records.

Canadians looking for information about their ancestors, or for those who want to start their family tree for free can visit

Those who want to explore the military heroes in their family tree can do so by visiting

Thursday, November 13, 2008 and the Library and Archives Canada

This is a story that's turning into a soap opera of sorts - it's becoming "the continuing story of LAC and".

In 2007, a partnership was drawn up between the LAC and, and it was announced at the 2007 Ontario Genealogical Society Seminar. I was there to hear it as well as were about 500 other people. It was as if the air had been sucked out the room - people were astounded by the news! "We didn't know that this was going on" - was the complaint of the people. It had come as a complete surprise! said at that time that the release of the Quebec City Immigration Records was Number One on its list of things to do, and that they would make it available online at as well as the free LAC website. It is not on the LAC site - yet.

Then the Passenger Lists (Canada's Immigration Lists) from 1865 to 1935 was made public the first part of September on That sort of caught me by surprise because I was expecting it to be released early in 2009 - but there it was - much to everyone's surprise. And it was not released at the LAC in Ottawa - but at headquarters in Toronto. It is supposed to be on the LAC site - but so far, it hasn't appeared.

And now, another press release in which Josh Hanna, a Senior VP of Ancestry International, and Ian Wilson, Chief Librarian and Archivist of Canada, are saying that will "digitize and index microfilm and original records (my italics) held by LAC and make these available to members." It goes on to say that "all of the digitized records will eventually be available free of charge to users of the LAC website". Notice that they say "digitized" records, and not "indexed" records.

Mr. Hanna says that "This is a win-win relationship for Ancestry to offer a wide range of Canadian collections to its members and in turn LAC will receive the expertise, experience and person hours that are required for imaging and indexing these records."

We all know that the LAC, being a government department, doesn't have the money to hire people (as the National Archives of Ireland has found out in its transcription of the 1901 and 1911 Irish census, and now has put it out to transcription companies to bid on it - they have said that they have chosen the company - but wouldn't say who it is at the Irish Symposium in Ottawa in November).

But I believe that this is the crux of the matter - the LAC simply does not have the money. So it has turned to to do the digitization and indexing of the microfilm and original records - and the LAC will take whatever it has agreed to put onsite. We will see what that is as time goes by.

In the meantime, were you as surprised as I when you opened the Globe and Mail newspaper yesterday morning, and read where had made a major mistake by putting a German soldier where there should have been a Canadian soldier in its Remembrance Day advertisement in the paper the previous day? issued an apology and it said it will never happen again.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Attestation Papers of Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF)

In 1996, the Library and Archives Canada (LAC) started working on the transcription of the Attestation Papers of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) of the First World War. There were 600,000 Canadians who signed up for service in the war, which lasted from 1914 to 1918.

The LAC hired students from Renfrew, Ontario over the summer of 1996 to start work by scanning and processing the images. The Gatineau Preservation Centre Team worked on the project from 1997-1998, and the LAC team worked on it from 1999 to 2000.

You can find the person in the online database at <>, and by putting the name in the search feature, and it will give you the soldier's rank, reference number, the date of birth, and the digitized copy of the Attestation Paper itself, which contains even more information.

Also, one can find chaplains and nurses online in this database.

On the other hand, I see where has issued the Attestation Papers!

They say that the papers were issued to mark Remembrance Day in Canada - but if the Attestation Papers and other information are already on the Canada Genealogy Centre's website - isn't this duplication of effort?

By the way, the "other information" which is available from the CGC is the record of service, casualty form, discharge certificate, war service gratuity, hospital cards, medical history sheet, body temperature chart, last pay certificate, dental history chart, and medical examination upon leaving the service.

You can get this information by simply filing out the form contained online at <>.