The following is an announcement from Ancestry.ca:
Celebrate Canada Day -- Explore Your Family History
What were your ancestors doing in 1901?
June 29, 2006 – Toronto, ON – To coincide with the nation’s birthday, Ancestry.ca unveils the first every-name-indexed and searchable Canadian Census taken in the 20th Century. With Canada’s 139th birthday quickly approaching and bringing years of history to celebrate, Canadians are eager to investigate the family ties that unite them.
“Saturday's holiday is our chance to remember the founding of our nation, and to look back at how Canada has evolved through the years,” say Dave Obee, Canadian Genealogist and member of the Ancestry.ca Advisory Board. “All the flag-waving and face-painting is nice, but there would be no reason for Canada Day without Canadian history.”
Ancestry.ca is joining in the festivities with the announcement of the addition of the 1901 and 1906 Census of Canada databases to its website. The 1901 index includes over 5 million people and is linked to more than 130,000 images of original census pages – the very pages the enumerators used that year.
The 1901 index, offers a treasure trove of interesting information including name, marital status, birth date, birth year, year of immigration to Canada, tribal origins, nationality, religion, occupation and more. All of these choices help reduce the risk of misidentifying an ancestor.
Ancestry.ca’s genealogical data reveals some fascinating facts. For example, the census shows us that famed broadcaster Peter Jennings’ roots in Canada went back a century and a half --to a farmer's field near Toronto.
Henry Jennings came to Canada from England in 1851, and worked as an agricultural labourer, just as he had done in the Old Country. In Canada, he met Sarah Whalen, an immigrant from Ireland. They married in the 1860s, and had at least nine children. Sarah worked as a dressmaker to keep the family fed.
Their son Archibald, born in 1882, is shown in the 1901 census working as a florist in Toronto, while his father worked as a gardener and his mother in a grocery store. Soon after that census was taken, Archibald married Kathleen Rodgers, and shifted to real estate from flowers. Archibald and Kathleen named their second son, born in 1908, Charles Jennings -- a name that would become one of the most famous in Canadian broadcasting. He started working as a broadcaster in 1928 and became the first voice heard in a broadcast from one end of the country to the other.
While working in Ottawa in the 1940s, Charles gave his son Peter a chance to run a children's show. The rest, as they say, was history. With a great start in Canada, Peter moved to ABC, where he eventually became anchor and senior editor of World News Tonight. Jennings remained proud of his Canadian roots until he lost his life to lung cancer in 2005.
Along with the 1901 census index, Ancestry.ca is launching the 1906 census of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. The federal government commissioned a special census of the region after 1901 as a result of explosive population growth during the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway. The 1906 census index includes more than 800,000 people, which also links to original census images.
These two new indexes join the every-name index to the 1911 census, launched by Ancestry.ca earlier this year. As a result, over 13 million Canadians are now searchable in these three databases.
“Census indexes and images make it possible for Canadians to find the people they are looking for with less effort, which accelerates the search for ancestors and distant relatives,” said Karen Peterson, International Marketing Manager, Ancestry.ca, “And combined with other resources, such as the Ontario Birth, Marriage and Death databases on Ancestry.ca, make it easier than ever before for people to discover family members without having to visit distant libraries or archives.”
An Ipsos-Reid survey conducted in May 2006 revealed that Canadians are interested in learning more about their family history. Over 80 per cent of Canadians said they are curious about what happened to their family during world events and more than 70 per cent surveyed wanted to discover and contact long lost relatives.
Ancestry.ca provides access to the largest online genealogical resource in the world. With multiple membership options, researchers can search over 5 billion names from around the world, including the United States and the U.K. and look at family trees submitted by other researchers and family history enthusiasts.
Ancestry.ca’s Canadian census indexes can be searched in many different ways, making it easy to discover interesting facts and colourful stories about those elusive ancestors that would otherwise be impossible to find.
Another interesting story -- during the 1901 census review, Canada’s renowned author, Lucy Maud Montgomery, expressed to a visiting enumerator that she was single, Presbyterian and of Scotch descent but didn’t specify an occupation. Montgomery dabbled in teaching and journalism; however, she did not identify herself as a “writer” until the census enumerator surveyed her again in 1911.
By then, after publishing Anne of Green Gables in 1908 and Kilmeny of the Orchard in 1910 she was well on her way to international fame. Incidentally, though Montgomery will be forever linked with the province of Prince Edward Island, she married a minister shortly after the 1911 head count and moved to Ontario, where she continued writing her until her death in 1942.
Peter Jennings’ and Lucy Maud Montgomery’s lives and those of many other famous Canadians are less of a mystery now. There are more than 13 million stories on Ancestry.ca, just waiting to be discovered.
Ancestry.ca is operated by MyFamily.com, Inc., the leading online network connecting families, present and past. MyFamily’s tools, content and community empower individuals to find the people most important to them – and discover and share their unique family stories. In addition to Ancestry.ca, the MyFamily network of properties includes MyFamily.com, Ancestry.com, Ancestry.co.uk, Genealogy.com, RootsWeb.com and Heritage Makers. MyFamily also publishes Family Tree Maker®, the number one selling family tree software, Ancestry Magazine, over 50 book titles and numerous databases on CD-ROM. For more information on MyFamily.com, Inc, visit http://www.myfamily.com.