The following announcement was written by The Generations Network, parent company of Ancestry.ca:
Access to major historical records will have significant impact on Canada’s Jewish population – world’s fourth largest
(Toronto, ON – December 9, 2008) The Generations Network, parent company of the global network of Ancestry websites including Ancestry.ca, and JewishGen, a non-profit organization dedicated to researching and promoting Jewish family history, have announced a partnership designed to provide free, easier online access to more than 10 million* Jewish historical records.
The partnership will be of tremendous significance to Canada’s Jewish population, which is the world’s fourth largest. There are more than 370,000 Jews in Canada, behind only Israel, the United States and France, while Toronto (14th) and Montreal (19th) both rank among the metropolitan areas with the largest Jewish populations in the world.
Under the new agreement, millions of JewishGen historical records will now be made available for free on Ancestry.ca, including, among others, the Holocaust Database, Schindler’s List, Yizkor Books (memorial books from Holocaust survivors), The Given Names Database, birth, marriage and burial registries from 14 countries and JewishGen ShtetlSeeker, which helps identify the location and spelling of historic Jewish villages in Europe.
Those interested in Jewish family history research will now have the ability to search JewishGen’s 300 plus historical record collections in combination with the seven billion names and 26,000 historical collections available on Ancestry.ca. For instance, national censuses and immigration records such as passenger lists can offer clues in tracing Jewish heritage back through time and internationally.
Researchers can also take advantage of Ancestry.ca’s powerful search technologies, including tree hinting, and network with millions of Ancestry members worldwide to connect with others interested in Jewish family history and discover distant relatives.
Karen Peterson, Marketing Director, Ancestry.ca comments: “Ancestry is committed to preserving and providing better access to important historical records and we are thrilled to be collaborating with JewishGen to make these collections even more accessible to Canadians with Jewish ancestry.”
Warren Blatt, Managing Director, JewishGen, comments: “This important partnership between JewishGen and Ancestry demonstrates a commitment both to preserving Jewish heritage and providing the public with unprecedented access to these records.
“The impact on the genealogy community will be significant; not only will genealogists now have the use of powerful search tools to make research easier, they will be able to find everything for their Jewish heritage research needs at one location.”
Famous Jewish-Canadians who may appear or have ancestors within this vast collection include:
- Politicians and civil servants - Bora Laskin, the first Jew appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada in 1970, Dave Barrett, the only Jewish premier in Canadian history 1972-1975(British Columbia), Stephen Lewis – former UN special envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa
- Authors and entertainers - Mordecai Richler, Leonard Cohen, William Shatner, Lorne Michaels, Seth Rogen
- Business leaders - Izzy Asper, Moses Znaimer, Isadore Sharp
To learn more about this important agreement, or if you would like a sneak peek of the Jewish collections that will be available on Ancestry.ca, visit www.ancestry.ca/JewishHeritage.