The following announcement was written by Ancestry.ca:
(Toronto, ON – January 22, 2009) Ancestry.ca, Canada’s leading online family history website, today launched online the fully indexed Canadian Civil Servants Lists of Canada, 1872-1900, which features more than 78,000 records of those employed in departments of the Canadian Government during the country’s early days of Confederation.
Before online databases existed, there were physical record books kept of employment at government offices. Like the Victorian equivalent of today’s corporate intranet or internet site, these record books would have been used to find out who did what, when and where.
The records give family history researchers a unique opportunity to find out how an ancestor’s career might have progressed and how much they earned, as well as offer personal individual information such as birth date, age, date of first appointment, years at post, promotion to present rank, creed or religion and nationality of origin.
The records are available fully indexed and fully searchable online for the first time and help paint a more vivid picture of the working life of Canadians just before the turn of the 20th Century. They also provide a fascinating comparison of how the salaries and job titles differed from today.
For example, a Deputy Minister in the federal government in 1872 was earning a salary of $2,600. That same position today pays an average of 75 times that amount at $197,500. The Auditor General today earns approximately 110 times more than their counterpart in 1872, $300,000 compared to $2,750. But the biggest winner is the Minister of Public Works. Today’s salary of $230,000 is 230 times the $1,000 salary back when Sir John A. Macdonald was still Prime Minister.
The collection includes people employed in departments of the Canadian government, including:
- Department of Agriculture
- Department of Customs
- Department of Finance
- Department of the House of Commons
- Department of Indian Affairs
- Department of Inland Revenue
- Department of the Interior
- Department of Justice
- Department of Marine and Fisheries
- Department of Militia and Defense
- Department of Public Printing and Stationary
- Department of Public Works
- Department of Railways and Canals
- Department of the Secretary of State
- Governor General’s Secretary’s Office
- Mounted Police Force
- Office of the Auditor General
- Office of the High Commissioner for Canada
- Post Office Department
- Privy Council Office
- Senate of Canada
In addition to finding one’s own ancestors in the collection, family history enthusiasts will find records of many prominent political figures that helped shape the future of our country, including:
- Sir John A MacDonald – Canada’s first Prime Minister. The listing of his appointment to PM is included. He was in office for a record of six terms, which spanned 19 years from 1867-1873 and 1878-1891.
- Charles Constantine – an inspector for the Northwest Mounted Police in 1886 who was responsible for enforcing the law during the Klondike gold rush and whose work helped to create an international reputation for the Mounties. By 1900 he was promoted to Superintendent, earning $1400 a year.
- Sir Samuel Benfield Steele – a distinguished soldier and a famous member of the Northwest Mounted Police who in 1870 participated in the Red River Expedition to fight the Red River Rebellion of Louis Riel. In 1877 he was assigned to meet with Sitting Bull after defeating General Custer at Little Bighorn, who had moved his people to Canada to escape the American vengeance.