In this post I'd like to talk about navigating a "common record" set - voters lists - when the population was disenfranchised. There's an assumption in genealogy of "common records." Voters Lists fall in this category, along with censuses, vital records, and city directories. Chinese, Japanese, South Asians, and Indigenous were disenfranchised for decades, meaning that entire record sets that would generally be available for others have gaps for these groups. Knowing when this does and does not apply is important work for a genealogist.
Category: Canadian Genealogy
When Canada excluded us: remembering 1 Jul 1923
The Senate has created a website of events. Sign up to get notice of events and / or register your event. Let's make this a year to remember. I wish my father and uncle could see this. I think they'd be proud to see their struggles honoured this way - not a single speech, not with a single day, but a year's worth of events from bottom to top. There are archivists, authors, curators, historians, societies, and speakers all lined up. The aim is to connect this whole wide country together in recognizing the rights and freedoms given to us by our forebears.
What’s on this month at Past-Presence
Today is the start of Asian history month. Here's what's happening at Past-Presence.com. [updated 4 May 2023] Events I will be giving five live webinars this month. May 2 - I host the live Chinese Genealogy Coffee Chat, sponsored by the British Columbia Genealogical Society and Past-Presence.com. Free for members of the BCGS and my… Continue reading What’s on this month at Past-Presence
Don’t overlook free digital records with my Heritage Canadiana / Library and Archives Canada hack, part 2
I like poking around in HC. There's the thrill of discovery - what will I find today - but once I find something, I automatically want to know more about it. This is when we need to find our way back to LAC. There are other ways to search LAC - by collection title or mikan number to name two - but using the reel number gives more targeted results. Multiple results for a single reel reference number means there are multiple collections on one reel.
Don’t overlook free digital records with my Library and Archives Canada / Heritage Canadiana hack, part 1
This weekend, I noticed more than one reel digitized at HC with no indication at LAC. Maybe at some point in the future, LAC will sync seamlessly with HC and the two will work simultaneously. Until that happens, check for the "secret" reels.
Get ready to visit Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa
I had the pleasure of three days of research at the BC archives last August. It was my second visit there and I was much better prepared. I don't know when next I'll visit Ottawa so I mean to make the most of it. Already I know I won't see all that I want to see, nor will I have the capacity to spent eight hours/day reading microfilm. I'm planning a week when I need a month - every minute will be precious!
Reflecting on 2022 – what a year
What a year for interviewing, studying, travelling, visiting, writing, and working. Looking back, my main impression is this. Yes, I did a lot. But what feels more important is I met a lot, by which I mean I met a lot of folks I'd previously only known virtually, or hadn't seen in years. After such a drought, it was soul-expanding to see people in person, even it it did sometimes mean six a.m. flights and wearing masks.
Finding the story behind the story: why is there a school room at Wing Sang?
From my research, it appears the famous school room at Wing Sang has a deeper history than first suspected. In this post, I've compiled building permits, family stories, immigration records, newspaper articles, original correspondence, and passenger manifests to create a richer picture of the past. Yip Sang did indeed build a school in his home that his family could enjoy, but he also founded a school for the community and used his influence to hire its first principal and teacher.
Western Canadian censuses
A quick post today. I've built a new page on my site as a quick reference to western Canadian censuses: British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. This is a page for genealogists: when was the census held, what genealogical data does it contain, where can it be found online, and what schedules survive. (Also see… Continue reading Western Canadian censuses
Explore the new Library and Archives Canada site (Oct 2022)
... Before, you went to Library Archives Canada's site, and then you went to the siloed databases. Like if you wanted "Immigrants before 1865," you search there. And then if you wanted "Russian Immigrants," you'd search there. So it was extremely difficult to find anything at Library and Archives Canada. And what was missing was a central collection search. Well, guess what, there is now a central collection search...