This is the follow up post to "Chinese Immigration Act Case Files: Finding aids at LAC," written exactly three years ago. In that post, I'd hoped to one day acquire a Canadian Chinese Case file. Now I have seen four and they are everything I'd hoped - and feared - they would be. For my community, simultaneously ignored by some systems while being overdocumented in others, it feels right that we reacquire the information collected about us.
Censuses are considered some of the foundational record collections in genealogy. However, as comprehensive as they are, they are not a full picture of who was in the country. Gaps include the people of all underrepresented populations. In this post, guest Carol F. Lee shares her story about looking for – but not finding – her grandfather Quan Gow in the 1931 Canada census.
I haven't had a moment to find my own families in the 1931 census and of course the moment I started looking, I ran straight into another genealogical mystery.
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.
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.
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
... 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...
Like you, I spend inordinate amounts of time researching obscure documents at odd hours. (Truthfully, sometimes it's research and sometimes it's getting lost down rabbit holes.) If only everything was online. I read archival finding aids like a Christmas wish list: I want this, and this, and this too. My curiosity is far bigger than my budget (to pay external researchers).
I share this with you as a peek behind the scenes at the detailed analysis that goes into building an accurate family lineage, especially for a married woman.
In this post I share my thoughts on some confusing concepts in genealogy - original and derivative records; negative evidence; primary, secondary, and indeterminable information - all by looking at one original record from the BC archives. Genealogy Search - BC Archives Those of us fortunate to research in British Columbia rely on the Royal… Continue reading How to read an original record for evidence