Friday, 7 April 2006

Canada Census 2006 - why YES

Why should you answer YES to the 'informed consent' question on 2006 Census? The greatest value of Census records to researchers is in their 'completeness'. If significant numbers of respondents answer negatively, or do not answer this question at all, it will destroy the completeness of the records, and thus their value to genealogical or historical researchers will be forever destroyed. If certain kinds of persons do not answer this question, research based on 100% nominal census data will be biased and its value therefore compromised. The following list shows only a few examples of where Historic Census has been used successfully to benefit people today:

  • For genealogical research. To find information about ancestors you may or may not have previously known existed. To find the make-up of their families and how they evolved through successive Censuses. To learn where they lived, what their occupations were, when and where they were born, ethnic origins, education and religion, etc.
  • For sociological, demographic, economic and historic research: historical information on the social structure of Canada - sizes of families, age groupings of children, grandparents/siblings at home, servants and other household attendants, education, religious affiliation, race, ethnic origins, housing, business and agriculture production, immigration, patterns of migration, etc. Historical Census data, especially long-term Census data series, allow us to research patterns of economic and social inequality, and to examine the roots of important family patterns such as living alone, single-parent families and blended families.
  • To verify age, or date of birth where other sources are unavailable. This has been used to establish eligibility for pensions, etc.
  • To prove identity to obtain legal documents, i.e. passports, birth certificates etc.
  • To determine descendancy to settle estates where no will has been found.
  • To provide clues to genetically inherited diseases or disabilities.
  • To show proof of residency in order to prove land or property title.
  • To establish legal entitlement as a member of a group, i.e. as a Native Indian.
  • To verify group residency or land use to settle Aboriginal land claims.
  • To verify current owners of properties, or heirs of same, where property is to be sold for non-payment of taxes.
  • To establish or verify original owners of rights of way, mineral rights, or foreshore rights.
  • To ensure your place in the history of Canada

  • This text is taken from Gordon Watt's posting at:

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