Wednesday, 23 June 2010

ACC: Historical Canadian Directories Online, and more

In this omnibus issue:

Ancestry Adds Historical Canadian Directories
British Columbia City Directories
Alberta City Directories
FreeBMD Update
British Soldiers in the Boer War and at Waterloo
Drouin Collection Free
Upper Canada in 1832
Which Browser
Measure Distance on Google Maps
New Ottawa City Archives Update

Ancestry Adds Historical Canadian Directories has issued a press release announcing "the completion of Canadian City and Area Directories, 1819-1906, a rich collection of more than 150,000 pages of historical records, the largest collection of historic Canadian directories available online. The collection includes the names of more than 7 million Canadians who lived during this 87- year-period of national growth.

The first release of City and Area Directories by in October of 2008 contained nearly 20,000 pages of records and 5.2 million names. Today’s completion adds a staggering 134,000 pages of records.

Almost anyone with an ancestor who lived in a Canadian town or city during the period from 1819 to 1906 will find an ancestor in the collection."

The breakdown of records by region with the number of original pages for each is: Ontario (84,059), Quebec (33,201), Nova Scotia (12,566), New Brunswick (11,051), National and Multi-Province (6,201), Manitoba (2,514), British Columbia (2,016), Newfoundland (1,194), Prince Edward Island (927), Alberta (16). For Ontario the collection is vastly expanded from just seven directories previously, to more than 50 for Toronto alone.

British Columbia City Directories
A post on the CanadaGenealogy, or, 'Jane's Your Aunt' blog sent me off looking at projects underway in the BC History Digitization Program at

While not all of the project were that inspired I was pleased to note some newspaper digitization projects and the Vancouver Public Library's collection of digitized British Columbia city directories dates from 1860 up to and including 1915 at
That's a nice complement to the Ancestry collection which has only five Vancouver directories.

Alberta Directories
The Ancestry release only has one Alberta directory, for Calgary in 1885. There is a good collection of the province's directories, although for a later period, at A tip of the hat to Heather Oakley for including this in her Interesting Websites column in The Ottawa Genealogist; it's one of the few things I miss in not being an OGS member.

FreeBMD Update
The June FreeBMD database update was installed on Monday. The database currently contains 186,909,894 distinct records (238,405,388 total records). There is the usual sprinkling of corrections and additions throughout the database. The main additions are for the 1930s and 1940s with work starting on the 1950s.

British Soldiers in the Boer War and at Waterloo
Ancestry has added "UK, Casualties of the Boer War, 1899-1902" with Force, Regiment, Battalion, Battery/Corps, Rank, Name, Casualty type, date, and place information on over 65,000 soldiers who either died or were wounded during the conflict. Information on 453 Canadians is included.

UK, Waterlpo Medal Role, 1815, contains information extracted from the Waterloo Medal Book (original at The National Archives, reference MINT 16/112) on soldiers who fought at Waterloo, as well as to those in preceding actions at Ligny and Quatre Bras. It was given to approximately 39,009 men and effectively forms a roll call of Wellington’s army. Information in this database includes: Name of soldier, Title, Rank, Regiment, Sub Unit, Fate.

Drouin Collection Free is giving three days of free access to the fully searchable indexes for the historic Drouin Collection on the occasion of Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day. Many people of UK origin living in Ontario as well as Quebec may be found in Drouin.

Upper Canada 1832
If you're looking for contextual material you may find something of interest in "Statistical sketches of Upper Canada: for the use of emigrants (1832)"

Which Browser
Is your web browser up to date? If not you may have problems with some of the genealogy sites you visit. Ancestry recommends Firefox 3 for both Windows and Macintosh as well as Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 for Windows. As of June 2009 Ancestry is no longer optimized for Internet Explorer 6, and support for Internet Explorer 8 is not yet complete. 32 % of visitors to this blog use Firefox3.6; 28% use IE7.0 and 17% use IE8.0.

Measure Distance on Google Maps
I use Google Maps a lot for locating places in my family history and examining the geographic context. One thing I've missed is a distance measurement tool which is available on Google Earth. Now Google Maps Labs has added a tool which when activated adds a small ruler at the bottom of the map. Click on the ruler and you'll be able to use the distance measurement tool by clicking on the map and tracing the path you want to measure.

New Ottawa City Archives Update
I took pictures at the new building on 22 June. Unfortunately it's not quite as well along as depicted in this artists impression on a billboard at the site.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for keeping us updated on so many new and improved sources. The photos of the new bldg. - earthquake proof no doubt- allow us to dream of the day when it opens!

Anne S.