24 July 2012

Strangely, Canada!

An aside in John Grenham's Irish Roots column article Ancestry.com in Dublin left me puzzled.

"... Ancestry.com Europe S.à rl, a limited company based in Luxembourg that also manages six other non-US Ancestry websites, for Germany, France, Italy, Sweden, Australia and, strangely, Canada."
Why it would be any more strange for Canada to be included than, say, Australia, or any of the other independent nations in the list?


Andrew Simpson said...

I think one possible reason for the "strangely, Canada" comment is the geographical and cultural proximity of Canada to the United States. I am often frustrated by the fact that there isn't a single "North American Edition" which would be a better fit for my own family. As late as the early twentieth century, people flowed fairly freely across the border. My 2nd great grandfather was born in Ontario, moved to Wisconsin as a child, then moved his own family to Washington State, and then moved to British Columbia.

Anonymous said...

I can understand Andrew Simpson's comment completely as I have several ancestors that did the same. Growing up in Ontario we lived near the border and would go across for concerts museums or even shopping. since 9/11 that all changed.
For genealogy purposes it would be more advantageous to have a North American site.

GailD said...

It is also interesting to note that the new international edition of FindMyPast includes collections from the UK, US, Ireland, and Australasia, but not from Canada. Is this an old colonialist attitude toward Canada? O, Canada, why do they continue to forget you?

M. Diane Rogers said...

Well, in my experience, many people in the UK and Ireland seem confused about 'America' geographically and politically. Shame though as without Canada would Ireland have its 1901/1911 censuses free on-line? I would take it Grenham doesn't see much future for these past co-operative and volunteer efforts.
Did Grenham forget China though? That's listed on the contact page. Ancestry.com.au does lump New Zealand and Australia together with UK and Ireland records - remember this is mostly about marketing.
And as far as Canada goes, there is very little on Ancestry.ca that's not available elsewhere - free. And some volunteer projects were likely stalled by commercial arrangements. (Not saying I'm not grateful for Ancestry's indexes though.)