Sunday, 6 November 2016

Is NEW stretching the truth in Ancestry's CEF Personnel Files, 1914-1918 collection? shows 259.718 entries in a collection Canada, WWI CEF Personnel Files, 1914-1918 marked as NEW. It was added on 3 November. This CEF collection, exceptionally, has no pop-up giving brief details including date added and updated so I'm guessing the date from those of the previous and subsequent databases.

Here's what Ancestry provides on the collection:

This database consists of service files for men who enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) of the First World War. The database currently contains records for surnames beginning with A through G, and for most surnames beginning with H. As more service files are digitized and indexed, additional records will be added to this database.
Details available in a service file vary depending on the soldier, but typically include:

Name of enlisteeAddressBirthplaceBirth dateAgeName of next of kinRelationship to next of kinRegimental number
Additional information about the enlistee, such as their occupation, marital status, religion, and/or physical description is often included as well.

This is the information returned for a well-known Canadian. He was an officer so no regimental number.
That same page gives a link to's Fold3 military database where, for an additional subscription, you can read the whole service file as digitized by Library and Archives Canada.
Naturally Ancestry hopes you will purchase a subscription and don't inform you that you can view exactly the same information at the LAC site for free. See Diefenbaker's file at
Previously had a large collection of CEF attestation papers, which included images and all the information above and more, as part of the regular subscription. It covered the entire A-Z range of surnames. I couldn't find that attestation paper collection now so your subscription is degraded. I suppose that's NEW too!
It appears the attestation paper collection I couldn't find at Ancestry others can! I'd searched the Ancestry catalogue using military and Canada as search terms. Maybe I should have taken that extra hour in bed instead of in front of the computer!


Craig Milne said...

John - the Attestaion papers are still available on my (paid) subscription.

Jackie Corrigan said...

The Attestation papers Canada, Soldiers of the First World War, 1914-1918 are still there at