08 July 2020

Not in Ancestry's Ontario Birth Collection?

Searching Ancestry's database Ontario, Canada Births, 1858-1913 year-by-year yielded the data for the blue line in the graph.
The red line is from data in Province of Ontario - Vital Statistics available in annual reports at the Internet Archive - https://archive.org/details/ontariovitalstats.

Why does Ancestry have more records than in the official record from which it's derived?

You might think delayed registrations account for the difference. A study Incomplete Registration of Births in Civil Systems: The Example of Ontario, Canada,1900- 1960, by  George Emery estimated that registrations missed 14.1% of births in 1900, declining to 10.1% in 1915 and 2.7% in 1930. The cause was delayed registrations combined with those never registered.
Ancestry's source information for its collection references delayed registrations, but only from sources up to 1913. Emery's study indicates delayed registrations were largely motivated by subsequent events, such as benefits requiring proof of age.
That would explain missing birth entries, not why Ancestrywould have more events for every year. Could it be duplicate entries for the same event when patrons submit alternate information such as spelling variants?
Maybe OGS could advocate for the release to Ancestry, and others, of the delayed registrations for births to 1913.
A tip of the hat to Ken McKinlay for pointing to the Emery article.


Randy Seaver said...

It may be corrections to the names submitted by Ancestry members - rightly or wrongly!

Glenn W said...

In my research on the First War, I discovered that there was an upswing in "late" registrations in 1917 and 1918 in cases where young males wanted to prove that they were too young to be conscripted. In 1914 and 1915, underage lads wanted to appear older so they could serve, those too old to volunteer shaved their faces and a few years off their age in order to do their "bit". How everything changed with conscription! I might add that I think late registration for old age pension purposes would have come several years later, it is certainly worth investigating.