Thursday, June 28, 2012

Free Access to June 27-July 2 Family history website offers free access to more than 40 million historical records that trace the development of the nation over the last 145 years

June 27, 2012 (TORONTO) – In honour of Canada Day,, Canada’s favourite family history website, is offering free access to 40 million historical records that outline just how far the country has come as a nation in the past 145 years.

Available free from June 27 through July 2, the records cover the years leading up to and following Confederation and include censuses, birth, marriage and death records, passenger lists, military records and many more.

“Many Canadians today celebrate the diversity of our nation but that multi-culturalism only came following a period of incredible growth and development in the years immediately before and after nationhood,” said’s Julie Wingate. “These records really paint a picture of how much we’ve changed as a country and give us a real reason to celebrate Canada Day.”

In 1871, just four short years after Confederation, Canada conducted its first Census as a nation and the results showed it was a country made up of British and French immigrants and a stark lack of diversity.

In fact, according to the 1871 Census of Canada:
  • Just 101 people are listed as being of Russian origin, compared to 500,000 in 2006
  • Nearly 900 people are listed as being Italian, compared to 1.4 million in 2006
  • Only one man is listed as being of Chinese descent in the 1871 Census, compared to 1.3 million in 2006
Between June 27 and July 2, millions of records will be accessible to Canadians for free on The records are from some of the largest collections on, including:

·         Canadian Passenger Lists and Ocean Arrivals - outlining the masses of people who arrived by ship -- the only form of international travel available to people at the time -- at port cities across Canada
·         The 1871 Census of Canada - the first Census Canada conducted as a nation, which gives a snapshot of the life of the people living at the time, including who they lived with, their ages, their jobs, the birthplaces of their parents, their neighbours and more
·         Vital records (i.e. birth, marriage and death records) from British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia - outlining the significant moments in the people’s lives like children born, marriages and deaths.
Search for your family.

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