What’s in store for Canadian genealogy in 2019

Peering into the crystal ball, it looks like 2019 will hold several Canadian genealogy gems.

Starting January 1, the public will have free access to the 60 million pages of Canadian digitial documentary heritage on Canadiana.

The Early Canadiana Online and Canadiana Online collections are comprised of Canadian monographs, periodicals, government publications, newspapers, and annuals and amount to over 19 million pages.

Canadiana’s Héritage collection, developed in partnership with Library and Archives Canada and the Canadian Research Knowledge Network, includes 900 collections of 41 million pages of archival materials from the 1600s to the mid-1900s.

1926 Census of the Prairie Provinces
In less than 90 sleeps, the long-awaited census of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba — the 1926 Census of the Prairie Provinces — will be available.

A free searchable index, with digitized images, is expected to be on the Library and Archives Canada and FamilySearch websites in March.

Vital records — British Columbia, Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick
As they do every year, the provincial archives of British Columbia, Ontario, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick will release one year of birth, marriage, and death records. Access to these records will be available on the archives’ websites, FamilySearch and/or Ancestry.

From BC, we should expect to see on the BC Archives website births in 1904, marriages in 1943, and deaths in 1998.

As early as January or February, we may be able to search on FamilySearch and/or Ancestry for Ontario births in 1914 and marriages in 1937. If 2018 is a good indicator, we may see deaths for 1938 on FamilySearch in the fall.

Likely by June, the Nova Scotia Archives will make available on its website births in 1918, marriages in 1943, and deaths in 1968.

If the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick follows its 2018 schedule, it will make available in April on its website births that were registered in 1923. In September, they will likely upload marriages from 1968 and deaths from 1968.

New Franco-Saskatchewanian archival centre
This winter, the Société historique de la Saskatchewan will open a new Franco-Saskatchewanian archival centre in Regina. Before researchers raise their hopes about accessing the records anytime soon, volunteers and part-time employees at the new archival centre will face a mammoth task. It could take 30 years for a full-time archivist to process all of the Saskatchewan’s Francophone archives.

Christ Church Cathedral, Fredericton, New Brunswick, circa 1850. Painting by Lady Anna Head.

New Brunswick Anglican church registers
Perhaps as early as February or March, the first of about 650 Anglican baptism, marriage, and burial registers from across New Brunswick will be transcribed and made available online. The Provincial Archives of New Brunswick and the New Brunswick Genealogical Society (NBGS) have been working together to digitize the registers from the Anglican Diocese of Fredericton, dating back to the 1780s.

NBGS is hopeful the first fully transcribed register will be available on their website this winter. Other registers will follow as society volunteers transcribe them.

St. Peter’s Cathedral, Charlottetown. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Charlottetown church digitizing 150 years of archives
St. Peter’s Cathedral in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island received $99,558 from Library and Archives Canada’s Documentary Heritage Community Program to help preserve its archives and make them digitally available on a new website. The church, located in downtown Charlottetown, has archives dating back to when it was built in 1869. The website will be available sometime in 2019, in celebration of the church’s 150th anniversary.

Canadian newspapers online
The subscription-based Newspapers.com announced in November it will add more Canadian “pages and titles” in 2019, without naming which newspapers.

There is still no mention by anyone of digitizing the Montreal Star or making the Toronto Star online archives available to researchers who live outside the Greater Toronto Area.

Organizations often like to mark anniversaries with a project related to the event, so it’s possible new content will be made available in 2019 that will help genealogists with their research.

Troops of the 9th Canadian Infantry Brigade (Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry Highlanders) going ashore from LCI (L) 299 [Landing Craft Infantry], Bernières-sur-Mer, Normandy, France, 6 June 1944. Photo: Gilbert Alexander Milne/Canada. Dept. of National Defence/Library and Archives Canada/PA-122765. Source: Veterans Affairs Canada www.veterans.gc.ca

One of the biggest anniversaries to be commemorated will be the 75th anniversary of D-Day on June 6, 1944 when a combined force of about 150,000 Allied troops, made up largely of Canadian, American and British soldiers, stormed the beaches on France’s Normandy coast. Victory in the Normandy campaign came at a terrible cost. The Canadians suffered the most casualties of any division in the British Army Group.

The new year will also mark the 175th anniversary of the birth of Louis Riel and the 150th anniversary of the Red River Resistance.

FamilySearch, Ancestry
As for new Canadian record collections on FamilySearch and Ancestry, time will tell.

I hold little hope for any new Canadian collections appearing on FamilySearch anytime soon.

For a few months, FamilySearch has listed 79 indexing projects for North America: 79 for the United States, zero for Canada, and zero for Mexico. Since Canada has one-tenth the population of the US, one would expect at least eight of the indexing projects to be Canadian. It makes one wonder how hard they are trying to find a project north of the 49th parallel.

There should be plenty of opportunities to learn about genealogy in 2019 from genealogical societies at monthly meetings, workshops, and conferences.

The Ontario Genealogical Society offers a free webinar the first Thursday evening of each month, and the line-up for this year should be available by the end of the week.

Legacy Family Tree Webinars will host two free Canadian webinars in July.

Happy New Year!

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3 Responses to What’s in store for Canadian genealogy in 2019

  1. norm prince says:

    Greetings Gail,
    I first wish to thank you for another year of wonderful blogs and I especially look forward to the Saturday roundup which leads me toward some blogs of interest which I had not seen. May your new year be full of light and enjoyable days.
    On the blog today you were listing the coming of additional vital records in the new year and I seem to be a bit lost as to why each Province have different dates for the new releases ?? Being from the US I would have guessed the release date for vitals would be the same across all of Canada.
    Again, thank you for all your work.

  2. Toni says:

    I need those 1750-1830 records! I’m getting older every year. Will they appear before I am no longer able to do research? Or before I die?

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