Library and Archives in Ottawa, Canada

Getting the most from Library and Archives Canada databases.


The wealth of information on the Library and Archives Canada website has become more easily searchable over the years as more and more indexing has occurred.

 

Albert Joseph Philias Emery died March 1, 1916 at Vimy Ridge.
My great uncle, Pte Joseph Philias Albert Emery was MIA (believed killed) during advance preparations for the advance on Vimy Ridge.

As one who is very familiar with and has used this site for years, I have found it to be so extensive that I make sure to bookmark any pages I would like to examine further so I can find them again later.

At one time, it was almost impossible to find them again otherwise.

The site has since added  an “Ancestors Search” to enable searching several of the site’s databases in one step, in addition to more targeted searches of specific databases.

Some things to remember when searching large sites and databases are:

  • Remember to use wild cards and the soundex features in your searches as transcription errors are very common due to the quality of the archived documents, handwriting, etc.
  • Middle names or nicknames may have been used routinely, especially since children were frequently named after parents or other family members and this was the best way to differentiate between individuals.
  • Language barriers and miscommunication sometimes resulted in surnames and given names being anglicized or simplified.
  • Those recording data and/or completing documentation frequently resorted to phonetic spelling because they were much less educated.
  • After widowhood, separation, divorce and sometimes even during marriage, a woman could sometimes be listed by her maiden name.
  • It was not uncommon for individuals to not know their own birth date, immigration date, etc. leaving gaps in data or in the worst cases, providing erroneous information.

This link is one of numerous included in my “Favorite Research Links” in the lower sidebar – along with several others from the Library and Archives Canada site that I have also listed below for your information.

Library and Archives Canada

  • Ancestors Search
  • Books of Remembrance
  • Databases
  • Canada’s Digital Collections
  • Genealogy Index
  • War and Military

If you have Canadian ancestors, it’s well worth your while to check out this site.