Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Canadian Civil Servants Lists, 1872-1900, now online, Canada's leading online family history web site, announced in a recent press release, the online launch of the fully indexed Canadian Civil Servants Lists, 1872-1900, which features more than 78,000 records of those employed in departments of the Canadian Government during the country's early days of Confederation.

Before online databases existed, there were physical record books kept of employment at government offices. Like the Victorian equivalent of today's corporate intranet or internet site, these record books would have been used to find out who did what, when and where. The records give family history researchers a unique opportunity to find out how an ancestor's career might have progressed and how much they earned, as well as offer personal individual information such as birth date, age, date of first appointment, years at post, promotion to present rank, creed or religion and nationality of origin.

The records are available fully indexed and fully searchable online for the first time and help paint a more vivid picture of the working life of Canadians just before the turn of the 20th Century. They also provide a fascinating comparison of how the salaries and job titles differed from today.

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

New Orleans Revisited

Next month is the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, one of the most devastating hurricanes in the history of the United States. New Orleans has always been a fascinating city, with a rich history and cultural heritage. In her article, "New Orleans Revisted: Early Occupations," Judy Rosella Edwards begins a series exploring the city's historical and genealogical roots.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Researching the Circus in Your Family Tree

More fact than fiction, sometimes. In her article, "Researching the Circus in Your Family Tree," Gena Philibert Ortega suggests, "As children, we may have wanted to run off an join the circus." Some did and among them, my own father. When my father and mother met, he had just returned from working with the circus — he was 18 years old. Between the time he left and the time he returned, my mother's family had settled into a little West Texas farming community and she had become close friends with his brothers. Although my dad did play the guitar and sing, I doubt he was a circus performer — more likely a roustabout, not likely to be mentioned in the records suggested by this article. My older brother said our dad would never tell the boys about his experiences; my brother thinks he did not want to highlight the adventure lest his boys decide to venture off. So don't be too quick to write off these old tales, they may bear a shred of truth.

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