CENSUS-CHAT-L ArchivesArchiver > CENSUS-CHAT > 2002-06 > 1024369231
From: "Gordon A. Watts" <>
Subject: Post 1901 Census - re: CBC News article.
Date: Mon, 17 Jun 2002 20:00:31 -0700
Since my original post this morning (Are records now available???)
regarding the CBC News article about the online census database a number
of listers have written protesting a project that does not give us what
we seek, i.e. access to individually identifiable records of Census.
Perhaps those with complaints did not see my subsequent post with the
clarification I received from Professor Gaffield. Perhaps they did. In
any case, further clarification may be needed.
The article itself is, in my opinion, somewhat misleading and has led to
some misunderstanding. The opening sentence indicates, without actually
so stating, that the Census records themselves will be placed on line
for all to see. That indication was reinforced by the caption under the
picture referring to records from 1911 to 1951 being added to existing
databases. Under current circumstances, this is not going to happen.
I support this project. It is not something new, but a continuation of
research that has been done by historians using records of Census up to
1901. As I understand it, the researchers will not see the original
schedules with names on them, or if they do, they are not permitted to
divulge the identities of anyone found on them. They do not have access
to all records, but to a 5% sampling of them.
It is difficult to visualize how nameless records would be of much value
to genealogists, however the aggregate information is of great value to
historians, sociologists and others. During our campaign to regain
public access to Historic Census records we have had a great deal of
support from historians. In fact, there is evidence of historians
fighting to regain access before many genealogists, including myself,
became aware of the problem. As historians have supported us in our
quest, I feel we should support them in this project, or at least not
protest against it.
Some have complained about the $14 million cost of this project. For
those of us on fixed incomes in particular, $14 million is a lot of
money. But look at it another way. $14 million over four years,
divided by more than 32 million people in Canada is about ten cents per
person per year, or about one-quarter the average cost of a single cup
We will keep fighting until we get the access to name-identified records
we seek. Hopefully that will happen sooner, rather than later.
Gordon A. Watts
Co-Chair, Canada Census Committee
Port Coquitlam, BC
en français http://globalgenealogy.com/Census/Index_f.htm
Permission to forward without notice is granted.
|Post 1901 Census - re: CBC News article. by "Gordon A. Watts" <>|