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June 2, 2013

1921 Canadian Census is Released! Did You Notice the FanFare & Excitement?

1921 Canadian Census is Released! Did You Notice the FanFare & Excitement?
The 1921 Canadian Census was released yesterday (June 1st) to Library and Archives Canada. LAC will scan the images and release them publicly. This is a huge deal for genealogists and not just Canadians, but for anyone who might have a Canadian ancestor or two.

So where was all the excitement? The fanfare, the fireworks, the announcement or press release from LAC? Shrug your shoulders everyone because this is pretty typical of our Canadian government agencies.  In case you hadn't realized yet from my writing, there was NO fanfare, NO hoopla, NO rejoicing or shouting out to the public "The 1921 Census is here!!!" Nada. Zip. Nothing

Yes LAC has been plagued with budget cuts and scandal (do the words private Spanish lessons for the Chief Archivist paid for with Archival money ring bells?) and upheaval (the sudden resignation of said Chief Archivist after his odd use of Archive funds exposed). But that is no reason to not highlight this rather important event.

I'm disappointed. Disappointed by Library and Archive Canada's ho-hum attitude. And to be very honest, disappointed that very few bloggers of any nationality have written about the 1921 census over the past few months. To be fair, given the lack of publicity from LAC it is very possible that very few bloggers even knew about it!

And yes, I'm saddened at the limited response to my May 3, 2013 blog post 1921 Canadian Census Countdown - Get Involved! pleading for Canadians in particular to GET INVOLVED by posting questions on the LAC blog - questions about the 1921 census and how/when it will be released to the public and how/when it might be indexed.  To GET INVOLVED by writing about the 1921 census release, by getting excited about it and by helping to spread that excitement to our readers.

My fellow blogger Kathyrn Lake Hogan also wrote about this at 1921 Census of Canada Countdown - Where's the Excitement?  urging genealogists to blog about the upcoming 1921 census or to leave comments  and ask questions on the LAC blog.

So today I feel discouraged.  June 1 came and went with no fanfare and no shouting from the rooftops. And there we have it. No word from LAC. Not much excitement anywhere in the blogosphere that I've noticed.

I blame LAC for that lack of excitement. It's not easy to write a blog post shouting out how wonderful it is that the 1921 census is coming when the very people bringing it online are effectively yawning and shrugging their shoulders, displaying a very ho-hum attitude. LAC's lack of response to questions asked on their blog have also effectively silenced bloggers, because what on earth can we write about if we are kept in the dark.

The excitement, build-up and co-ordination behind the release of the 1940 American Census would have been a wonderful model to be used as guidance for LAC. But it's not too late - we can still post our comments, concerns and questions on the LAC blog. Let them know what we, the public, want.

And fellow bloggers, please consider writing about the 1921 census - help spread the word because I believe that not a lot of genealogists are aware it's been released and with any luck be available online (unindexed I'm sure) sometime this year.

Credit: Photo from FreeDigitalPhotos.Net


Anonymous said...

I'll wait to be excited until it IS available online and indexed. That date is too vague right now.

bgwiehle said...

This weekend's Ontario Genealogical Society Conference might have been a perfect opportunity for census-related announcements, but there's blog silence from that event.

Jim's Girl said...

I have been out of the geaneablogging loop for some time and missed your previous post. I'd love to index as much of this census as I did the US. This is the first to show my grandfather and his parents! So sad that LAC is in the state it is. Hope it will get back on its game soon.

~ Kate, of Kate has Cancer and aka Jim's Girl

Lorine McGinnis Schulze said...

Hi Anonymous.

Gotta be honest - it's comments such as yours that disappoint me.

The indexing of this census will likely take years (I hope I'm proven wrong) BUT if we could generate some excitement and caring in the genealogical community AND at LAC, maybe things would move faster!

Volunteers could begin indexing today if LAC were not so territorial and if people were motivated and excited to get something happening.

Thankfully I many genealogists are already excited or eager to see the census being released (even if we cannot view it YET) - so hopefully we can stir up some action

Lorine McGinnis Schulze said...

bgwiehle - more disappointment! Wow I cannot believe OGS didn't bring the topic up. :-(

Lorine McGinnis Schulze said...

Jim's Girl - if only LAC would allow volunteers to index it! But they are very territorial and I doubt they would ever consider that. I hope they prove me wrong!

Peggy Gordon said...

I was excited till I learned that the 1921 will not be available to us for some time yet. The USA already has the 1940 online, as everyone knows.

Lorine McGinnis Schulze said...

Peggy, we have to realize that Canada made promises which are binding when the early census records were taken.

Those promises involved how long it would be before the info on those records could be made public.

We are lucky we're getting 1921 after only 92 years!

Rosemary said...

Folks, 1921 would be wonderful for me. Consider that my family is in England and Australia. The 1921 England won't be available for at least 8-9 years while Australia has NO census data available (electoral rolls, but of course there is no family included).

Mariann Regan said...

Good for you and Kathryn Hogan! This shrug-it-off attitude is just plain not fair. The 1940 census was all about the fireworks, and the 1921 census ought to get the same treatment.

I asked a friend lately why there were so many jokes about Canadians . . . what was supposed to so funny about Canadians? He replied that they were especially self-effacing and modest. I don't see why that is funny.

It's time for Canadians to blow their horns some more, and for their neighbors to the South to help them. I believe I have an ancestor, surname DeLorme, whose line came originally from Quebec. Someone with that surname was buried in Quebec (a long way from South Carolina). I'll keep this in mind for further blogs, when I can use the newest Canadian resources.

JDR said...

In the Anglo-Celtic-Connections blog we've been covering this issue since February last year, and have done many posts since. Given the slow response time of government organizations it would have been helpful if others would have had covered it prior to your first post this May.

Helen said...

As per my comment on your other post, I understand LAC has had the data since January. (I noticed they edited the date out of their website after posting that the transfer took place on 1 June.) Hopefully they have been working on the indexing for some time already. said...

Praise God and Jesus...released census 1921....thank you as I didn't hear about ... only here! horay!

Helen said...

Apparently the 1921 Canadian Census has been ready for release since Wednesday, 12 June, but is being held back by the federal government before it is released. Please can you help lobby the Heritage Minister to release it.

Heather Collins said...

Not sure if you have ever participated in FamilySearch Indexing, but I thought I saw it in there to be indexed. Maybe if you head over there, you'll get your wish ;)

Lorine McGinnis Schulze said...

Heather - the 1911 Canadian census is in the indexing stage on FamilySearch but not 1921.

Our Government has put a hold on it so it's not going to be indexed anytime soon. And I don't think FS is getting it at this point as LAC has struck a secret deal with a Canadian company -- and who knows what/when will be done!

Anonymous said...

I dunno. say they have the records on line and indexed. It seems private enterprise moves faster.

Nanci M. Pattenden said...

Any one or any organization with the time and volunteers can create their own index. Don't need to ask permission from anyone. The data is now public. If I had the time, I'd at least do the township where most of my relatives are from, but I'm busy working on cenetery transcripts that need to be publsihed. :(