announces world-first online launch of 1916 census of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta

    More than 1.7 million names indexed and fully searchable - 38,000+ images
    of original documents

    TORONTO, Feb. 26 /CNW/ - In a world first,, Canada's leading
family history website, today launched online the 1916 Census of Manitoba,
Saskatchewan and Alberta, which contains 1.7 million names and more than
38,000 images of original Census pages in an indexed and fully searchable
    From 1906 to 1956, a separate Census was taken for the Prairie provinces
five years after every national Census, providing a more complete picture of
Canada's west at this time. By law, the collection was kept private for 92
years and this is the first time ever that Canadians can view these important
records online.
    Family and social history enthusiasts can search the collection by first
and last name, residence, place and year of birth, by father, mother and
spouse's name. This Census was also the first ever in Canada to ask about
military service, providing much more detailed information about one's
    In addition to recording basic population and demographic statistics, the
Census recorded primary migrant communities, which originated from England,
Ireland, Scotland, the U.S. and Russia. In fact, 1916 was the year that the
famous Doukhobors - a group of Christian Russian immigrants that would come to
play a great role in building the Prairies - first arrived in Alberta.
    Karen Peterson, Marketing Director,, comments: "The 1916
Census of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta is a fascinating and valuable
snapshot of the Canadian Prairies and the people living there during a time of
tremendous significance in the shaping of our country.
    "Not only are Census records one of the most vital resources for family
history researchers but they help paint a picture of the times in which these
people lived and the many challenges they overcame."
    1916 was a milestone year in Canada's history, especially in the
Prairies. On January 28, women in Manitoba were finally given the right to
vote; this was the first time that right was granted in Canada, and thanks to
the efforts of great women such as Nellie McClung, who appears in the 1916
Census living in Edmonton, Alberta.
    It was also in 1916 that Canadian troops fought in some of the most
significant battles of the First World War - the Battle of Mont Sorrel and the
Battle of the Somme, in which Canada's heroic role helped pave the way for a
future Allied victory.
    Many Canadians will be able to find ancestors in this collection and
Census records are excellent for narrowing down individuals and families in a
particular place and time. But family history enthusiasts can also scan the
1916 Census of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta to see if they are related
to notable Canadians from the Prairie Provinces, including:

    -  Nellie McClung - One of the most important leaders of Canada's first
       wave of feminism, she is still remembered for her role in the women's
       suffrage movement. McClung appears in the Census living in Edmonton
       with her husband Robert and their five children.

    -  Tom Three Persons - A famous Blackfoot Indian bronco rider, he broke
       many bronco records and was the first native person to be the world's
       bucking horse champion. Persons appears in the Census living with his
       wife, Wolf Long Face, on the Alberta Blood Indian reserve near Hanna,

    -  Chief David Crowchild - As a young adult, Crowchild worked in the
       rodeos and at Indian fairs in Alberta. He became a Chief in 1946 and
       stood as the Tsuu T'ina People's leader for seven years from 1946 to
       1953. He appears in the Census living with his parents on the Sarcee
       Indian Reserve near Edmonton, Alberta.

    -  Sarah Ramsland - Born in Minnesota, Ramsland moved to Buchanan,
       Saskatchewan after she was married and became famous for being the
       first woman elected to the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan. She
       is found in the Census living with her two children and husband, Max.

    -  W. O. Mitchell - A famous author of novels, short stories and plays,
       he was born in Weyburn, Saskatchewan in 1914 and later settled in High
       River, Alberta. Mitchell is best known for his 1947 novel, Who Has
       Seen The Wind, which has sold close to a million copies in Canada. Two
       year-old William Ormond Mitchell appears in the Census living with his
       parents and older brother John, in Weyburn.

    -  William "Bible Bill" Aberhart - Born in Kippen, Ontario in 1878, he
       later moved to Calgary, Alberta to teach. Called "Bible Bill" for his
       religious preaching, Aberhart helped found the Social Credit Party,
       which had power from 1935 to 1971. During this time he served as the
       Premier of Alberta, Minister of Education and Attorney General. He
       appears in the Census living in Calgary with his wife and two

    The 1916 Census of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta is available through
a 14-day Free Trial at

    ----------------- was launched in January 2006 and has 410 million Canadian
names in such collections as the 1851, 1891, 1901, 1906, 1911 and 1916
Censuses of Canada, Ontario and British Columbia vital records from as early
as 1813, Quebec Vital Records (The Drouin Collection), 1621-1967, Canadian
Passenger Lists, 1865 to 1935, and U.S. / Canada Border Crossings from 1895 to

    (*) is part of the global network of Ancestry websites (wholly
    owned by The Generations Network, Inc.), which contains seven billion
    names in 27,000 historical record collections. To date more than 9
    million family trees have been created and 875 million names and 15
    million photographs uploaded. 6.8 million unique visitors logged on to an
    Ancestry website in December 2008.(*)

    The Ancestry global network of family history websites -
in Canada, in the UK, in Australia, in the US, in Germany, in
Italy, in France, in Sweden and
in China.

    (*)comScore, Unique Visitors, December 2008

For further information:

For further information: interviews, images: Media Profile, Erin
O'Reilly, Jeri Brown, (416) 504-8464,,

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