LAC ATIP Action Plan and progress

A document is now posted following the Information Commissioner’s highly critical April 2022 report on LAC’s non-compliance with deadlines set out in the Access to Information Act.

The document is an Action Plan. There’s an ATIP Task Force responsible for implementing the plan.

The plan is long on the word will as indicated in this document wordcloud. LAC acknowledges that “tangible results will still take time.”Ancesdotally I hearing of improvements in response time.

Although the document emphasizes what will be done there is just one mention of hiring having been taken.

“LAC has proactively strengthened its ATIP function and improved its capacity to respond to requests by expanding its management team and recruiting new staff across the institution to support the response to ATIP requests.”

What’s “proactive” about this recruitment? How many staff have been recruited to respond directly to ATIP requests?

We llok forward to the next and let’s hope more substantive semi-annual report when “LAC will be reporting on its progress against commitments in this Action Plan, through a combination of qualitative and quantitative measures. Quantitative measures will begin after the fiscal year 2022-23 to demonstrate progress.”

Plans for 1931 Census of Canada release

You will be pleased to learn this welcome news provided to me by LAC Media.

LAC is currently digitizing and preparing the 1931 Census for access. Our plan is to have the first online access tool available for the release date in June 2023. This preliminary tool will allow access to digitized images by sub-district. Work to transcribe and create a nominal index will begin as soon as we can provide public access and we will provide regular updates on our progress towards a fully searchable database.

This follows somewhat the same process used for releasing and indexing the 1950 US census in 2022 that enabled timely access and others to index, including using optical character recognition.


Findmypast subscription discount

It’s a year since Findmypast released the 1921 census for England and Wales.

Members, not just new members, can get 21% off subscriptions between January 6-15 using the code SAVE21. That includes unlimited access to the 1921 Census for less with a discounted Premium subscription


Findmypast weekly update

England’s smallest historic country, Rutland, is 56 times larger in area than Gibraltar, the focus for FMP’s additions this week.

Gibraltar Census 1871-1921
Six decades of census returns show Gibraltar had a population about the same as Rutland, but given its strategic location, attracted much more attention.

The FMP records are transcriptions, with no images and no capability to view the complete household.  On many records, the religious denomination is given. Records for 1891, 1901 and 1911 also include notes on disability. There are over 100,000 records to explore altogether.

Gibraltar Military Deaths 1869-1914
Just 2,749 entries in this transcript collection include many children of service personnel.

Gibraltar Marriages 1802-1942
An additional4,420 records have been added to this existing collection, mostly for between 1802 and 1920. The total collection is now 13,836 You should find military marriages, civilian marriages and Protestant marriage licences, typically including the names of both spouses, their residences, the groom’s occupation, the name and occupation of each father, and the religious denomination.

Check the Gibraltar National Archives for more complete records.


A kind review of LAC’s renewed website

Under the heading Library Archives Canada relaunches website, Diane Peters writes that the redesign is part of a multi-year plan to improve access to collections, spaces and services, and to make the LAC more responsive to users’ needs.

It quotes Karen Linauskas, director general of the access and services branch of the LAC, as saying “there will be more new offerings coming up, with most falling under the priority topics of military history, genealogy and Indigenous peoples.”

Genealogists would like to know about plans for making the 1931 census available following the official release to LAC in June. I’ve requested details from LAC media.

BBC History Magazine: January 2023

The feature articles of the January issue are:

When Britain said ‘Oui’
Alwyn Turner charts the United Kingdom’s journey to becoming a member of the European Economic Community in 1973

The golden age of pirates
Rebecca Simon reveals the factors that sparked a boom in piracy during the 17th and early 18th centuries – and how authorities tackled maritime crime/

Britain’s greatest archaeological discoveries
Susan Greaney highlights eight of the most important and exciting finds spanning 12,000 years of British history

Eating for victory
During the austere years of the Second World War, a network of communal dining rooms filled empty stomachs for less. Bryce Evans tels the story of British Restaurants.

Animal attractions
Joanne Cormac explores how the role and popularity of British zoos evolved during the 19th century

Warrior queen of Arabia
Emran El-Badawi introduces an inspiring leader who defeated the Romans and forged an independent Arab state.

Book reviews are a regular strength of the magazine.

Indigenous Continent, by Pekka Haméldinen is reviewed by Joy Porter.
The pull quote is “The author corrects the misapprehension
that Europeans were top dogs in the North American story.” it
“upends everything you thought you knew? Better yet if that book is peppered with interesting facts and written in a pacey,
intriguing style by one of the finest minds of his generation.”
Later in the review comrs the comment “Provocative inversions of existing readings are always intriguing, but a closer look reveals this is actually a more conventional bringing together of existing work than it first appears.”

Conquer We Must: A Military History of Britain 1914-1945, by Robin Prior is reviewed by Dan Todman.
“The story the book tells is of the British state developing the capacity to inflict overwhelming, physically destructive force on its enemies.”



LAC Co-Lab Q/A

Before the holiday, I sent a query to LAC about the statement in their 2021-2022 DRR about Co-Lab that “There were a total of 16,205 contributions from the public.”

I received the following responses more quickly than expected.

1- How many were contributions to the Challenges? 8766

2- How many contributions were there using Co-Lab but not through Challenges? 7438

3- What is the goal for Co-Lab contributions? Two central goals are to increase the accessibility and discoverability of LAC’s collection while encouraging Canadians to engage with, and feel a sense of ownership of, LAC’s documentary heritage When the tool was launched the goal was 5% increase in contributions each fiscal year, now that the program has been running for a couple of years, we will review our goals and strategies to ensure that Co-Lab is serving Canadians effectively.

4- How can one judge whether Co-Lab is value for money for the investment of LAC resources ($ and FTEs)? While there have been some technical issues and operational challenges arising from Covid-related temporary shutdowns, we are seeing a growth in contributions which is encouraging.

5- The Challenge “Travel posters in the Marc Choko collection” went from 98% complete in November to 96% this month. What accounts for this? Contributors can change the status of an image from “Complete” to “in progress”/”Needs review” etc.. therefore, altering the overall percentages from month to month.

Comment. The 8766 contributions to Co-Lab Challenges is more than I expected given the progress I’ve reported month by month.
The 7438 contributions outside the Challenges is new information. LAC is missing the opportunity to give publicity to the documents now available through the program, thus giving “a sense of ownership of LAC’s documentary heritage.”
The planned review of goals and strategies to ensure that Co-Lab is serving Canadians effectively is welcome. I would suspect that there are lessons learned from the past year’s experiences and from similar programs operated by peer institutions.

Thanks to LAC Communications for the timely responses.

Finding Your Roots Starts Season 9

A reminder that on Tuesday, 3 January, Henry Louis Gates starts the new series, season 9, of his popular US PBS TV program Finding Your Roots. It will air at 8 pm on PBS channels available in Ottawa,

The show combines historical research, DNA analysis, and traditional genealogy techniques to trace the ancestry of its subjects. As befits a program on an educational channel, it aims to provide a deeper understanding of the past and help people learn more about their own personal histories, especially the challenges. 



This week’s online genealogy events

Choose from a few selected free online events in the next five days. All times are ET except as noted. Those in red are Canadian, bolded if local to Ottawa or recommended. Assume registration in advance is required; check so you’re not disappointed. Additional mainly US events are listed at


2:30 pm: Expanding Your German Research Beyond Ancestry and Family Search, by Carolyn Schott for Allen County Public Library Genealogy Centre.

7:30 pm: Exploring, by Michele Jeannotte for Durham Region Branch OGS.


2 pm: The 5 steps to organizing your DNA in 2023, by Diahan Southard for Legacy Family Tree Webinars.

7:30 pm: Chipping Away at the Brickwall, by Ken McKinlay for Huron Country Branch OGS.


7 pm: Maple Leaves, Stars and Stripes, by Linda Corupe for the Ontario Genealogical Society.


2pm: How Three Types of DNA and Genealogy Uncovered the Long-Lost Enslaved Father, by Melvin J. Collier for Legacy Family Tree Webinars.


10 am: The Society of Friends (Quakers) Settlement of Coldstream, Ontario, Canada, by Dave Zavitz for London Middlesex Branch OGS/

11 am: The People, the Places, the Life Behind Doors – the World of Work Houses, by Kirsty Gray for International Society for British Genealogy and Family History.

2 pm: Creating a Life Story Book, by Christine Woodcock for Simcoe County Branch OGS.



What’s New on for December

Here are’s new or updated holdings for England in the past month, including ten new titles.

Evening Standard London, Greater London 2,367,331 1897-2022
The Guardian London, Greater London 1,114,757 1821-2022
Lincolnshire Echo Lincoln, Lincolnshire 222,230 1893-1999
The Hull Advertiser Hull, Humberside 5,801 1995-1999
Evening Post Bristol, Avon 450,165 1962-1999
Hull Daily Mail (NEW) Hull, East Yorkshire 326,284 1986-1999
Horncastle Target Horncastle, Lincolnshire 22,183 1991-1998
The Middleton Guardian Middleton, Greater Manchester 1,896 1877-1918
The Huddersfield Examiner and West Riding Reporter Huddersfield, West Yorkshire 15,240 1875-1952
Huddersfield Daily Examiner Huddersfield, West Yorkshire 180,614 1871-1999
Esher News and Mail Esher, Surrey 15,988 1974-1999
Walton and Hersham News and Mail (NEW) Hersham, Surrey 334 1988-1999
Cobham News and Mail (NEW) Cobham, Surrey 1,932 1986-1999
The Uttoxeter New Era, and General Advertiser Uttoxeter, Staffordshire 12,167 1855-1910
Birmingham Metronews Birmingham, West Midlands 17,951 1993-1999
Gateshead Post Gateshead, Tyne and Wear 70,110 1948-1999
Macclesfield Express Advertiser and Times and Courier Macclesfield, Cheshire 34,850 1986-1997
Northwich Chronicle (NEW) Northwich, Cheshire 916 1997
Daily Mail Hull, Humberside 390,684 1896-1986
Wellingborough and Rushden Herald and Post Wellingborough, Northamptonshire 28,129 1989-1998
Star and Merseymart Aintree, Merseyside 12,704 1995-1999
The Daily Gazette for Middlesbrough, Stockton and District Middlesbrough, Cleveland 680 1872-1881
Dorking Advertiser Dorking, Surrey 43,911 1986-1999
Stockport Times Stockport, Greater Manchester 36,274 1989-1999
Sleaford Target Sleaford, Lincolnshire 33,670 1991-1999
Northampton Herald and Post Northampton, Northamptonshire 25,798 1994-1999
Staines and Egham News (NEW) Staines, Surrey 7 1998
Gainsborough Target Gainsborough, Lincolnshire 25,021 1991-1999
Surrey Mirror Reigate, Surrey 13,885 1995-1998
Cobham News and Advertiser (NEW) Cobham, Surrey 1,196 1969-1971
Evening Post Nottingham, Nottinghamshire 519,584 1878-1999
Surrey Herald Chertsey, Surrey 48,814 1986-1998
Stockport Express Stockport, Greater Manchester 8,362 1998-1999
Herald and Post Runcorn, Cheshire 15,633 1993-1999
Ilkeston Express Ilkeston, Derbyshire 35,741 1989-1999
Alderley and Wilmslow and Knutsford Advertiser Alderley Edge, Cheshire 17,686 1977-1981
The Birmingham Journal and General Advertiser Birmingham, West Midlands 14,146 1825-1860
Manchester Metro News Manchester, Greater Manchester 27,103 1992-1999
Isle of Thanet Gazette Margate, Kent 21,771 1987-1999
Rugeley Mercury Rugeley, Staffordshire 42,483 1889-1999
Cambridge Weekly News Cambridge, Cambridgeshire 34,349 1986-1998
The Chester Chronicle Frodsham, Cheshire 17,902 1995-1999
Wilmslow Express Advertiser (NEW) Wilmslow, Cheshire 160 1981
Lichfield Post and Staffordshire Times Lichfield, Staffordshire 6,269 1996-1998
The Surrey Mirror and County Post, etc. Reigate, Surrey 29,795 1901-1960
The Daily Gazette Exeter, Devon 3,772 1892-1895
Stockton and Billingham Herald and Post Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire 8,740 1996-1999
East Grinstead Observer East Grinstead, West Sussex 42,218 1892-1999
Horley and Gatwick Mirror Horley, Surrey 13,696 1997-1999
The Sutton Coldfield News Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands 42,993 1900-1998
Hinckley and South Leicestershire Herald and Journal Hinckley, Leicestershire 3,282 1998-1999
Cannock Chase Post Cannock, Staffordshire 20,548 1992-1998
Esher News and Advertiser Esher, Surrey 14,069 1938-1974
Beverley and East Yorkshire Advertiser Beverley, Humberside 13,705 1995-1999
Midweek Visiter Southport, Merseyside 24,341 1988-1999
East Hull Advertiser (NEW) Hull, Humberside 872 1999
Mercury: Clevedon, Nailsea, Portishead, Yatton (NEW) Clevedon, Avon 8,030 1998-1999
Bromborough and Bebington News Bromborough, Merseyside 22,490 1994-1999
Middlesbrough Herald and Post Middlesbrough, Cleveland 26,324 1989-1999
Star and Merseymart Liverpool, Merseyside 8,847 1995-1999
Folkestone Herald Folkestone, Kent 49,534 1986-1999
Bristol Observer Bristol, Avon 6,052 1993-1999
Great Barr Observer Great Barr, West Midlands 18,724 1991-1999
Stanmore, Edgware Observer Harrow, London 23,091 1994-1998
Staffordshire Newsletter Uttoxeter, Staffordshire 20,477 1993-1998
Clevedon, Nailsea, Portishead and Yatton Mercury Clevedon, Avon 28,871 1990-1998
Burntwood Post Cannock, Staffordshire 19,141 1994-1999
The Hounslow and Chiswick Informer Hounslow, London 34,907 1988-1998
Sevenoaks Focus Tunbridge Wells, Kent 8,932 1992-1998
Haltemprice and East Yorkshire Advertiser Haltemprice, Humberside 7,362 1995-1998
The Advertiser and Salford City Reporter Eccles, Greater Manchester 3,464 1998
Belper Express Belper, Derbyshire 35,049 1989-1999
Bootle Times Bootle, Merseyside 34,757 1878-1999
Cambridge Daily News Cambridge, Cambridgeshire 36,727 1888-1955
Ely Weekly News and Town Crier Ely, Cambridgeshire 7,587 1997-1999
Cambridge Town Crier Cambridge, Cambridgeshire 15,596 1990-1998
The Staines Informer Staines, Surrey 60,772 1986-1999
Axholme Herald Epworth, Humberside 2,035 1992-1999
Crosby Herald Crosby, Merseyside 41,933 1986-1998
The Extra (NEW) Plymouth, Devon 2,124 1998
Rossendale Free Press Rawtenstall, Lancashire 32,440 1889-1998
The Evening Gazette for Middlesbrough, Stockton and District Middlesbrough, Cleveland 416 1872
Burton Mail Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire 188,162 1912-1999
Surrey Herald Chertsey, Surrey 44,691 1986-1998

There are also a few updates for Canada, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, but no new titles.

Military Monday

Global Heritage Press published a flood of Canadian military history books by Kenneth G Cox in 2022. There are more to come early this year.

Documenting Your First World War Royal Flying Corps and Second World War Canadian Air Force Ancestors. $12.95

Documenting Your Canadian Ancestors who served in World War One (1914-1918) or World War Two (1939-1945) with the Canadian Navy. $12.95

Documenting Your Canadian Ancestor who Fought in Spain during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) $12.95

Documenting Canadian Military Personnel Who Were Prisoners of War During World War One or World War Two. $14.95

The War of 1812 in British North America, Searching for your Ancestor’s Elusive War Records. $16.95

Searching for Canadian Militia Records following the Fenian Threat and the Red River Expedition, 1866-1872. $14.95

Prices given are for pdf downloads.

Coming soon are:

Documenting Canadians Who Served During the North-West Rebellion (1885) in Western Canada

Documenting Canadians Who Served in South Africa During the Boer War (1899-1902)

Documenting Canadian ‘Voyageurs’ Who Served in the Nile Expedition (1884-1885)

BTW: in another military matter, 2 January is the anniversary of the birth of James Wolfe in 1727,