So what does this mean for Canadians? Why shouldn’t we jump up and down and simply rejoice LAC’s new best friend? What it means is LAC is backing up a US based company with the things it has sole ownership over. Not doubt Ancestry comes ahead in the deal. Bottom line, Ancestry is in the business to make a profit and access to LAC’s original material simply helps their bottom line. Those census scans were completed by our government employees while working for our government. Those scans exist and should not be obtain via a 3rd party company, yet alone a company not even situated in Canada!
LAC had other options, such as Lindsay Patten’s Automated Genealogy.com (AG). Not only is AG a Canadian based website, but it is a perfect example of a grassroots partnership. AG currently features a number of census and is my own first stop when searching the 1851, 1901 and 1911 census. AG took the image scans and allow the genealogy community to index each entry, line by line. The best part, it is free and easy to use. So that leaves the question, why wouldn’t this work for LAC? It wouldn’t work because, no doubt, a group of well dress salespeople make a great presentation to the powers overseeing the LAC. The power of persuasion works wonders on politicians.
While, yes, you can view the 1921 Census online on Ancestry’s website, you won’t have access to search the census index unless you’re a paying member. Some of us may warm up to this new relationship, however, I will continue to push the agenda to bring the census back to the LAC’s website. Only another ten year until the 1931 Census will be released… hopefully we have a government in power then that won’t export our heritage.