Thursday, September 20, 2007

Automated Genealogy?

When I first came upon this site a few weeks ago, I was very curious as to how the name "Automated Genealogy" related to the site. When I think of Automated, I imagine something being done for me with out much effort on my part. As I have investigated the site further, I have come to understand that this site truly does have Automated Genealogy for the genealogist and family historian. The Automated Genealogy website databases are free to search. It has wonderful databases that are available to be searched with a click of button for those with Canadian ancestory. The site contains the following databases:

1901 Census - The transcription is complete and 60% completed on proofreading. This census has a surname search box that can be used to search the entire 1901 Census database.

1911 Census - The transcription is complete and proofreading is progressing. The 1911 Census only allows for searches utilizing the surname search box by first clicking on the the province link that you would like to investigate and then typing in the surname you are researching.

1906 Census - The 1906 census includes the three provinces of Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan. The transcription is nearing completion and proofreading has yet to begin. This census has a surname search box that can be used to search the entire 1906 Census database.

1851 Census - According to the website: "Censuses were planned for 1851 for the then separate colonies of Canada (current day Ontario and Quebec), New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. The census of Canada was delayed until early 1852 so it is variously refered to as the 1851 or 1852 Census. Indexing of the 1852 census was started in August 2007. Indexing of the 1851 Census of New Brunswick was started in June 2007 and is over two thirds done. Indexing of the 1851 Census of Nova Scotia, which is a head-of-household-only census, has not yet begun."

The searching capabilities provided in the 1901 and 1906 census records database is more intuitive that in the 1911 census. I hope that this will change as the project progresses. Another nice feature of the site is that you are able to view the original documents from the census records. Once you have searched for a surname, you will be given the results like on the page to the right. If you notice there is a column to the far right that has numbers that are in blue. Clicking on these numbers will take you the extracted document. At the extracted document (which is easily read), you must click on the image link above the document to view the original. I would suggest that you view the document on the split screen or in a new window, but select the larger size. It took me a few minutes to figure out how to view the actual document but it is possible. The actual document is extremely important to view in my opinion, as extraction work can have mistakes as we are all human.


Another very unique, interesting and promising feature of this site is the Linking Projects. The website states:
"An interesting feature of the site is the ability to link various records associated with a person together. This is done through the Link Centre. Projects are underway to link records from several sources as well as between the censuses. If this project were to be fully realized a researcher would be able to look up any person in Canada (from the era that census data is publicly accessible for) and find all the person's census records, birth, marriage, and death records, as well as photographs, newspaper stories, and other online data. It is a very ambitious project but many hands make light work and we have already linked over one million records! Help us put together the pieces of our shared genealogical puzzle by linking records for people you have researched!"


Some of the linking projects are:

Soldiers of the First World War Linking
Canadian Virtual War Memorial Linking
Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online Linking
British Home Children Linking
Halifax Explosion Linking
The Illustrated Index to the 1901 Census
Uploaded Images Linking
Off-site Marriage Record Linking
Extracts from Publications

This site offers a treasure trove of information for the genealogist and family historian searching for their Canadian Roots. This is a very ambitious project which will only continue to grow and improve with time. They are accepting volunteers to assist in the extraction work if you are interested in helping to further the project. If you want to check out this exciting website, click Automated Genealogy.
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