600,000 records of our World War One heroes now online
I'm on several genealogy email lists and see press releases and announcements on a regular basis. I can pass some of these along if folks are interested? The following one seemed timely for a November 11th posting.
The following announcement was written by The Generations Network, the parent company of Ancestry.ca:
600,000 records of our World War One heroes, including famous Canadians - John McCrae, Tommy Douglas and Frederick Banting
(Toronto, ON – November 5, 2008) Between 1914-1918, more than 600,000 Canadian men, most untrained civilians, braved foreign soil to join the Allied Forces in an effort to restore peace and freedom to the world, with more than 60,000 making the ultimate sacrifice.
Ancestry.ca, Canada's leading online family history website, honours those men with the Soldiers of the First World War, 1914 - 1918, which contains the original records, fully searchable, of more than 598,000 Attestation Papers of enlisted soldiers.
An Attestation Paper was the first document a soldier signed before entering the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF). In many cases, these may be the only surviving record of the enlistment of many Canadian soldiers who fought in World War One.
Attestation Papers provide a range of details about the enlistee including place of birth, age, physical description and next of kin. Some also include valuable information about their lives before the war, such as their occupation, marital status and residence.
Karen Peterson, Marketing Director, Ancestry.ca, comments: "Military records are invaluable to any family history enthusiast wishing to trace the military career of their ancestors and what makes this collection particularly significant is its sheer size, and also the rich personal details to be found in individual records.
"With Remembrance Day approaching, this collection reminds us of the sacrifices and incredible hardships all Canadians endured during The Great War."
The struggle of World War One involved virtually the whole country and made enormous demands on the Canadian people, whether they were involved in the actual fighting or remained on the home front to work in industry or farming to support the war effort.