The Swift Current Museum hosted a Lunch and Learn presentation yesterday with a professional genealogist, with hopes of reconnecting families with their history.
Attendees of the presentation were able to get some delicious hamburger macaroni sou and learn about the best ways to look back at their ancestors and discover their participation in the Second World War. A sizeable crowd congregated for the event, and no one seemed to leave disappointed.
The afternoon’s presenter, John Griffin, is a genealogist and the curator of the Legion Branch 56 Museum.
“The purpose of doing this was just to help people conduct research on their ancestors,” stated Griffin. “As many people know, I'm a professional genealogist and that's what I do. I always like to help people with their research, and I thought this would be a great way to help people who were wanting to research their ancestors who served during the Second World War.”
Griffin points out that it is only possible to access records of the deceased without first making an information request. For most people who want to research their Second World War ancestors; a lot of relatives survived the war and of course, those records are considered restricted due to privacy legislation. That's where the ATIP (Access To Information and Privacy) request comes in. You have to make a request under the Access to Information Act.
The best place to start to gather the most information on an individual is in a service file because that contains every document the government has on that individual with regards to their personal information throughout the duration of their service.
“Canada is one of the best countries for genealogy,” said Griffin. “A lot of stuff, especially at the library and archives where all your military records, census, government documents; a lot of that is on their website and digitized. Canada is probably one of the countries at the forefront of getting this stuff digitized... I know when it comes to First World War records, they're all digitized that way. They don't have to be handled because of course paper is delicate.”
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