Do You (Canadians) Care Who Knows Your Secrets in 2098?

Do you care who knows your secrets in 2098? is another article about the Candian Census, and this time around being able to opt out of having the information revealed in 2098. It’s by Peter Van Harten,writing for the The Hamilton Spectator, and it gets into some of the issues faced by Canadians over just how much information they want revealed for people in the future to see (whether genealogists or family members). With so much of this information coming online and being easily accessed, and with the questions expanding quite a bit, it’s fast becoming a hot topic.

I can’t speak for Canada, but I know quite a few Americans who are ticked at some of the questions on the current US 2006 “test” census or whatever you want to call it, that came out over the last month or two.

Excerpt from the article:

Will your great-grandchildren still love you in 2098?

That’s when they will be able to find out who — on May 16, 2006 — you were living with, what sex your partner was, whether you were married, what you earned and potentially other kinds of personal secrets. But that’s only if you answered Yes to a new question on the 2006 census form likely arriving in your mail box in a few weeks.

The confidentiality question allowing your personal information to be made public after 92 years is but one of several new features of the 2006 census forms going out to 12.7-million households and all agricultural operations.

More Scottish Census Data Put Online

According to The Scotsman, 1841 census records for Scotland were placed online, along with many other historical Scottish documents.


The announcement by ScotlandsPeople, a leading genealogy website, is a major advance for people researching their Scottish family history.

Documents detailing births, marriages, occupations and deaths can now be accessed online along with more than 50 million other Scottish records.

One of the hand-written documents from 1759 shows the record of Robert Burns’s birth in Alloway, Ayrshire, on 25 January.

These original 1841 records have never been seen online.

The unveiling today of the material online is part of a five-year project that is funded by the Scottish Executive.

It contains the most comprehensive online set of family history information for any country in the world and is one of the largest single information resources on the web.

More information:

Canada, 2006 Census, and Your Rights

The Durham Region News has an article by Jeff Hayward,
Choose ‘yes’ on Census, urges group
, that is pushing Canadians to check off ‘Yes’ on releasing their census information in 92 years.

An Uxbridge organization wants residents to know that their future relatives might never know they existed if they don’t check off ‘yes’ to a question on an upcoming government census.

The Uxbridge Genealogy Group has put a call out to residents to inform them 2006 Canada Census forms are being distributed in the near future. This year, for the first time in 340 years, according to the group, residents will have a choice whether their information can be released in 92 years.

If you check ‘no’, future genealogists will be faced with gaps in their family history research.

“You should know that if this question is not answered ‘yes’, or is left unanswered, your descendants will be unable to find information on you in census records in the future… so far as the census is concerned, you will not have existed,” said Eileen Wilson, vice-chairwoman of the genealogy group.

I’m sure most genealogists will check off yes, but many people will not or will not understand the implications.

On a related note, in the US, they are currently doing a “test” run of the 2010 census which has caused a lot of controversy among some groups of people, namely due to the “YOU ARE REQUIRED BY LAW TO RESPOND” theme on the census information as well as the questions asked. From a genealogist’s perspective, the questions asked are interesting. As a private citizen, I found the information very intrusive, but that’s for another article.

Harry Potter Genealogy Mapped Out

For those of you into fictional genealogy, Cassandra sent me a note about mapping out the genealogy of the characters in the Harry Potter books. J.K. Rowling, the series’ author, is a big fan of genealogy, and has included a lot of back history of the various characters.

The site is hosted at RootsWeb, and as an example, you can see Harry Potter’s family tree in Pedigree format.