Free Access Terms and Conditions

To commemorate VE Day, we will be providing free access to the following collections from Monday 4th May – Friday 8th May. To access these collections please click on the links below. Note – you can only access the free access to Newspapers and Fold3 by clicking on these links. 

Free access from 4 May 2020 at 8 a.m. EDT to 8 May at 11:59 p.m. EDT. Registration required. After the free access period ends, you will only be able to view the records in the featured collections using an Ancestry.ca paid membership. To see a full list of records in the featured collections please click here.

**Free access to Newspapers.com will be from 4 May 2020 at 8 a.m. EDT to 8 May at 11:59pm EDT. Registration required. After the free access period ends, you will only be able to view the papers using a Nespapers.com paid subscription. Terms and conditions apply.

***Free access to all Commonwealth records on Fold3.com will be free from 4 May 2020 at 8 a.m. EDT to 8 May at 11:59 p.m. EDT. Registration required. After the free access period ends, you will only be able to view the records using a Fold3 paid subscription. Terms and conditions apply.

Top Tips for Researching your Canadian WWII Ancestors

  • Broaden your horizons. Remember, some Ancestry collections relevant to British forces will also relate to the Commonwealth too. For example, the army and navy lists which help to track officers or the Allied prisoner of war collection.
  • War diaries are key. If you have obtained a service record or references in Ancestry collections it may be time to start using war diaries to learn more about your ancestor’s battalion, ship or squadron. Library and Archives Canada has an amazing collection of WWII War Diaries for your research.
  • Don’t discount PoWs. Researching a prisoner of war? PoW records can be incredibly interesting and insightful. The Ancestry/Fold3 UK, Allied Prisoners of War, 1939-1945 collection contains details on Canadian servicemen and women and is a great starting point.
  • Explore new resources. Take your time and browse the collections on Fold3 and see if they are relevant for your ancestor or research. On the Fold3 homepage you can select ‘World War II’ and ‘Browse all World War II Titles’ to really get to grips with available collections.
  • Always consult newspapers. Newspapers often contain references to servicemen and women, where they were serving, if they were taken prisoner or killed or wounded. Many also published photographs of the individual. Remember to use different combinations when searching: “Private John Smith”, “Pte. John Smith” or “John Smith” with the individual’s number and or regiment

And finally:

  • Don’t forget maps! Whether held by LAC or digitised by select universities, maps are an incredible resource for researching the theatre of war your ancestor served in and for plotting their movements

Simon Pearce holds a degree in History and a Masters in Historical Research and has a background in museum work, Simon has a passion for military history and has worked on projects relating to the commemoration and identification of casualties from the First and Second World Wars. Researching his military ancestors from the First World War sparked this interest and he loves discovering the personal stories of men and women from the conflict across all the services. Through his work at Ancestry ProGenealogists Simon has helped many clients to understand the lives of their ancestors in Britain and across the world.

 

Bryony Partridge

Bryony is the International PR Manager for Ancestry where she implements strategic communications and social media programs that bring increased media awareness for the company.