Privacy pe­riod ex­pired

Stanstead Journal - - NEWS -

Univer­sity of Wis­con­sin de­mog­ra­phers were per­mit­ted to con­struct tapes of data from the 1940 and 1950 US cen­suses for their ‘40-50 Project’. Their anal­y­sis of the gov­ern­ment’s cen­sus data, cou­pled with fur­ther de­mo­graphic data they col­lected from 1960 on, in­di­cates an im­prove­ment in the coun­try’s eco­nomic con­di­tions as it ramped up for World War II. Shifts in pat­terns of typ­i­cal fam­ily com­po­si­tion, birth rates, poverty and over­all so­cial well-be­ing were bet­ter able to be as­sessed be­cause of the im­proved data col­lec­tion of the 1940 cen­sus. The serendip­i­tous tim­ing of the im­prove­ment proved use­ful given the mag­ni­tude of im­pend­ing world events that would later im­pact the na­tion so ir­re­versibly.

What many peo­ple may not re­al­ize is that data from the 1960 cen­sus was re­leased to the public in 1963. With the in­tro­duc­tion of com­puter ca­pa­bil­i­ties, the 1960 cen­sus data was able to be stored elec­tron­i­cally. Gen­eral de­mo­graphic data was able to be sep­a­rated from iden­ti­fy­ing per­sonal in­for­ma­tion, so the records could be re­leased with­out com­pro­mis­ing per­sonal privacy. Be­cause the 1940 cen­sus data was not doc­u­mented elec­tron­i­cally, the per­sonal in­for­ma­tion could not be sep­a­rated and there­fore the records were kept pri­vate un­til the privacy pro­tec­tion pe­riod had ex­pired.

The data con­tained in the 1940 cen­sus is valu­able, as it doc­u­ments the de­mo­graph­ics of a na­tion on the thresh­old of a ma­jor world war, paint­ing a de­tailed pro­file of the US pop­u­la­tion prior to the dev­as­tat­ing loss of life, and the re­sul­tant changes to fam­ily com­po­si­tion and fi­nan­cial cir­cum­stances, that re­sulted from WWII. It has al­ready been used as a com­par­a­tive re­search tool in the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and un­der­stand­ing of the un­der­ly­ing so­cial, eco­nomic and de­mo­graphic changes that oc­curred in the USA dur­ing the post­war pe­riod, such as sub­se­quent changes to pat­terns in rates of birth, mor­tal­ity, eco­nom­ics and im­mi­gra­tion.

Canada’s privacy laws pre­vent public ac­cess to cen­sus records af­ter 1911. The re­lease of the 1940 cen­sus records in the US will aid in the search of his­tor­i­cal data by both re­search in­sti­tu­tions and in­di­vid­u­als. For pri­vate cit­i­zens per­form­ing their own ge­nealog­i­cal re­search, it pro­vides spe­cific house­hold data de­tail­ing, among other facts, names of all co-habi­tants, We wish to sin­cerely thank you for your warm and caring ex­pres­sions of sym­pa­thy in the form of per­sonal vis­its, phone calls, cards, flow­ers and de­li­cious food (brought to the house). We are grate­ful to the C.H.U staff 10th floor Fleu­ri­mont and 4th floor Ho­tel Dieu for their at­ten­tion and de­vo­tion. Doc­tors Fu­lop, Lapierre and Leblanc and nurse Manon Lav­i­gne for their con­stant and del­i­cate up­dates. It was com­fort­ing to know John had such good care. Dr. Félix Ayala Pare­des, car­di­ol­o­gist and Dr. Ray­monde Vail­lan­court, fam­ily doc­tors for the many years of care and fol­low-ups. We credit them for John’s well be­ing over the years. Fa­ther Mau­rice Domingue, Rev. Doreen Keet Moffat, Rev. Bar­bara Win­tle and the Cana­dian Le­gion, branch 128 for the elo­quent ser­vices. The help­ful staff at Cass Fu­neral homes, Penny, Janie and Les­lie. I would like to thank all of you, fam­ily and friends, over the years, for mak­ing us part of your lives and for so many good times and mem­o­ries. John of­ten said “We came to Canada to show our ap­pre­ci­a­tion and grat­i­tude to the Cana­di­ans for their part in the lib­er­a­tion of Hol­land, to be­come a suc­cess­ful farmer and a good life for our chil­dren“. He can rest peacefully in know­ing he ac­com­plished all three. Few of us will ever look at a pea­cock feather or a beau­ti­ful Christ­mas scene with­out think­ing of John. It is com­fort­ing to know that he will be re­mem­bered by so many of you as an hon­ourable, happy man. Sin­cerely, Rita Brus and fam­ily aid­ing those who seek fam­ily mem­bers whose names may not be known. The data will pro­vide fam­ily re­la­tion­ship in­for­ma­tion, aid­ing in the search for an­ces­tors. It also pro­vides so­cio-eco­nomic in­for­ma­tion about the fam­ily. There are web­sites cur­rently of­fer­ing ac­cess to his­tor­i­cal data and doc­u­ments, but the sites can be costly. Once the cen­sus is re­leased to the public, pri­vate cit­i­zens may re­search rel­a­tives on their own. Most li­braries can pro­vide, through in­ter-li­brary loans, ac­cess to per­ti­nent his­tor­i­cal doc­u­ments from dis­tant lo­ca­tions to any­one who knows what they are seek­ing. The 1940 cen­sus records may pro­vide re­searchers with fam­ily mem­bers’ names and towns of res­i­dency and births, all of which may help nar­row searches for spe­cific fam­ily mem­bers. The data may be the dif­fer­ence be­tween a suc­cess­ful search and a fu­tile search for fam­ily mem­bers whose names and birth lo­ca­tion would oth­er­wise re­main un­known.

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