Cape Breton Genealogy Goes Electronic

Economic Development (to Jan 09)

November 30, 1999 10:00 AM

A Cape Breton genealogical centre will soon begin an electronic
make-over of its archives, easing the workload for researchers
worldwide looking for Nova Scotia connections.

The Roots Cape Breton Genealogy and Family History Centre will
hire nine employees to develop an interactive website and
convert more than 90,000 records into electronic form over the
next three years.

Funding for the project was announced today by Nova Scotia
Economic Development Minister Gordon Balser and Senator Bernie
Boudreau, Leader of the Government in the Senate and Minister
responsible for Nova Scotia, on behalf of Jane Stewart, Minister
of Human Resources Development Canada, and George Baker,
Secretary of State for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
and Enterprise Cape Breton Corp. The government of Canada will
invest $169,554 through Human Resources Development Canada and
$105,625 through Enterprise Cape Breton Corp.

Roots Cape Breton will also receive $25,000 through the
province's Community Opportunities Fund, a program of Nova Scotia
Economic Development designed to support projects with
significant long-term benefits to a local economy. The
Municipality of Victoria County and the Nova Scotia Highland
Village Society will each contribute $4,300 toward the project.

"Building a future on the foundation of our past is a smart
economic venture, especially as interest in our personal roots
grows across North America," said Mr. Balser. "Roots Cape Breton
taps into that interest with a project that has the potential of
leading the way for years to come in the area of electronic

"Working together, the government of Canada and its partners are
committed to finding ways to help stimulate economic growth in
Cape Breton," said Senator Boudreau. "Roots Cape Breton is an
excellent example of our efforts to build sustainability in the
area by creating long-term employment opportunities, expanding
tourism activity and capitalizing on its strengths such as its
heritage and culture."

The Nova Scotia Highland Village Society started Roots Cape
Breton almost 10 years ago in response to the increasing
popularity of genealogy in Victoria County. Among its archives
are digital census records, conventional census accounts, birth
and marriage records, formal and informal family histories,
published and unpublished community records, and church

The funding announced today will help Roots Cape Breton to gain
an advantage in using CD-ROM technology and in the world of e-
commerce with online sales of genealogical publications,
educational services, and records, data and information in
digital format.

The Nova Scotia Highland Village Society, established in 1959, is
a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting, interpreting
and furthering the buildings and artifacts at the Nova Scotia
Highland Village Site in Iona, and to preserving and promoting
the Scottish Highland culture in Nova Scotia. The village
includes an Outdoor Pioneer Museum, the Roots Cape Breton
Genealogy and Family History Centre and Highland Village Gift
Shop and Outdoor Entertainment and Theatre facility.

The village attracted more than 43,000 visitors between 1998 and
1999, of which about half were from outside Nova Scotia. The
highland village society currently employs about 20 people and is
complemented by a board of directors and group of volunteers.

Support of the Roots Cape Breton project shows the government of
Canada's commitment to partner with all levels of government and
community organizations to provide meaningful projects that will
help create economic sustainability and long-term employment
opportunities for the people and communities of Cape Breton.


     Researchers looking for family roots in Nova Scotia will

soon find the task a little easier.

      A Cape Breton genealogical centre is converting more than

90-thousand records in its archives into electronic form.

     The Roots Cape Breton Genealogy and Family History Centre,

in Iona, will also develop an interactive website for use by

researchers worldwide.

     The centre is hiring nine people to carry out the work.

     The project is being supported by 275-thousand dollars from

the federal government through the Enterprise Cape Breton

Corporation and Human Resources Development Canada.

     The province will chip in 25-thousand dollars through the

Department of Economic Development's Community Opportunities

Fund. And Victoria County Municipality and the Nova Scotia

Highland Village Society will each contribute 43-hundred dollars.

     Roots Cape Breton began almost a decade ago in response to

the growing interest in genealogy.

     Since then, it has collected numerous census records, birth,

marriage and death records, family histories, community records

and church documents.


Contact: Maggie Marwah
         Nova Scotia Economic Development

         Alice Almond
         Human Resources Development Canada

         Marcie Stanley
         Enterprise Cape Breton Corp.

         Rodney Chaisson
         Nova Scotia Highland Village

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kjd                 November 30, 1999     9:56 a.m.