Archive for the ‘history’ Category

Learning to Browse the 1921 Census of Canada, for Lucky Lake, Saskatchewan

Monday, December 30th, 2013

First, a personal note, my family is looking for anecdotes, photos, or anything, really, regarding Loi Dat (“Happy”) Yip (來逹葉) who lived in the village of Lucky Lake, Saskatchewan for decades from the 1920s to 1970s. I suspect he was also known as “the only Chinese” guy in the town. If you have anything, please leave a comment or send me an email.

Earlier this year, the 1921 Census information for Canada was released to the public – it’s available from for free. I think signed a deal with the government for exclusive access in exchange for digitization and web publishing services.

I had easy success looking up some relatives who had lived in Vancouver at the time of this census. It was straight forward enough. However, I had to learn a little history in order to find the census records for a random tiny village in Saskatchewan.

I ran into this new to me “meridian” and “range” and “township” notation. This great CNR map from 1900 which lists most towns and the grid for the range and townships in Saskatchewan – I actually found this after finding my prize town; but using this  is much easier than the semi-educated guessing and testing that I had done. In researching this blog post, I’ve found this Wikipedia page that describes the Dominion Land Survey which created this grid. The first Meridian is just west of Winnipeg. This all might be common knowledge to those in the prairies, but it certainly was new to me.

What I actually did, was use this very rough map of SK. I was pretty sure Lucky Lake would fall into 3rd Meridian; I further guesstimated the range to be in the 8-12 range of the 3rd Meridian. Townships run from 1 to 64-72 in SK, from south to north, depending on the tree line. I tried a few random pages to figure out Lucky Lake’s range in the low 20’s area.

If you are from Lucky Lake, or are looking for the village of Lucky Lake in the census, you can view the first page here. Province: Saskatchewan. District: Kindersley. Sub-district: 01. Page 14 (towards the bottom), 15, and 16. Unfortunately, my ancestor, Mr. Yip, isn’t listed… I’m not too surprised, the timeline wasn’t quite right for his arrival. I have much higher hopes for the 1931 census. Again, if you happen to know anything about Great Grandpa Yip, please get in touch.

Fun side discovery: Have a look at page 27 of this scan of the original instructions to the 1921 Census Enumerators, here. There are a LOT of languages there that I’ve never heard of before!

Remembrance Day (or Veterans Day) Bingo Card Template

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

We’ve just added a new template word list at  Follow this link to quickly create free Remembrance Day (or Veterans Day) themed Bingo Cards.  We hope this will prove useful to the hundreds of teachers that use our site.

As always, basic use of is free. An upgrade to get Premium access is only $10.

One bingo board per page…

Monday, January 28th, 2008

In the latest in a series of upgrades to the best web based bingo board printing website on the web,, we’ve added a one card per page option.

It’s funny how the website developed. It all started when I needed to “run” the after dinner bingo entertainment at a small fund raising event (the bingo was free, the dinner tickets raised the funds). For that, I needed basic numeric cards in an economical four bingo boards per page – the measurements have never changed since that original bit of code.

Later, when the site got modestly popular, we added the custom word list feature. Since longer phrases take more space, the larger 2 bingo cards per page option was born.

Now, the arguably long overdue one bingo card per page option has finally been added.

It’s a bit different from the other sizes. I’ve had users suggest using exactly square cells (which we’ve done), and to leave some space for their custom instructions or company letterhead (which we’ve also done).

For now, users wanting to do fancy letterhead or instructions will have to run their cards through the printer twice – I guess there’ll always something on the to-do list.

An outsider might think that the card sizes were added in the exact wrong order, but, as is often the case, there’s a story behind the situation.

First Post!

Monday, November 19th, 2007

A blog? How times have changed.

So, what is It is intended to become a place where little tid-bits of information about Perceptus’ cool stuff get posted. New features to our websites, the rationale behind some of our operations, etc.

It will also cover various topics that super-small companies (i.e. the more-or-less one man show) face in Canada. Things like taxes, currencies, and international shipping have and will continue to cause frustration to me, Leonard Chan, and my company, Perceptus Solutions Inc. of Vancouver, Canada.

Where is the line between ranting and informative blogging? I’m not sure, but I think we’ll find out soon.