Canada Census, 1851 - FamilySearch Historical Records
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Canada Census, 1851
|This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.|
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|Public Archives, Ontario|
What is in This Collection?[edit | edit source]
The records in this collection include the 1851 census for Québec and Ontario (united as the "Province of Canada") and the independent provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Colonial, provincial, and local governments all conducted censuses in 1851. The official census day was in January 1852. Detailed family information is in the surviving personal schedules of the censuses of Quebec and Ontario. Less detailed censuses were taken of the Maritime Provinces in the same years, 1851 and 1861. The completed forms were sent to the Board of Registration and Statistics and later to the Department of Agriculture.
Returns for many counties are incomplete. The counties missing census returns are:
- Shefford and Stanstead counties (Québec);
- Russell and Simcoe counties (Ontario);
- Gloucester, Kent, and Queens Counties (New Brunswick) as well as the City of Saint John (New Brunswick)
- All counties of Nova Scotia except Halifax and Kings.
Canadian census records are the best source to use for quickly identifying a family group and residence. The census lists other persons living in the same household and may identify individuals for whom other records do not exist.
Census returns are recorded on large sheets of paper that are divided into rows and columns. The schedules were arranged by province and then further divided into census districts and sub districts. Census districts were voting districts, not counties, although most have the same names as counties. For the most part, census districts were named the same as cities and counties, and sub-districts were named the same as towns, townships, and city wards. Villages, small towns, and parishes were generally enumerated as part of the township in which they were located.
Image Visibility[edit | edit source]
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What Can These Records Tell Me?[edit | edit source]
The following information may be found in these records:
- Full name
- Approximate year of birth
- Place of birth
- Province and district of residence
How Do I Search This Collection?[edit | edit source]
Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:
- The name of your ancestor
- The name of a relative or date of the event
Search the Index[edit | edit source]
Search by name by visiting the Collection Page.
- Fill in the search boxes on the Collection Page with the information you have
- Click Search to show possible matches
How Do I Analyze the Results?[edit | edit source]
Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.
What Do I Do Next?[edit | edit source]
I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]
- Add any new information to your records
- Use the information to find your ancestor in additional censuses
- Use the information to find other records such as birth, christening, marriage, land and death records
- Use the information to find additional family members
- Repeat this process with additional family members found, to find more generations of the family
- Church Records often were kept years before government records were required and are a good source for finding ancestors before 1900
I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]
- Try viewing the original record to see if there were errors in the transcription of the name, age, residence, etc. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name
- Collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This list can help you identify possible relations that can be verified by records
- If you cannot locate your ancestor in the locality in which you believe they lived, then try searching records of a nearby locality in an area search
- Standard spelling of names typically did not exist during the periods our ancestors lived in. Try variations of your ancestor’s name, especially French versions
- Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names
Research Helps[edit | edit source]
The following articles will help you in your research for your family in Canada.
Related Family History Library Holdings[edit | edit source]
Related FamilySearch Historical Record Collections[edit | edit source]
Known Issues[edit | edit source]
Citing This Collection[edit | edit source]
Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.
When looking at a record, the citation can be viewed by clicking the drop-down arrow next to Document Information.