Censuses The first census of Canada was taken in 1871 following confederation. Federal censuses have been take every ten years since. Alberta was not included in the 1871 nor 1881 censuses, but Alberta does appear in the 1891 and 1901 censuses as part of the Northwest Territories. Alberta was not included in censuses made before confederation. Agricultural Censuses of the Prairie Provinces (Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba) have been taken every ten years since 1906. These agricultural censuses were made country wide and combined with the population census in 1956. The censuses from 1921 to the present are confidential and are kept at Library and Archives Canada, in Ottawa. Indexing is ongoing for various censuses by various groups (see websites below). The last released census, the 1916 census, is available on Ancestry.ca, and (free) at Family History Centers on AncestryInstitution.com.
Most federal censuses of Canada have been indexed. Indexes and links to them are listed at the Library and Archives Canada web site.
Further details of the Canadian Census are available on the StatsCan website. Census substitutes are school attendance records, tax rolls, and voter lists, available at the Provincial Archives. There is also a card file which lists the names of early settlers in each school district.
Internet sites which provide access to Alberta census records are: