Canada Census,1871 (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Canada

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Canada Census, 1871
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Canada
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Record Description
Record Type Census
Collection years 1871-1871
Languages English
Title in the Language
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
Public Archives, Ontario


What is in this Collection?

The census day for Canada in this year was April 2, 1871.

Census schedules were taken on large sheets of paper with pre-printed rows and columns. The schedules were organized by province and then by census districts and sub-districts. It contains the following nine schedules arranged within sub-districts:

  • Nominal return of the living
  • Nominal return of the deaths within last twelve months
  • Return of public institutions, real estate, vehicles, and implements
  • Return of cultivated land, field products, and plants and fruits
  • Live stock, animal products, home-made fabrics, and furs
  • Return of industrial establishments
  • Return of products of the forest
  • Return of shipping and fisheries
  • Return of mineral products

Following the Constitution Act, 1867, census taking became a federal mandate. The national government of Canada has taken censuses every ten years since 1871 and every five years since 1971. The 1871 census covers the four original provinces: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, and Ontario. The first coast-to-coast census was taken in 1881. Newfoundland was not part of Canada until 1949. For Newfoundland few 19th-century censuses that list names have been found. They mostly contain statistical summaries.

National census records are arranged by province and within provinces by census districts and subdistricts. Census districts are voting districts, not counties. Although a voting district may have the same name as a county, it may not include the same townships. In some provinces, townships are equivalent to census sub-districts. Since the boundaries varied from census to census, it is not easy to tell which census district an eastern Canadian township or western Canadian village was in. Contemporary maps of the census districts have been lost or destroyed.

Abbreviations are used in the birthplace field for the names of the Province of birth. For example, O is for Ontario and Q for Quebec. Some entries include a second letter appears in the abbreviation, u stands for urban and r stands for rural. Qu would mean that the person was born in an urban area of Quebec.

What Can these Records Tell Me?

Census records usually include:

  • Full name
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Approximate birth year
  • Place of birth
  • Marital Status
  • Religion
  • Ethnic origin
  • Town, village, township, or sub-district of residence

How Do I Search the Collection?

You can search the index or view the images or both. To begin your search it is helpful to know:

  • The name of your ancestor
  • The name of a relative or date of the event

Search the Index

Search by name by visiting the Collection Page.

  1. Fill in the search boxes on the Collection Page with the information you have
  2. Click Search to show possible matches

How Do I Analyze the Results?

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.


For more tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line article FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.

What Do I Do Next?

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

  • 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 Who I’m Looking for, What Now?

  • 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. Try searching for these names as well.
  • Search the indexes and records of Canada Genealogy.
  • Search in the Canada Archives and Libraries.
  • Search in the FamilySearch Library Catalog


Known Issues with This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to support@familysearch.org. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.

Citing This Collection

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information; that is, cite your sources. This will help people find the record again and evaluate the reliability of the source. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records. Citations are available for the collection as a whole and each record or image individually.

Collection Citation:

"Canada Census, 1871." Database. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. Citing Department of Agriculture. Public Archives, Ottawa, Ontario.


Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):

When looking at a record, the citation is found below the record. You can search records in this collection by visiting the search page for Canada Census, 1871.


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How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

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Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.