Difference between revisions of "Canada Census, 1881 (FamilySearch Historical Records)"

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Revision as of 15:21, 11 April 2011

FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.
Access the records: Canadian Census 1881 Index .
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Collection Time Period

The first national Canadian census was conducted in 1881.

Record Description

Census schedules were taken on large sheets of paper with preprinted rows and columns. The schedules were organized by province and then by census districts and subdistricts. The census contains the following nine schedules arranged within subdistricts: 1) Nominal return of the living; 2) Nominal return of the deaths within last twelve months; 3) Return of public institutions, real estate, vehicles and implements; 4) Return of cultivated land, of field products and of plants and fruits; 5) Livestock, animal products, home-made fabrics and furs; 6) Return of industrial establishments; 7) Return of products of the forest; 8) Return of shipping and fisheries; and 9) Return of mineral products.

Record Content

Canada 1881 Census DGS 4462124 39.jpg
  • Important genealogical information in the census includes:
  • Full name
  • Age (can be used to calculate an approximate birth year)
  • Sex
  • Born within the last 12 months
  • Birthplace
  • Religion
  • Ethnic origin
  • Occupation
  • Married or widowed
  • Town, village, township, or subdistrict of residence

How to Use the Records

Canadian census records are the best source for quickly identifying a family group and their residence. Use the residence, birthplace, and age given in the census for each person to search other record types. Since the census attempted to record all the people living in a household, it may identify individuals for whom other records do not exist.

Record History

Following the Constitution Act, 1867, census taking became a federal mandate. The first census was set for 1871 and every ten years thereafter. Therefore, the second national Canadian census was conducted in 1881. Enumeration was by census district, except for Prince Edward Island, which was enumerated by lot number. Census districts were voting districts, not counties, although most have the same names as counties. For the most part, census districts were synonymous with cities and counties, and subdistricts were synonymous with towns, townships, and city wards. Villages, small towns, and parishes were generally enumerated as part of the township in which they were located. Census district and county boundaries were not always the same.

Why This Collection Was Created?

Canadian census records were taken to enumerate the population for representation, taxation, and other purposes.

Record Reliability

The accuracy of the census depended on the knowledge of the informant as anyone in the household, or even neighbors, could give information to the census taker. Some information may have been incorrect or falsified.

Related Web Sites

Canada census 1881

This section of the article is incomplete. You can help FamilySearch Wiki by supplying links to related wiki articles here.

Related Wiki Articles

Canada Census 1851 Index (FamilySearch Historical Records)

Canada Census 1871 Index (FamilySearch Historical Records)

Canada Census 1891 Index (FamilySearch Historical Collections)

Contributions to This Article

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

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


Sources of Information for This Collection:

"Census schedules, 1881," database, FamilySearch Record Search; from Canada. Department of Agriculture. "Census schedules, 1881," Public Archives Of Canada, Ottowa, Ontario. FHL microfilm, 125 reels. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.


The format for citing FamilySearch Historical Collections, including how to cite individual archives is found in the following link: How to Create Source Citations for FamilySearch Historical Records Collections

Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the Wiki Article: How to Cite FamilySearch Collections

Please add sample citations to this article following the format guidelines in the wiki article listed above.

Examples of Source Citations for a Record in This Collection

 'Canada Census, 1881." Database and images, FamilySearch (www.familysearch,org: accessed March 4, 2011), entry for  Janet Clark, age 38; citing Census Records, reference Canada film C_12163, film 1375799; Public Archives of Canada, Ottowa, Ontario.