Many Canadian national census records are at the Family History Library, the National Archives of Canada, and other archives and libraries. See the Canada Research Outline (34545) for more information about Canadian national census records. To find out if a specific subdistrict (township or equivalent) or district (county or equivalent) is available on a census see:
Hillman, Thomas A. ,Catalogue of Census Returns on Microfilm = Catalogue de Recensements sur microfilm 1666–1891. [Ottawa, Ontario, Canada]: Public Archives of Canada, 1987. (FHL book 971 X23ht). A list of the censuses that are available for parishes, townships, and counties (look in the Québec section of the book). The catalog includes microfilm numbers for the National Archives of Canada. (They are not FHL film numbers.)
Most Canadian national censuses are not indexed by province, and at present there are no indexes for the entire province of Québec. Indexes for a few localities within the province are listed in the Locality Search of the Family History Library Catalog under QUEBEC, [COUNTY], [TOWN] - CENSUS.
The national censuses from 1911 to the present are not available to the public.
There are many early census records for the province of Québec. Most censuses from 1792 to 1842 list only the head of the household. Those censuses can help you find where families with a particular surname were living.
Province of Québec
| Census Years:
|1666, 1667, 1681||All members of the household|
City of Québec
| Census Years:
|1716, 1744||All members of the household|
|1792, 1795, 1798, 1805||Head of household only|
|1731||Head of household only|
| Census Years:
||Head of household only|
Trois-Riviéres, Montréal, and surrounding areas
| Census Years:
|1765||Head of household only|
Lower Canada, Canada East (southern Québec)
|1825, 1831, 1842||Head of household only|
|(In 1841 Lower Canada became Canada East.)|
|1851, 1861||All members of the household|
Early provincial censuses are available in the following sources:
Nouvelle-France. Recensements, 1666–1681 (Censuses 1666–1681). Archives Publiques du Canada série G1, C-2474. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.: Service Central du Microfilm, Archives Publiques du Canada, 1966. (FHL film 1375924.) Text in French. Contains census records for 1666, 1667, and 1681.
Recensements du Québec (Census of Québec). Seven Volumes. [n.p., 198-?] (FHL book 971.4 X2r; on 19 FHL fiche 6046792.) Text in French. Contains selected census records from 1666 to 1805.
Charbonneau, Hubert, and Jacques Légaré, eds. Répertoire des actes de baptême, mariage, sépulture et des recensements du Québec ancien (Transcriptions of Church Records of Christening, Marriage and Burial and of Censuses of Old Québec). 47 Volumes. Montréal, Québec, Canada: Presses de l'Université de Montréal, 1980–1990. (FHL book 971.4 K22r.) Text in French. Contains indexed transcriptions from original records. Volume 6 includes the 1666, 1667, and 1681 censuses; volume 8 includes the 1716 census; and volume 16 includes the 1744 census.
The following is an explanation in English to the Répertoire:
Key to the Repertory. Montréal, Québec, Canada: Presses de l'Université de Montréal, 1980?. (FHL book 971.4 K22r supp..)
Québec (Province). Census of Lower Canada [now Québec], 1825. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada: Public Archives of Canada, 1954. (FHL film 584016–17.) Contains the 1825 census for southern Québec.
Lower Canada. Census Returns, 1831. Public Archives of Canada no. C-719 - C-724. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada: Public Archives of Canada, 1954. (FHL film 1375925–30.) Contains the 1831 census for southern Québec.
Lower Canada. Census Returns, 1842. Public Archives of Canada number C-725 - C-733. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada: Public Archives of Canada, 1954. (FHL film 1375931–39.) Contains the 1842 census for southern Québec.
Private researchers have indexed early censuses and other sources for the Eastern Townships region. For information, contact the Librarian of the Québec Family History Society (see the "Societies" section of this outline).
Provincial censuses were taken for Canada East (southern Québec) in 1851 and 1861. (The 1851 census was actually taken in 1852.) The censuses list all the members of the household. Some sections were lost, and there is no index for the entire province. National Archives of Canada microfilm numbers for these censuses are also available in Thomas A. Hillman, Catalogue of Census Returns on Microfilm = Catalogue de Recensements sur microfilm, 1666–1891 (see "National Censuses" on the previous page).
Another useful source for finding census records for Québec is:
Reisinger, Joy. "Published Census Returns of Québec." Lost in Canada?: Canadian-American Query Exchange 17, number 3(summer 1994): 134–36. (FHL book 971 B2Lc.) Extensive bibliography of printed censuses and lists of settlers, 1608–1825.
All census records for Québec are listed in the Locality Search of the Family History Library Catalog under:
QUEBEC - CENSUS - [YEAR]
QUEBEC, [COUNTY] - CENSUS - [YEAR]
QUEBEC, [COUNTY], [TOWN] - CENSUS - [YEAR]