Quebec Census, 1861 (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Access the records: Quebec Census, 1861 .
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Record Description

Census schedules are on large sheets of paper with preprinted rows and columns. The schedules were organized by province and then by census districts and sub districts.

The Census contains the 1861 census for the independent province of Québec. At this time Québec was referred to as “Canada East.” The census taker took the information on the census day starting March 30, 1861. Census takers were asked to record information about all those who were in each household on the census day. A census taker might have visited a house on a later date, but the information he collected was supposed to be about the people who were in the house on the census day. Enumeration was by census district. 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 sub districts 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 and there were many variations from location to location. 

This census was taken in 1861 but reflects the population in the year 1860.

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

The accuracy of the census depended on the knowledge of the informant and the care of the enumerator. Realize that the information may have been given to a census taker by any member of the family or even by a neighbor. Some information may have been incorrect or deliberately falsified.

Citation for This Collection

The following citation refers to the original source of the data and images published on FamilySearch.org Historical Records. It may include the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records. 

Board of Registration and Statistics. Quebec census, 1861. Public Archives of Canada.

Information about creataing source citations for FamilySearch Historical Collections is listed in the wiki article Help:How to Create Source Citations For FamilySearch Historical Records Collections.

Record Content

Key genealogical facts found in the 1861 Québec Census may include:

  • Names of family members
  • Profession, trade, occupation
  • Place of birth
  • Marital Status
  • Religion
  • Residence if out of limits
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Residents that are members of the family or not members of family
  • Births in 1860
  • Deaths in 1860
  • Type of house

How to Use the Record

Use the census to obtain the names and ages of family members, which can be used to calculate birth or marriage dates; the town and county where they lived; those currently living with the family, and any relatives that may have lived nearby. The census may identify persons for whom other records do not exist.

Search the index:

Fill in the requested information in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the ancestors in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to find your ancestor.

Search the images:

To search the collection, select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page ⇒Select the “Record” ⇒Select the “County” ⇒Select the “Volume and Year” which takes you to the images.

Look at the images one by one comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination.


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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.


Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. 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.

Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection

"Quebec Census, 1861."  database, FamilySearch ( https://.familysearch.org:  accessed 1 Apil 2011).  John Smith, age 42; citing Census Records, FHL microfilm 517,317; Canada Board of Registrations and Statistics, Public Archives of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.