Canada Census, 1851 (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page
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|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
Access the records: Canada Census 1851 .
This collection will include records for 1851.
This collection contains the 1851 census for Québec and Ontario (united as the "Province of Canada") and the independent provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Returns for many counties are incomplete. Returns are missing for the following counties: Shefford and Stanstead counties (Québec); Russell and Simcoe counties (Ontario); Gloucester, Kent and Queens counties (New Brunswick) as well as the City of Saint John (New Brunswick); all counties of Nova Scotia except Halifax and Kings.
Census returns are recorded on large sheets of paper that are divided into rows and columns. The schedules were arranged by province and then further divided into census districts and subdistricts.
The census for 1851 was conducted in January 1852. The completed forms were sent to the Board of Registration and Statistics and later to the Department of Agriculture. 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 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.
Colonial, provincial, and local governments conducted censuses in 1851.
Canadian census records were taken to enumerate the population for representation, taxation, and other purposes.
Censuses are generally reliable, depending on the knowledge of the informant and the care taken by the census enumerator. Information may have been given to a census taker by any family member or by a neighbor, so some information may be incorrect or may have been deliberately falsified.
Citation for This Collection
The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Records collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records.
- "Canada Census, 1851 ." Index. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing Board of Registration and Statistics. Public Archives, Ontario.
These census records may contain the following information:
- Full name
- Approximate year of birth
- Place of birth
- Province and district of residence
How to Use the Records
To begin your search, it would be helpful if you knew the following information:
- Name of ancestor
- Approximate date and place of residence.
Search the Collection
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 look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination.
Be aware there may be inaccuracies such as altered spellings and misinterpretations if the information was scanned.
Using the Information
When you have found the information that you are looking for, the following may help you further your research:
- Use the birth place and birth year for each individual you find in the census, to search for a birth record in the Canada, Births and Baptisms, 1661-1959 collection
- Use the birth year of your ancestor to search for later census records.
General Information About These Records
Returns for many counties are incomplete. The counties missing census returns are:
- Shefford and Stanstead counties (Québec);
- Russell and Simcoe counties (Ontario);
- Gloucester, Kent, and Queens Counties (New Brunswick) as well as the City of Saint John (New Brunswick); all counties of Nova Scotia except Halifax and Kings.
Canadian census records are the best source to use for quickly identifying a family group and residence. The census lists other persons living in the same household and may identify individuals for whom other records do not exist.
Known Issues with This Collection
For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.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.
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Contributions to This Article
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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.
A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.
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