Canada, Census 1891 (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page
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Access the records: Canada Census 1891 .
The official day of the 1891 census for Canada, was taken was April 6, 1891.
Canadian census records were taken to enumerate the population for representation, taxation, and other purposes.
Census schedules were taken on large sheets of paper with preprinted rows and columns. The categories are in both English and French. The schedules were organized by province and then by census districts and subdistricts. This collection of the 1891 census contains the population schedules for the provinces of British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, and the Northwest Territories (Alberta, Assiniboia, and Saskatchewan).
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 third national Canadian census was conducted in 1891. 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.
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.
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, 1891." Index. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing Department of Agriculture. Public Archives, Ottawa, Ontario.
These census records may contain the following information:
- Full name
- Approximate year of birth
- Marital status
- Town, village, township, or subdistrict 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 place and year 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.
Using the Information
When you have found the information that you are looking for, the following will help aid you in your research:
- Use the birthplace and age given in the census for each person to search the Canada, Births and Baptisms, 1661-1959 collection.
- If the census lists their religious affiliation, search the church records for the province that your ancestor is listed in.
Unable to Find Your Ancestor?
If you haven't found any information about your ancestor, please consider the following tips to help further your research:
- Search available indexes before using the census records. As indexes may be incomplete or incorrect, if you have reason to believe your ancestor should have been in the census, search the census even if your ancestor is not in the index.
- These censuses list a large proportion of the population. Unfortunately, portions of some have been lost, and some geographical areas within the provinces were missed by the census takers.
General Information About These 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.
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.
- Library and Archives Canada (You can find each records image if you use this site)
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Contribution to This Article
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Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
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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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