Canada, Census 1891 (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page
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Access the records: Canada Census 1891 .
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 first national Canadian census was conducted in 1891.
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 as anyone in the household, or even neighbors, could give information to the census taker. Some information may have been incorrect or 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.
- Canada Department of Agriculture. Canada Census, 1891. Public Archives of Canada, Ottowa, Ontario.
Important genealogical information in the census includes:
- Full name
- Age (can be used to calculate an approximate birth year)
- Relation to head of family
- Born within the last 12 months
- Country or province of birth
- 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.
Known Issues with This Collection
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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
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
"Canada Census, 1891." database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org: accessed 4 April, 2012), Mary Rogers, age 26; citing Census Records, reference library and archives Canada film 30,953_148,093; National Archives of Canada, Ottowa, Ontario, Canada. FHL microfilm, 138 reels. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.
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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