Canada, Census 1891 (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: Canadian Census 1891 Index .
Collection Time Period
The first national Canadian census was conducted in 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).
- 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.
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.
Why This Collection Was Created?
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.
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Contribution to This Article
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Sources of Information for This Collection:
"Canada census, 1891," database, FamilySearch; from Canada Department of Agriculture. "Census of Canada, 1891," National Archives Of Canada, Ottowa, Ontario. FHL microfilm, 138 reels. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.
The format for citing FamilySearch Historical Collections, including how to cite individual archives is found in the following link: How to Create Source Citations for FamilySearch Historical Records Collections
Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the Wiki Article: How to Cite FamilySearch Collections
Please add sample citations to this article following the format guidelines in the wiki article listed above.
Examples of Sourse Citations for a Record in This Collection
"Canada Census, 1891." index and images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org: accessed March 4, 2011), entry for Mary Rogers, age 26; citing Census Records, reference library and archives Canada film 30,953_148,093; National Archives of Canada, Ottowa, Ontario, Canada,
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