Locating An Individual in a Rural Canadian Census (National Institute)Edit This Page

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The original content for this article was contributed by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies in June 2012. It is an excerpt from their course Canadian Census Part 1 and Part 2  by Doris Bourrie, CG. The Institute offers over 200 comprehensive genealogy courses for a fee ($).


To locate an individual in a rural area, the name of the township should be known. For the 1851, 1861 and 1871, 1901 census, as well as the 1911 census, the geographical location of the individual may also be determined within the township. This is accomplished in various ways, depending on the census year consulted.

Contents

Example for 1851 rural census:

The 1851 census includes an agricultural census listing at the end of each township. You may locate your individual in the personal census enumeration, and then search for his entry in the agricultural census for that township. The personal census indicates personal information regarding the family members, while the agricultural census will indicate concession and lot number of property, and agricultural statistics.

In some cases this method will not work, if all or part of the agricultural census for your township is missing. However, there is a way to partially overcome this problem.

The 1851 census for Blenheim Township, Oxford County is found on LAC film C-11745. The film leader at the beginning of the reel indicates that Blenheim Township was enumerated in 2 parts, and also indicates that the agricultural census Part II for Blenheim Township is missing.

The information given at the top of each page of Part I indicates: Personal Census Enumeration, District No.1, Twp. of Blenheim, in the County of Oxford, Comprising 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th Concessions of the said township.

The information given at the top of each page for Part II indicates: Personal Census Enumeration, District No. 2, Twp. of Blenheim, in the County of Oxford, Comprising the 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th Concessions. (Those words indicated in bold print were added by the enumerator to complete the printed information at the top of the pages for these two portions. These titles were on the wider part of the form and are not shown on the example). Census Records Microfilm Leader for Oxford County, Canada West.

Film Leader for Oxford county, Canada West.jpg
1851 Census Canada West, Oxford County, Blenheim Twp.jpg




































The entry for the family of Thomas Taylor is located on printed page No. 193 located in Part II of this township. As no agricultural census for Part II of Blenheim township has survived, it is not possible to locate Thomas Taylor in the agricultural portion of this census in order to determine where his property was located. However, because he was enumerated in Part II of the personal census, we know that he lived somewhere between the 8th and 14th concessions of the township. This information will be useful in locating his land records, even though the agricultural census was missing.

Example for 1861 rural census:

The agricultural section of the 1861 census was also conducted by township, and all entries for a county are usually found at the end of the personal census records for the whole county. Generally, these agricultural pages are listed by township, and you would consult your township pages to locate your family. The township agricultural schedules were not necessarily filmed in the same order as the township personal schedules, and sometimes an enumerator failed to write the name of the township at the top of his pages. The Library and Archives Canada finding aid suggests that the researcher search the agricultural section for the entire county, as some pages may not be in the proper order.

Example for 1871 rural census:

Because all 9 schedules of the 1871 census were preserved, this is the most complete census record available to researchers. Once the family is located in Schedule 1 “Nominal return of the living”, this information may be easily used to determine the rural location of the family in Schedule 4 “Return of cultivated land, of field products and of plants and fruits”, or what we commonly refer to as the agricultural schedule.

To determine if Felix Keenan owned land in Kingston township, locate Schedule No. 4, Return of cultivated land, or field products and of plants and fruits, for Sub-District A3, Kingston township. The first column of Schedule 4 is entitled “Reference to Schedule 1”, and is divided into two subheadings, Page and Line. Look down this column on each page until you locate the entry for page 23, line 9, the entry number for Felix Keenan as located in Schedule No. 1. This one-line entry applies to the family of Felix Keenan and indicates that he is the owner of 50 acres, Concession 5, lot 34 of Kingston township, and gives his agricultural return. With this information it is now possible to trace land records for this family.

Census Record

1871 Census of Canada, Ontario, Frontenac County (district 65), Kingston Twp..jpg

Agricultural Census

1871 Agricultural Census of Canada, Schedule No. 4.jpg

To determine if Felix Keenan owned land in Kingston township, locate Schedule No. 4, Return of cultivated land, or field products and of plants and fruits, for Sub-District A3, Kingston township. The first column of Schedule 4 is entitled “Reference to Schedule 1”, and is divided into two subheadings, Page and Line.

Look down this column on each page until you locate the entry for page 23, line 9, then entry number for Felix Keenan as located in Schedule No. 1. This one-line entry applies to the family of Felix Keenan and indicates that he is the owner of 50 acres, Concession 5, lot 34 of Kingston township, and gives his agriculture return. With this information it is now possible to trace land records for this family.

This same method may be used to relate Felix Keenan to any of the other schedules contained in this census. Conversely, if you already know that Felix Keenan was located on a farm on lot 34, Concession 5 of Kingston township, you could first consult Schedule 4 under the heading Concession and Lot, until you found the proper concession and lot number. By checking the first column for that entry you can then refer to the appropriate page and line number of Schedule 1 to locate Felix Keenan. If more than one family lived on the lot, you would need to make a note of all the page and line numbers, and check these for your family.

The 1871 census for all of the province of Ontario has been indexed (we will discuss this census indexing project further in the next module) but the above method is useful if you do not have access to the index, or if you are working with the 1871 census for a different province.

There is no agricultural schedule available for the 1881 and 1891 census records. For these years it is necessary to search the appropriate township for your family, and to consult contemporary farmers’ directories for an indication of agricultural holdings.

Example for 1901 rural census:

Two schedules have survived for the 1901 census. Schedule No. 2, Buildings and Lands, Churches and Schools is located at the beginning of each sub-district. The first column of this Schedule is a cross-reference to Schedule 1, Nominal Return of Living Persons, page and line, similar to the 1871 census. Column 2 indicates “Place of habitation” and will contain one of three types of information, depending on the area being enumerated.

These choices were:

i. Name of municipal township or parish
ii. Range or concession and lot or cadastre number
iii. Street and house number

Following Schedule No. 2, is Schedule No. 1, Nominal Return of Living Persons for that sub-district.


This resulted in Schedule No. 2 appearing on a different microfilm reel than Schedule No. 1 for the same sub-district. This is not explained in the Catalogue of Census Returns on Microfilm 1901/Catalogue de recensements sur microfilm 1901, Ottawa: National Archives of Canada.

Therefore, if you look up Victoria, British Columbia in the Catalogue you will see:

Victoria:

1901 T6429
1901 T6436

This does not mean that there are two reels of film containing the entire 1901 census for Victoria, British Columbia. You will find Schedule No. 1 for Victoria on reel T-6429, and Schedule No. 2 for Victoria on reel T-6436. In general, if there are two reels indicated for a place in British Columbia, or for a place in Manitoba, the lowest numbered film will contain Schedule No. 1 for that place, and the higher numbered film will contain Schedule No. 2 for the same place.

Example:
George Caldwell, farmer, Oro Township, Simcoe County, Ontario

The family of George Caldwell is located in Schedule No. 1 of the 1901 census for District 113, Simcoe East, Sub-District 2, Oro Township, Poll Sub-Division J1, on page 6, line 25, dwelling no. 52, family no. 59, Library and Archives Canada film T-6496.

By cross-referencing page 6, line 25 with Schedule No. 2, located at the beginning of Poll Sub-Division J1, you will see that page 6, line 25 is located on page 2 of Schedule No. 2 and refers to Concession 3, Lot 20, indicating that George Caldwell and his wife Margaret lived on this lot.

When the family of George Caldwell is located in Schedule No. 1 on page 6, the researcher will notice that there is also a George A. Caldwell and wife listed on page 6, line 39, dwelling no. 55, family no. 62. Could this Caldwell family be related to George Caldwell and his wife Margaret? Where do they live in relationship to George and Margaret?

A third Caldwell family is also listed on this page, starting on line 1 with Mary Caldwell and her children. Looking back one page the researcher will see Robert Caldwell, page 5, line 50, dwelling no. 49, family no. 55. Does this family live near George and Margaret? Could there be a relationship among all these families?

Referring this information back to Schedule No. 2, the researcher will determine that Robert Caldwell, page 5, line 50, lives on concession 2, east ½ lot 18 and concession 3, east ½ lot 17 and other premises; George A. Caldwell lives on concession 3, east ½ lot 22. Both live very close to George and Margaret Caldwell, living on concession 3, lot 20 and further searching of the land records may be worthwhile for these two families.

Example for 1911 rural census:

One schedule has survived for the 1911 census—Schedule 1, Nominal Return of Living Persons. The fourth column of this Schedule indicates “Place of habitation” and will contain one of three types of information, depending on the area being enumerated.

These choices were:

i. Name of municipal township or parish
ii. Range or concession and lot or cadastre number
iii. Street and house number

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Information in this Wiki page is excerpted from the online course Canadian Census Part 1 and Part 2 offered by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies. To learn more about this course or other courses available from the Institute, see our website. We can be contacted at wiki@genealogicalstudies.com
____________________________________________________________

Information in this Wiki page is excerpted from the online course Canadian Census Part 1 and Part 2 offered by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies. To learn more about this course or other courses available from the Institute, see our website. We can be contacted at wiki@genealogicalstudies.com

We welcome updates and additions to this Wiki page.


 

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