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The pre-1870 census returns of Manitoba (Red River Settlement) list the heads of households and some other information such as, age, religion, country of birth, married or widowed, number of sons and daughters, and agricultural data (for example, the number of livestock, the number of buildings, and the number of acres under cultivation). Almost all of these censuses were taken by the Hudson’s Bay Company.
The Hudson’s Bay Company Archives at http://www.gov.mb.ca/chc/archives/hbca/ has census returns for the years 1827, 1828, 1829, 1830, 1831, 1832, 1833, 1835, 1838, 1840, and 1843 which are indexed. A microfilm copy for the first two hundred years of this company, 1670–1870, is on deposit at the National Archives of Canada and at the Family History Library.
The Provincial Archives of Manitoba at http://www.gov.mb.ca/chc/archives/ has census returns for the years 1832, 1833, 1838, 1840, 1843, 1846–1847, 1849, and 1856 (incomplete). These are available on microfilm at the National Archives of Canada, the Family History Library, or at local Family History Centers.
The first census of Manitoba with names of each member of the household was taken in 1870. It includes name, age, birthplace, religion, and citizenship. There is a surname index to this census. Census returns for Manitoba with names of each member of the household were also taken in 1881, 1891, 1901, and 1911. These are available on microfilm at Library and Archives Canada, the Family History Library, Family History Centers, and at many provincial archives and larger public libraries. The 1885 and 1886 provincial censuses as well as the Canadian censuses from 1921 to the present are not available to the public, although catalogs and finding aids may be available.
Censuses beginning in 1881 are national censuses taken by the federal government. Most national censuses have been indexed. Indexes and links to them are listed at the Library and Archives Canada web site.