Canada Census, 1891 (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Canada Census, 1891 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Canada
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Record Description
Record Type Census
Collection years 1891-1891
Languages English
Title in the Language
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
Public Archives, Ontario


What Is in This Collection?

The official day of the 1891 census for Canada, was taken was April 6, 1891. This is important because it represents the population on that exact day.

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 pre-printed rows and columns. The categories are in both English and French. The schedules were organized by province and then by census districts and sub districts. 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 sub districts 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.

What Can These Records Tell Me?

Census records may contain the following information:

  • Full name
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Approximate year of birth
  • Marital status
  • Religion
  • Town, village, township, or sub-district of residence

How Do I Search the Collection?

You can search the index or view the images or both. To begin your search it is helpful to know:

  • The name of your ancestor
  • The name of a relative or date of the event

Search the Index

Search by name by visiting the Page.

  1. Fill in the search boxes on the Collection Page with the information you have
  2. Click Search to show possible matches

How Do I Analyze the Results?

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images.


For more tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line article FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.


What Do I Do Next?

I Found Who I Was Looking For, What Now?

  • Use the information to find other records such as birth, christening, marriage, land and death records.
  • Use the information to find additional family members.
  • Repeat this process with additional family members found, to find more generations of the family.
  • Church Records often were kept years before government records were required and are a good source for finding ancestors before 1900.

I Can’t Find Who I’m Looking For, What Now?

  • Try viewing the original record to see if there were errors in the transcription of the name, age, residence, etc. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • Collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This list can help you identify possible relations that can be verified by records.
  • If you cannot locate your ancestor in the locality in which you believe they lived, then try searching records of a nearby locality in an area search.
  • Standard spelling of names typically did not exist during the periods our ancestors lived in. Try variations of your ancestor’s name, especially French versions.
  • Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names. Try searching for these names as well.
  • Search the indexes and records of Canada Genealogy.
  • Search in the Canada Archives and Libraries.
  • Search in the FamilySearch Library Catalog
  • 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.

Known Issues With This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to support@familysearch.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.

Citing This Collection

Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.

Collection Citation:

"Canada Census, 1891." Database. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. Citing Department of Agriculture. Public Archives, Ottawa, Ontario.

Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):

When looking at a record, the citation is found below the record. You can search records in this collection by visiting the search page for Canada Census, 1891.


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How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

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Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.