Nova Scotia Census 1861 Index (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Nova Scotia Census 1861 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Nova Scotia,  Canada
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Flag of Canada
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Location of Nova Scotia, Canada
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Record Description
Record Type Census
Collection years 1861-1861
Languages English
Title in the Language
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
Public Archives, Halifax


What is in this Collection?

These records include the 1861 census for the province of Nova Scotia. The census day was March 30, 1860.

Census schedules were taken on large sheets of paper with pre-printed rows and columns. They are bound into volumes, arranged by county, then by township and enumeration district. Census takers were asked to record information about all those who were in each household on the census day, as well as any who have died since that day. A census taker might have visited a house on a later date, but the information he collected was supposed to be about the people who were in the house on the census day. 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, and there were many variations from location to location. Canadian census records were taken to enumerate the population for representation, taxation, and other purposes.


What Can these Records Tell Me?

Census records usually contain the following information:

  • Name
  • Gender
  • Marital status
  • Race
  • Residence
  • Profession
  • Family members

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 Collection 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 your ancestor in additional censuses.
  • 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 Nova Scotia, Canada Genealogy.
  • Search in the Nova Scotia Archives and Libraries.
  • Search in the FamilySearch Library Catalog


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:

"Nova Scotia Census, 1861" Database. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. Citing Board of Registration and Statistics. Public Archives, Halifax.


Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):

The citation for a record is available with each record in this collection, at the bottom of the record screen. You can search records in this collection by visiting the search page for Nova Scotia Census 1861.


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