Ontario Census 1861 (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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

What is in this Collection?

This census was taken on January 14, 1861 and applied to the residents as of the previous night (January 13, 1861).

Census schedules were taken on large sheets of paper with preprinted rows and columns. They are bound into volumes, arranged by county, then by township and enumeration district.

The Census contains the 1861 census for the province of Ontario. At this time Ontario was not yet part of the Dominion of Canada but was called Canada West.

The census taker took the information on the census day starting January 14, 1861. Census takers were asked to record information about all those who were in each household on the census 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 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 and there were many variations from location to location.

Canadian census records were taken to enumerate the population for representation, taxation, and other purposes.

Census information may have been given by a member of the family or a neighbor.

Census records may contain the following information:

  • Name of resident
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Marital status
  • Religion
  • Place of birth
  • Approximate year of birth
  • Place of residence

How do I Search the Collection?

Search by Name by visiting the Collection Page.

What do I do Next?

I Found Who I was Looking for, Now What?

When you have located the record of your ancestor, the following can help you further your research:

I Can't Find Who I'm Looking for, Now What?

  • Spelling was not standardized, so make sure to check all possible spellings of surnames.
  • Find where your ancestors lived using other records such as the Ontario Deaths. Always go from the 'known' to the 'unknown.'

Known Issues with This Collection

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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 Wiki 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:

"Ontario Census, 1861." Database. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Citing Board of Registration and Statistics. Public Archives, Toronto.

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 Ontario Census 1861.

How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

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