Canada Census, 1891 (FamilySearch Historical Records)
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Access the records: Canada Census 1891 .
This collection will include records for 1891.
The census day for Canada was taken April 6, 1891.
Census schedules were taken on large sheets of paper with preprinted rows and columns. The categories are in both English and French. The schedules were organized by province and then by census districts and subdistricts. 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 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.
Canadian census records were taken to enumerate the population for representation, taxation, and other purposes.
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. Some information may have been incorrect or falsified.
Citation for This Collection
The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Records collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records.
- Canada Department of Agriculture. Canada Census, 1891. Public Archives of Canada, Ottowa, Ontario.
Important genealogical information in the census includes:
- Full name
- Age (can be used to calculate an approximate birth year)
- Relation to head of family
- Born within the last 12 months
- Country or province of birth
- Married or widowed
- Town, village, township, or subdistrict of residence
How to Use the Records
Canadian census records are the best source for quickly identifying a family group and their residence. Use the residence, birthplace, and age given in the census for each person to search other record types. Since the census attempted to record all the people living in a household, it may identify individuals for whom other records do not exist.
Fill in the requested information in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the ancestors in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to find your ancestor.
Known Issues with This Collection
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Library and Archives Canada (You can find each records image if you use this site)
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Contribution to This Article
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Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
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A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.