Canada Census, 1871 - FamilySearch Historical Records
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Canada Census, 1871
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|Public Archives, Ontario|
- 1 What is in This Collection?
- 2 What Can These Records Tell Me?
- 3 How Do I Search This Collection?
- 4 What Do I Do Next?
- 5 Known Issues
- 6 Citing This Collection
What is in This Collection?
The census day for Canada in this year was April 2, 1871.
Census schedules were taken on large sheets of paper with pre-printed rows and columns. The schedules were organized by province and then by census districts and sub-districts. It contains the following nine schedules arranged within sub-districts:
- Nominal return of the living
- Nominal return of the deaths within last twelve months
- Return of public institutions, real estate, vehicles, and implements
- Return of cultivated land, field products, and plants and fruits
- Live stock, animal products, home-made fabrics, and furs
- Return of industrial establishments
- Return of products of the forest
- Return of shipping and fisheries
- Return of mineral products
Following the Constitution Act, 1867, census taking became a federal mandate. The national government of Canada has taken censuses every ten years since 1871 and every five years since 1971. The 1871 census covers the four original provinces: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, and Ontario. The first coast-to-coast census was taken in 1881. Newfoundland was not part of Canada until 1949. For Newfoundland few 19th-century censuses that list names have been found. They mostly contain statistical summaries.
National census records are arranged by province and within provinces by census districts and subdistricts. Census districts are voting districts, not counties. Although a voting district may have the same name as a county, it may not include the same townships. In some provinces, townships are equivalent to census sub-districts. Since the boundaries varied from census to census, it is not easy to tell which census district an eastern Canadian township or western Canadian village was in. Contemporary maps of the census districts have been lost or destroyed.
Abbreviations are used in the birthplace field for the names of the Province of birth. For example, O is for Ontario and Q for Quebec. Some entries include a second letter appears in the abbreviation, u stands for urban and r stands for rural. Qu would mean that the person was born in an urban area of Quebec.
Whenever possible FamilySearch makes images and indexes available for all users. However, rights to view these data are limited by contract and subject to change. Because of this there may be limitations on where and how images and indexes are available or who can see them. Please be aware some collections consist only of partial information indexed from the records and do not contain any images. For additional information about image restrictions see Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections.
What Can These Records Tell Me?
The following information may be found in these records:
- Full name
- Approximate birth year
- Place of birth
- Marital Status
- Ethnic origin
- Town, village, township, or sub-district of residence
How Do I Search This Collection?
Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:
- The name of your ancestor
- The name of a relative or date of the event
Search the IndexSearch by name on the Collection Details Page.
- Fill in the search boxes in the Search Collection section with the information you know
- 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. Keep track of your research in a research log.
What Do I Do Next?
I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?
- Add any new information to your records
- Use the ages listed to determine approximate birth dates and find the family in additional censuses
- Use the information found in the record to find church and vital records such as birth, baptism, marriage, and death records
- Use the information found in the record to find land, probate and immigration records
- 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 the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?
- If your ancestor does not have a common name, collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This list can help you find possible relatives
- If you cannot locate your ancestor in the locality in which you believe they lived, then try searching records of a nearby town or county
- Try different spellings of your ancestor’s name
- Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names
The following articles will help you in your research for your family in Canada.
Citing This Collection
Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.
When looking at a record, the citation can be viewed by clicking the drop-down arrow next to Document Information.