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What Canadian Census Records Reveal About your Ancestors

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Findmypast
30 June 2017

Are you researching your Canadian family history? These records are essential.

Perhaps you're looking for ancestors who you know travelled to Canada but have found no trace of since? If so, we've been steadily building up a collection of record sets that may well make your family history exploration on Findmypast a little easier - Canadian censuses.

We now have 6 full Canadian censuses available to search, and Canadian census records are an unusually rich resource. But what can they tell us?

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The Canadian Census

When the earliest census we currently have was enumerated in 1861, Canada consisted of Canada West (Ontario) and Canada East (Quebec) but it also collected population details for New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. By 1891, this had expanded to 201 census districts and 2,475 sub-districts.

The 1901 census covered 206 census districts and 3,204 sub-districts. 9,000 enumerators took the details of 5,371,315 individuals (compared to 4.5m in 1891). By 1911, this had grown again to over 7 million.

What Censuses Tell You

It's worth noting that it's always worth checking the image for these records, as the information that is transcribed isn't the complete information detailed in the census itself. Also worth bearing in mind is that, depending on from which part of Canada a person hailed, the results can be in English or French.

The transcript page of each census will tell you slightly different things:

1861

1871

1881

1891

1901

1911

1881 Canada Census

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1891 Canada Census

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1901 Canada Census

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1911 Canada Census

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For more information on the fields you can find in the 1911 Canada Census, visit the record page.

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