Bri­tish and Cana­dian cen­sus in­for­ma­tion is avail­able

Serve Daily - - LOCAL - By Ginny Ack­er­son

Canada­has done a na­tion­wide cen­sus ev­ery 10 years since 1881. Be­fore that, cen­suses were taken at the pro­vin­cial level. The 1871 cen­sus in­cludes Nova Sco­tia, New Brunswick, Que­bec and On­tario and mor­tal­ity sched­ules. 1921 is the lat­est cen­sus avail­able as Canada only re­leases them ev­ery 92 years.

In­for­ma­tion in­cluded in each cen­sus con­sists of name, age, oc­cu­pa­tion, birth place and re­li­gion. 1871 and 1881 in­clude fa­thers’ eth­nic back­ground. Added in 1891 were re­la­tion­ship to head of house­hold, par­ent’s birth­places and whether peo­ple were French Cana­dian. 1901 in­cludes the com­plete date of birth of ev­ery­one in the house­hold, the year of im­mi­gra­tion and the year of nat­u­ral­iza­tion. It also asked if they were of French Cana­dian de­scent and the eth­nic or tribal back­ground of the fa­ther.

In 1911 and 1921, ques­tions were asked about their earn­ings, their em­ploy­ment and oc­cu­pa­tion, lit­er­acy, lan­guage spo­ken, and whether blind, deaf or dumb, lu­natic or id­i­otic. Early cen­suses in­clude the 1825, 1831, and 1842 cen­suses of Lower Canada (South­ern Que­bec and Labrador re­gions). The 1851 Cen­sus is in­com­plete but con­tains in­for­ma­tion on Que­bec, On­tario, New Brunswick and Nova Sco­tia. The 1861 Cen­sus was pro­vin­cial in na­ture and in­cludes New Brunswick, Nova Sco­tia, On­tario, Prince Ed­ward Is­land and Que­bec.

There were two spe­cial cen­suses taken in 1906 and 1916 in only the prairie prov­inces of Man­i­toba, Saskatchewan and Al­berta. Canada had in­sti­tuted a land set­tle­ment pro­gram in these prov­inces and wanted to see how ef­fec­tive it was by tak­ing these in­terim cen­suses. In Eng­land and Wales, cen­suses were taken ev­ery 10 years start­ing in 1801, though the 1841 cen­sus was the first one where all fam­ily names were recorded. In 1841, the only in­for­ma­tion recorded was name, gen­der, oc­cu­pa­tion, whether born in the county of enu­mer­a­tion, whether born in Ire­land, Scotland or For­eign coun­try, and age (rounded down to the clos­est five af­ter age 15).

The fol­low­ing was recorded be­tween 1851 and 1901: full name, age, gen­der, re­la­tion­ship to head of house, mar­i­tal sta­tus, oc­cu­pa­tion, county and par­ish of birth or coun­try of birth if they were born out­side the coun­try, lan­guage spo­ken, ad­dress and med­i­cal dis­abil­i­ties. Prior to 1911, Bri­tish cen­suses were taken by drop­ping off the cen­sus form a cou­ple of days ahead of time for the house­holder to fill out. Then the forms were col­lected by the cen­sus tak­ers. Once each form was en­tered into the cen­sus ledgers, the forms were de­stroyed. The 1911 forms still ex­ist so you can see your an­ces­tors’ hand­writ­ing.

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