Canadian Census Online


Got this release from the FFHS about free access to the Canadian Census online…….

Hope this helps those with ancestors who emigrated to Canada.

The Canadian census indices are very comprehensive and they are all free to access (except 1861 and 1871 – see below notes). The earlier census years are very important for research on UK people who migrated to Canada before 1911.

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) ( has the images on-line for the following:

1851/52 for Canada East (now Quebec)

1851/52 for Canada West (now Ontario)

1881 for all of Canada

1891 for all of Canada

1901 for all of Canada

1906 for the Northwest Provinces – Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta

1911 for all of Canada

Only the censuses of 1881 and 1891 are name searchable. 1881 uses the sometimes difficult Utah index: inspires creativity. The Catalogue of Census Returns on microfilm 1666-1901 digitized on the LAC site gives a list of what years are available in any given census locality.

The 1861 and 1871 Canadian censuses are particularly valuable for gaining an insight into how one’s ancestors lived. These census forms asked many questions other than the basic ones. Especially in rural areas, which comprised much of early Canada, one may learn what crops were harvested, how much land was under what cultivation, what farm animals the family owned (and even slaughtered), what farm equipment they owned, what kind of houses they lived in and much more. 1871 had up to 9 schedules. Needless to say not all questions were pertinent to each family.

1901, 1906 and 1911 can only be searched by the geographic area not the name. However, as stated in the previous email, the website Automated Genealogy has had a large number of volunteers index these records by name. Their site links to the images on Library and Archives Canada.

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