Posted by Ancestry Team on June 10, 2009 in Collections

We just released the final 3 census years to complete the Canadian Census collection from 1851 to 1916.  The Canadian Census Collection represents the first time ever that the 1851/2, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901, 1906, 1911 and 1916 censuses will be fully searchable online. 

For those of us that have some Canadian roots this is a great day. I have already found many records about my ancestors in these collections.  The complete collection is useful for helping to track an ancestor’s life and understanding the family. We have had the complete national census collections for the US and the UK for years now but this is the first time we have it for Canada. We were able to partner with the Library and Archives in Canada and with FamilySearch to make this happen in a very aggressive timeframe from the public release of these records by the Canadian government.

We hope you find a lot of success in this collection and we would love to hear from you about it.


  1. Liz

    I am thrilled to have all the Canadian census records available online now, complete with images. I had previously found only a select few of my ancestors via the time-consuming microfilm search route, and now can expand on that.
    Thanks FamilySearch and Library and Archives Canada — great work!

  2. Beirne

    This is great. I finally found my 2nd great grandfather and his family in Ontario. We knew very little about them but now have a lot more info and family members.

  3. Fiona

    I emailed myself links to lots of Canadian census records from your site so that I could print them with my printer and now none of the links work. I am very frustrated. Will this problem be resolved soon?

  4. Dan Weaver,
    Your company is an advertiser on the David Letterman Show.
    It is time for you to reconsider your sponsorship. Mr Letterman’s comments about Sarah Palin’s daughter were unacceptable, his non-apology today was
    unacceptable. I am sure many people on your management team are parents, ask them how they would feel if Mr Letterman
    implied that a professional baseball player ‘did’ their 14 year old daughter? America is watching.

  5. Mike Ward


    Thank you for bringing this important matter to our attention. I can confirm to you that is not an advertiser or sponsor of the CBS Late Show with David Letterman. It is unclear how the company’s name ended up on this list, but it appears to be a mistake. We would appreciate your help in spreading the correct information.

    Mike Ward
    Public Relations Director

  6. David McCabe

    That’s great, now I can look for all my Canadian ancestors. The trouble is – which of the 1,200 people in my tree are they? I’d like to be able to search my tree by event location.

  7. Fiona

    How come you answered Dan’s question and completely ignored mine about errors in emailed links? You’re obviously reading these posts. I’m glad I don’t have a subscription and that I use Ancestry at the library, if this is how you treat your customers.

  8. Karen

    I am interested in finding out if the English 17th regiment of foot were still in Quebec in 1861. I have tried looking for the private but had no luck with his surname. I have been told that it is not ususual for individuals not to be listed just the regiment at a particular location. The usual way to search is by surname. I tried using the regiment name in keywords but this lead to no result.

  9. Joanne

    These records will be helpful. The roadblock I hit on is those families were orginally from the US, were Tories and moved to Canada late 1700’s and then returned a few generations later. Any assistance for these situations?

  10. Diane

    Does anyone know if the canadian censuses that have been released, have any of the agricultural sheets included? If not will they eventually be scanned?

  11. Liane

    I am excited to see this collection published. However, I was disappointed that many of the “Household Members” listings are incomplete, at least for the 1860 Canadian census results for Quebec and Ontario. I have found that this information saves a lot of time when weeding through US Census search results. Is Ancestry planning on updating the Household Members to include more than a single individual?

  12. cc

    i would quit using if you quit advertising on david letterman for any thing he said. we live in a country that has freedom of speech. thank you

  13. Karen

    I would like to adjust what I said at 8, the English 1st batt. 17th regiment of foot [Leicestershire], were still in Canada in 1861 [I believe they were still in quebec]. I would like to know if they participated in the census. I have tried using the regiment name in keywords no result, also tried a few surnames of senior officers listed in the 1857 Canadian directory, with no results. Since a NO result can mean either there is nothing to find or that I have searched incorrectly; can you please advise the correct way to search to find, a regiment in a census. Thank you.

  14. Duane Dean

    Robert Dean and I created a Tree back to 1640. Lots of time and money.

    1. He is dead. How do I get access to the tree??

    2. Does Ancestry have UK records before 1640?

  15. Karen C

    Sorry to be off topic, but I just noticed the WW1 Draft Card blog.

    That’s great that you are fixing the database! Any chance that you’ll be doing Ohio, Cleveland area, any time soon? And Pennsylvania? I only asked you about 3 years ago to fix my Ancestors draft card. (He’s in Cleveland.)

    BTW, I did have ancestors in Canada, and I’ll be searching for them shortly.

  16. Sodindo Banana

    Awesome… I’ve already made a lot of use of these updates! It’s like finally finding a big flashlight for that big cave I’ve been stumbling around in. lol

    P.S. I’d also like to thank Dan for trying to force politics into a totally unrelated thread… “America is watching”? Grow up.

  17. Nancy Dauphinee

    I can’t seem to find a printable blank 1916 Canadian Census form nor can I find the date(s) the census was taken. Is this information available on the site and if so, where can I find it?

  18. Jack MacRae

    THANKS! It’s great to have all of the Canadian Censuses available. I can find my people by browsing, but I can’t find them in the indexes in order to download the images to my tree. Are the indexes complete for Upper Canada ie, Victoria and Old Ontario Counties?

  19. Jade


    It is lovely to get access to these images on

    But they are not complete. Where are the other three pages of the 1851 census? Ancestry has put up only the first page (with names, ages) and omitted the additional pages with further details, such as type of house.

    So strike the word “complete” unless you can add the full image set for 1851.

  20. Darlene MacPherson

    Wow, what can be searched for free in Canada will now be charged for in the States. I’ll stick to the Canadian Library and Archives.

  21. Bob Scott

    I don’t want to comment on this article. But it’s one of the few I click on that gives me a comment box. I’ve spent 20 minutes trying to find another. In any event, when I complained that wills of Chariton County, Mo., seemed to be missing the names of testators, I received the following reply, “We are sorry that you are encountering difficulty. The records that you retrieve may or may not contain all of the information that you are searching for. We suggest that you do further searching of the records available to find more information.” I can’t believe that the help desk person even looked. Just what kind of knowledge does a support person has when they can’t understand the importance of the name of a testator in a will.

  22. Susan Derkoch

    I am thrilled that you were able to add these databases. Thank you and keep up the great work

  23. Hi! Just wanted to say thanks! for I really enjoy genealogy,I’ve done for a long time. The best part about I can do my genealogy at home instead of going to the library. Thanks! again

  24. Diane

    Just a note to people searching the 1851 Canadian Census… the census for the person you found continues on the next page! Be sure to check the following page by clicking on the ‘NEXT’ button.

    Cheers, Diane

  25. Thanking you for giving me such an opportunity to blog something about my favorite site A real clear, cool site.Hats off to you..

  26. Sherry

    God Bless you Ancestry for indexing the 1861 and 1871 Census……now I can delete the 1861 and 1871 for Haldimand off my computer!!

    I have been waiting for this for so long as the 1851 did not survive in a few areas that I had folks in. I live in the States and it would take hours to find my folks on microfilm.

    I know I am pushing the envelope a tad.. What about the 1842 that was taken in some areas of Ontario? Any plans for that?

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