1891 Census of Canada Posted at Ancestry

Ancestry.ca logo.bmpThis week Ancestry posted an every-name index (4.5 million names), linked to images of the 1891 Canadian Census. The 1891 census includes seven provinces – British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, and Quebec – and the Northwest Territories, which at the time was comprised of the districts of Alberta, Assiniboia East, Assiniboia West, Saskatchewan, and Mackenzie River. Other unorganized territories are also included.

The 1891 Census was begun on 6 April 1891. The head of household was to be enumerated first, followed by other members of the household. The head of household was responsible for providing all of the information about the household to the enumerator. The following questions were asked by enumerators:

  • Number of family, household, or institution in order of visitation
  • Name of each person in family or household on 6 April 1891
  • Relation to head of family or head of household
  • Sex (M = Male; F = Female)
  • Age
  • Marital Status (Single, Married, Widowed, or Divorced)
  • Country or province of birth
  • Whether French Canadian
  • Birthplace of father
  • Birthplace of mother
  • Religion
  • Profession, occupation, or trade
  • Employer
  • Wage Earner
  • Whether unemployed during the week preceding the census
  • If an employer, state the average number of hands employed during the year
  • Whether able to read and write
  • Whether deaf and dumb, blind, or of an unsound mind

The 1891 Census is available to Ancestry members with World Deluxe or Ancestry.ca memberships and can be searched here.

7 thoughts on “1891 Census of Canada Posted at Ancestry

  1. What I’m really dying for is the 1871 Census. Any idea if/when that will be available?

  2. Mark,
    You can order copies of the 1871 census from the Canadian archives for I think .40 a page and postage. I know it’s not the same as browsing, but if you find someone in the 1871 index you can order. I recently ordered for 4 people (I order the page after too just in case the family is on both) and they included an extra page as my person was on it instead for some reason, which I was grateful for and the total was something like 5.60. I think a pretty good deal.

  3. What happened to the practice of having access to new databases for 2 weeks before requiring membership?

  4. Regarding comment about 1871 census, the OntarioGenWeb is working on indexing and partially transcribing all Censuses in Ontario. It is partially complete and online.
    I appreciate the many many databases ancestry has been posting and adding to. I am especially glad 1891 Canada has finally come online (somewhere). My encouragement/request to the team at Ancestry is to bring on as many available censuses and BMD’s from Canada, Autsralia, New Zealand, Ireland, and other countries, espscially Scandanavia and Eastern Europe/Russia.

    Some people complain about annual membership cost for ancestry. I say it is worth it as there is no way for that price anyone could pay professionals to be able to find (and so quickly) the amount of information available on the Ancestry website. With the exception of so many transcription errors (often which are hard to avoid given the writing script on the originals) I have no complaints about the databases.

    One last comment: The IGI in familysearch.org is an easy tool to use, but includes too many unsourced and assumed entries that are mis-leading and in error. Could Ancestry develope a similar international database but only with indexes of actual records. Further the IGI has so many holes in it. It would be great to have a usuable database that is more complete, similar to what Freereg and FreeBMD is attempting to accomplish for Great Britain.

    Glenn M.

  5. Does anyone know why Newfoundland was left out of this census, or is there another year they did theirs. I just got a marriage certificate, it took 4 months and cost me $22.00

  6. Shirley,
    Newfoundland did not become a province in Canada until 1949. Therefore the first Canadian census available will be 1951 when that gets released.

  7. As a British colony until 1949, there may well be censuses available through the National Archives of the UK. However, worth enquiries of Newfoundland archives first. They might have acquired them already.

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