Métis Nation of Ontario
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Ottawa, ON
K1N 9G4

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Government of Canada Census Records

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1842 Census

Taken by the government of Canada East and Canada West. The heads of household was listed but every one was enumerated. Only some parts have survived. These are for townships in the districts of Gore, Niagara, Newcastle, Midland, Johnstown and Ottawa. One can find the microfilm numbers in Catalogue of Census Returns on Microfilm. The parts that survive have been indexed and transcribed by those branches of Ontario Geneological Society (OGS) that are located in the surviving parts.

1848 and 1850

Only the returns for the districts of Huron, Johnstown and Newcastle and a few isolated fragments from other districts survive. Only the head of the family was named. There is excellent information about theses records in Brian Dilts’ book. The microfilm numbers for the Johnstown and Newcastle district are found in the Catalogue of Census Returns. The index is found on microfiche.

1851

This is the first census to list everyone in the household. It was actually taken early in 1852. Key questions for genealogists are age at next birthday, place of birth. Other questions ask for the names and gender of any family member who were born 1851 or died in 1851. The agriculture section lists the concession and lot number, number of acres, kinds of crops and animals on the property. Digitized images for the sections that Genealogy http://automatedgenealogy.com/ has indexed most of the 1851 census.  The 1851 census is also included in Ancestry.ca database.  It can be searched by county and township. IF a section is missing it is still listed shown as a non-link. The agriculture section follows each section.  The Family History Library at http://familysearch.org has the online index developed by Ancestry.ca. There are no images.

1861

This census was taken 14 January 1861. Some of the questions included: age at next birthday, whether the head of household was married during the year, whether coloured, mulatto or Indian. Other questions asked whether people in the household were member of the family, if anyone was born or died in 1860.  If someone died they were asked to provided their age and cause of death. Other questions asked about the house, number of families living in the house, animals and number of acres. There is no agricultural section. Microfilm copies are available through Interlibrary Loan or may be found in local Ontario libraries. The 1861 census is part of Ancestry.ca. The index is attached to digitized images that can be searched by county and township. IF a section is missing it is still listed but is shown as a non-link.

1871

This census was taken 2 April 1871. All schedules are found on microfilm. Some of the questions included:  name, age, county or province or birth, religion, origin, occupation, married or widowed, education level, infirmities. If born, married or died in last twelve months. If a person died the month and cause of death were given. Origin relates to the paternal ancestor. The agricultural schedule asked for concession and lot number, whether an owner, tenant or employee, number of acres, types of crops and their yields. There were three artificial counties created for this census – Bothwell, Cardwell and Monck that were made up of the following townships.

Bothwell                       
Cardwell Monck
Bothwell, Kent Co.                  
Adjale, Simcoe Co. Caistor, Lincoln Co.
Camden, Kent Co. Albion, Peel Co. Canborough, Haldimand Co.
Dawn, Lambton Co. Bolton, Peel Co. Dunn, Haldimand Co.
Dresden, Kent Co. Caledon, Peel Co. Dunnville, Haldimand Co.
Euphemia, Lambton Co. Mono, Simcoe Co. Gainsborough, Lincoln Co.
Howard, Kent Co. - Moulton, Haldimand Co.
Orford, Kent Co. - Pelham, Welland Co.
Ridgetown, Kent Co. - Sherbrooke, Haldimand Co.
Thamesville, Kent Co. - Wainfleet, Welland Co.

Microfilm copies are available through Interlibrary Loan or may be found in local Ontario libraries.  A head of household index to the 1871 for Ontario was carried out by the branches of the Ontario Genealogical Society under the direction of Bruce Elliott.  This index is found on the Library & Archives of Canada (LAC) website. An index to the 1871 is found at Family Seach.org. The 1871 census is part of Ancestry.ca. The index is attached to digitized images that can be searched by county and township.  Schedule 2 – Deaths is found at the end of each section.

1881

This census was taken 4 April 1881. Only the nominal schedule was microfilmed. Some of the questions included: name, age, country or province of birth, born in last 12 months, religion, origin, occupation, whether married or widowed. Bothwell, Cardwell and Monck are still enumeration counties. The nominal index was the only schedule that was microfilmed. The index and digitized images of the census are found on “Ancestor Search” at Library and Archives Canada. Many of the pages are faded but most can be enlarged so one can make out the information. Due to handwriting and interpretation problems the index, which was developed by familysearch.org, is a challenge. The head of household index created by Lorne Main is more reliable. The 1881 census is part of Ancestry.ca. The index is attached to digitized images that can be searched by county and township.

1891

This census was taken 6 April 1891. Bothwell, Cardwell and Monck are still enumeration counties. Only the nominal schedule was microfilmed. Some of the questions include: name, age, country or province of birth, marital status, relationship to the head of family, religion, origin, occupation, birth place of father and mother of  each person. One question asked about the number of rooms in the house and whether it was made of wood, brick or stone. B ½ would mean 1 room upstairs, 2 rooms downstairs. Each enumerator described tents and shanties in their own manner. The index and digitized images of the 1891 census are found on “Ancestor Search” at Library and Archives Canada. An index for the 1891 census is found at familysearch.org. The 1891 census and index are found on Ancestry.ca. Individual branches of the Ontario Genealogical Society have indexed the 1891 census for their membership area. These are available for sale. I would think that these indexes would be more reliable because the indexers would be familiar with the residents in their areas.

1901

This census was taken 31 March 1901. Bothwell, Cardwell and Monck are still enumeration counties. Only the nominal, Schedule 1, and the “The Return of Buildings and Lands, Churches and Schools,” Schedule 2, were microfilmed. In the book Catalogue of Census Returns 1901 states that there are some random samples of other schedules inserted periodically.  Questions included: name, age, date of birth, country or province of birth, marital status, relationship to the head of family, religion, origin, and occupation of each person. Of particular note was the question about colour and racial origin. Those with Aboriginal blood were described as “R” for red. Under the heading racial origin there could be the term Indian and the tribal designation. For those of mixed blood they were to state the racial origin of the father followed by the initial “B” or “HB” for Half-Breed. Examples would be FB - French Half-Breed, SB – Scotch Half-Breed, EB – English Half-Breed, “IB” –Irish Half-Breed  or ‘OB’ – other Half-    Breed. Sometimes there might be a tribal origin given as well. It is important to note that many well-known Métis families in Ontario are not identified as Half-Breed in this census. Copies of the census are available at libraries or through Interlibrary Loan. Digitized images are found on the “Ancestor Search” page at Library and Archives Canada.

An index and a link to the Library and Archives of Canada (LAC) digitized images for the 1901 census for Ontario is found at the Automated Genealogy website. The Family History Library (FHL) has an index at http://familysearch.org but there are no attached images. Another index is found at Ancestry.ca along with link to the LAC digitized images.  At Ancestry.ca it is possible to select a specific location and read that district page by page. Schedule 2 of the census is found at the end of the nominal section.

1911 Census

This census was taken 1 June 1911. Questions included: name, age, month and year of birth, country or province of birth, marital status, relationship to the head of family, religion, racial or tribal origin, and occupation of each person. There was a question about where the family was living that included the concession and lot number, street and house number and nearest post office. Other questions asked about education, literacy and mother tongue. It should be noted that if the family had white and aboriginal parents the racial background of the mother was to be noted. Copies of the census are available at libraries or through Interlibrary Loan. Digitized images are found on the “Ancestor Search” page at Library and Archives Canada.

An index and a link to the Library and Archives of Canada (LAC) digitized images for the 1901 census for Ontario is found at the Automated Genealogy website
http://automatedgenealogy.com/census/. The Family History Library (FHL) has an index at
http://familysearch.org but there are no attached images. Another index is found at Ancestry.ca along with link to the Library and Archives of Canada (LAC) digitized images.  At Ancestry.ca it is possible to select a specific location and read that district page by page.

  • If you are unable to find the name in an index look for the neighbours.
  • Paper copies of indexes and the one at Automated Genealogy provide guide for various spellings of names.

 

 
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