A census return is one of the most valuable tools a genealogical researcher can use. In Canada, returns are available from 1666 (for New France) to 1949 (Newfoundland). Most researchers are likely to be looking, however, for the census returns from 1851 through 1916.
Major census sites
Library and Archives Canada
A huge amount of information will be found in this superb website. It includes census, immigration and military information – and those are just the highlights. This remarkable website is a key resource for all Canadian genealogists.
Canadian Genealogy Centre
Part of the Library and Archives Canada collection, with a few unique resources. You can search all the databases at one time.
From the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. Includes an index to several censuses, civil registration extracts, a guide to the library catalog, submitted and extracted records, and more.
Ancestry has indexes to the 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901, 1906, 1911 and 1916 censuses, with links to the images on the Library and Archives Canada website. It also has records specific to provinces, and offers genealogists a chance to exchange their work with each other. It's free to search Ancestry.ca, but you will need a subscription to view the results. A free 14-day trial is available.
Includes free indexes to the 1851/2,1901, 1906 and 1911 censuses.
Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online
Notable people who died between 1000 and 1930.
Search the census in one step
Dr. Stephen Morse of San Francisco has a website that makes it easy to access the Canadian census – and many other resources.
Census Finder - Canada Census Records
A comprehensive directory of Canadian census links along with many genealogy resources. Categorized by province, districts and counties, this useful tool will help you locate Canadian census records online.
By Dave Obee
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