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Most of these records are in the English language but there are also records in FrenchFor best results, you should first search using English words and location spellings. If you do not find what you are looking for, try using French.

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e.g. teacher or "Hudson Bay"

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  • Occupation
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  • Marital Status
  • Relation to Head of House
  • Sub-District Number

Source Information

Ancestry.com. 1901 Census of Canada [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006.
Original data: Library and Archives Canada. Census of Canada, 1901. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada: Library and Archives Canada, 2004. <http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/census-1901/index-e.html>. Series RG31-C-1. Statistics Canada Fonds. Microfilm reels: T-6428 to T-6556.

Images are reproduced with the permission of Library and Archives Canada.

About 1901 Census of Canada

This database is an every name index to individuals enumerated in the 1901 Canada Census, the fourth census of Canada since confederation in 1867. In addition, the names of those listed on the population schedule are linked to actual images of the 1901 Census (images are of reels T-6428 to T-6556).

What Areas are Included:

The 1901 census includes seven provinces - British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, and Quebec; two territories - the Yukon Territory and the Northwest Territories*; and one district - the District of Keewatin.

*In 1901 the Northwest Territories was comprised of these seven districts: Alberta, Assiniboia, Athabasca, Franklin, Mackenzie, Saskatchewan, and Ungava.

Why Census Records are Important:

Census records provide many details about individuals and families. They are useful for pinpointing individuals and families in a particular time and place and depict certain aspects of their lives. Because of the amount of information provided in censuses, combined with the fact that individuals are generally shown in "family groups", censuses are often the first sources turned to when beginning family history research.

How the Census is Organized:

For the 1901 census each province was divided into census districts. These districts were subsequently divided into sub-districts. Districts were roughly equivalent to electoral districts, cities, and counties. Sub-Districts were based off of towns, townships, and city wards. Each District and Sub-District was assigned a number for administrative purposes. The District Number is unique only to the province in which it belongs and the Sub-District Number is unique only to the District in which it belongs.

Enumerator Instructions:

The 1901 Census was begun on 31 March 1901. Enumeration was to be completed within 30 days. Individuals were to be enumerated at their usual place of abode, even if they were not at that residence on the night of enumeration. 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 31 March 1901
  • Relation to head of family or head of household
  • Sex (M = Male; F = Female)
  • Colour
    • W = White (people of European descent)
      R = Red (Native Canadians)
      B = Black (people of African descent)
      Y = Yellow (people of Japanese or Chinese descent)
  • Marital Status (Single, Married, Widowed, or Divorced)
  • Month and Date of Birth
  • Year of Birth
  • Age on Last Birthday
  • Country or Place of Birth (if Canada, specify province or territory, add "R" for Rural and "U" for Urban; for people born outside of Canada, specify country)
  • Year of immigration to Canada (or year moved to Canada from another country)
  • Year of Naturalization
  • Racial or Tribal Origin (traced through the father for those of European descent)
  • Nationality
  • Religion
  • Profession or Occupation (if Retired, add "R")
  • Living on Own Means (lived on income other than salary from work, i.e. annuities, pensions)
  • Employer
  • Employee
  • Working on Own Account
  • Working at Trade in Factory of in Home
  • Months employed at Trade in Factory
  • Months employed at Trade in Home
  • Months employed in Other Occupation than in Trade in Factory or in Home
  • Earnings from Occupation or Trade
  • Extra Earnings (than from primary occupation or trade)
  • Months at School in Year
  • Can Read
  • Can Write
  • Can Speak English
  • Can Speak French
  • Mother Tongue (if spoken)
  • Whether blind, deaf or dumb, or of an unsound mind

More specific enumerator instructions are available on the Library and Archives Canada website.

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