Images are reproduced with the permission of Library and Archives Canada.
The population of Canada's western half grew significantly in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as the Canadian Pacific Railway was completed and immigrants began to settle in the area. The province of Manitoba, which was originally created in 1870 and was comprised basically of the city of Winnipeg, continued to expand in size over the years. In 1905 its borders were redefined as the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan were created.
Because these provinces did not exist (except for Manitoba to some degree) in 1901 when the previous census was conducted and because the government wanted to keep track of the rising population in these regions of the country, a special census of the Prairie provinces was ordered to be taken in 1906. A separate census was taken for the Prairie provinces 5 years after every national census from 1906-1956. In 1956 national censuses began being taken every 5 years.
This database is an every name index to individuals enumerated in the 1906 Census of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. In addition, the names of those listed on the population schedule are linked to actual images of the 1906 Census located on the Library and Archives Canada website (images are of reels T-18353 to T-18363).
What Areas are Included:
The 1906 census included the provinces of Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan.
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 1906 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 survey land descriptions. 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.
Individuals were to be enumerated at their usual place of abode, even if they were not at that residence on the day of enumeration. The head of household was to be enumerated first, followed by other members of the household listed 'in regular order'. 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
- Relation to head of family
- Marital Status (Single, Married, Widowed, or Divorced)
- Country or Place of Birth
- Year of immigration to Canada
- Post Office Address (entered for the head of family only)
Location information (section, township, range, and meridian) as well as livestock information (number of horses, milk cows, other horned or neat cattle, sheep and lambs, and hogs and pigs) were also recorded.