City of Montreal in 1871 - correlating an address with the census sections

+1 vote

I have a brick wall in Montreal in 1869. 

It seems that my gg grandparents were most likely living in Montreal in 1871, but i haven't been able to find them using the search engines.

I'm ready to start reading through the whole census.

But i might as well start in the most likely areas.  I have three location indications.  I don't know if they all indicate the same general part of Montreal, but at least i would like to read those sections of the census first.

The only thing is, i don't know how to correlate these addresses with the census returns.

Does anyone know how to cross-reference street addresses within the Montreal 1871 Census?

Here are the three location hints i have:

My gg grandparents were married in the Presbyterian church of St Matthew on New Years Eve 1869.   The location of that church is described as 787 Wellington Street, corner of Bourgeois near the railway crossing.

I also have a possible sighting in Lovell's Directory of 1870-1871, where the occupants of 183 Centre Street are of great interest to me.

The third location indicator is the 1875 christening of their daughter into the Catholic faith as a toddler.  The baptismal register mentions that the little girl was born in 1874 in Ste Anne's, Griffintown, Montreal.

Any suggestions on where i should start my line-by-line read-thru of the 1871 Census?

Grateful for any help



WikiTree profile: Theresa Sword
in Genealogy Help by Shirlea Smith G2G6 Pilot (227k points)

2 Answers

+2 votes
Hello Shirlea: You have not specifically said which name you are searching for in the Canada census records, but there does not appear to be anyone, anywhere in all of Quebec with the surname, "Sword", in the1871 Canada census. The only bit of good news is that none of the 1871 Montreal records are missing. Are you aware you can search the Canadian Census records at Library and Archives Canada for free and download images that you find? Also tried Ancestry and same results.

PS: Closest are, "Sworth" and "Swords", but not in Montreal.

See image: 183 Centre Street 1871 Canada Census.

Sorry, they have moved by then.
by Jim LaBossiere G2G6 Mach 2 (27.6k points)
edited by Jim LaBossiere
Thanks Jim!  Yes, I've searched the Library and Archives site for years, as well as the images on Ancestry.  It has been in vain, and i am now ready to read the entire census line by line.

I'm not really asking anyone to search for me; all I'm asking for is to be pointed at the most likely section of the 1871 census for this Griffintown/Pointe St Charles part of town.  I have been browsing it in Ancestry, but I'd like to identify the most likely part of town and concentrate on that area.  

The name Sword is exceptionally prone to mis-transcription (when i first found the marriage in the parish registry, Sword was transcribed as Levard, even though the register was indexed by the pastor and this entry was clearly under S).  To further complicate the situation, Thomas Sword was a deserter from the British Army and at some point stopped using his real surname and started using his middle name as his surname.  It is Robertson, so it is much more common, and also prone to be written down as Robinson etc.  

It seems likely that being married in 1869, this young couple should have had a child or two between their wedding day and the 1874 birth of their daughter.  I feel like i might recognize the family group if i see it on the actual enumeration form  - obviously the transcription and index haven't worked to locate it.  

My hope for the census is that it will give some clue as to where (Mary) Theresa Adelaide Marsh, wife of Thomas Sword, came from.  A birthplace would be really nice.
I think Thomas drove a train.  So maybe he wasn't home on Census Day.  Was there a system for enumerating railway crew who were not stationary on census day?
Hi Shirlea: I can't find anything about train crews. Have you tired the wildcard " * ", search feature at Library and Archives Canada? Have you tried the Montreal City Directories? There are three sections to Montreal even in 1871, so that's a lot of images. I would try every trick to narrow it down first.

The Directories is what led me to 183 Centre Street.  Now if i could just figure out where 183 Centre Street is on the census!
Hi Shirlea: What surname did you use in the Montreal Directories to get the address of 183 Centre Street? We need to find some close neighbours with a name that we can find in the 1871 census and that should give you the District. I'll see what I can dig up on which 1871 District Centre Street is. The earliest electoral maps are from 1895 and may not apply to 1871.
That is very kind of you, Jim!  The entry is in Lovells, 1870-71, on page 444:  

Sword, Thomas, driver, 183 Centre.

I can't seem to get a link to just the page - it seems to only link to a very high level inside the BAnQ site.

That section of the Lovell's Directory is in alpha order by surname.  Let me see if there is a different section that goes house to house.
Hi Shirlea: I am using the Steve Morse link you posted a year ago.

You can search alphabetically by name or by street name which lists residents numerically by street number on each street. The 1871 - 1872 Directory matches the 1871 Canada Census.

This link should work. 183 Centre Street, Montreal.

+1 vote,+Montreal,+QC/@45.496923,-73.5579764,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x4cc91af57fbb4527:0x8f5d58f6a860c09a!8m2!3d45.496923!4d-73.5557877 map showing 787 Wellington Street in Montréal

St-Matthew's Presbyterian church is in Pointe-Saint-Charles

Griffintown (note that Ste-Anne's church was demolished in 1970 per this.) listing of districts of that census, ignore anything marked Est (east), Griffintown is either in Centre or Ouest (west).  It's not listed as a sub-district by itself.

all in the same general area
by Danielle Liard G2G6 Pilot (493k points)

Hi Shirlea: I found a map overlay for 1911, but it does show Ste. Anne District as being in the possible area. Do you know how to advance one image at a time on the LAC site, by editing the URL image number one at a time? To move to the next image, change the jpg number in the URL box at the top of the screen.  For example, for image change the jpg number to 00069. 

This is the map:

In 1871, this should be District 106, Sub District A Ste. Anne Ward.

This appears to be the start of Ste, Anne Ward for 1871.

I believe that Ancestry has this in a film strip mode, so you can just scroll along. I'll get back to you on that. Okay, this works on Ancestry. I used the bottom family on the above page, West Clark, born 1826 United States, wife, Betsey, child, Eugene. It comes right up on Ancestry as image 19 of 1141. Ignore the first 18 images, that's all of the preliminary setup stuff.  Good luck, Jim

It appears that the enumerator has put the street names in the right column, so you can move along quickly looking for Centre Street,

Shirlea: Using the Montreal City Directory for 1870-1971, you can get a list of who lived on Centre Street, arranged by address, then search for a close neighbour in the census. Pick an easy name that should not be too corrupted.

The 1871 Montreal City Directory Street Index section states that Centre Street is in St. Ann Ward. They spell it this way, as opposed to the census.

This is making no sense. I am finding immediate neighbours of Thomas Sword as listed in the 1871 directory, but in the 1871 census, they are in a different district entirely, not even close to Ste. Anne Ward.  Will get back to you.

Thanks so much, Jim!
Hi Shirlea: I am working my way through the 1141 images of Ste. Anne Ward for the 1871 Canada Census in Montreal. It appears that Centre Street starts at this image. I am using Ancestry, then checking pertinent images at LAC.

Wouldn't you know it, no street numbers on the census! All the other pages had them.

Centre street ends here:

and starts again here:

Ancestry: image 1016 Have street nos. this time.

Hi Shirlea: Well, it looks like your family has already moved on by the time of the1871 Canada Census. Here is 183 Centre Street and this matches the 1871 - 1872 Montreal Directory for people at 181 and 183 Centre Street. Too bad, this was a good effort. I guess the directory takes information one year and it takes some time to get to print.

They likely lived there in 1870.

Image 1050 on the Ancestry filmstrip.

Sorry we didn't find them. Jim

Thanks so much, Jim!  Too bad they didn't leave a forwarding address!  

It is good to have followed that clue to the bitter end, and now i guess i will find a few more straws to grasp at.  

Loose ends: why can't i find any documentation for children prior to little Janet's baptism in Alexandria?  Why can't i find any deaths/burials, at least for Theresa Adelaide (Marsh) Sword maybe aka Robertson?

I wonder where the railway runs tended to start and end.  Maybe Thomas was posted to a different route, and moved to wherever that route started or ended...

Shirlea, a lot of the Protestant parish records are not indexed or available, at least through Drouin collection (IGD), although they are adding those to their collection gradually.  But 1870 and after only have marriages indexed so far.
Thanks, Danielle!  Are those records still in the hands of the respective parishes?  Should i just roll back the clock and write a few letters to the most likely parishes?  Been there, done that, in the olden days before computers! Could do it again, if that is what is needed....
well, Ste-Anne's no longer exists, no idea where the records would have gone for that one.  You could always try St-Matthew Presbyterian, no idea what sort of answer you may get, never been that route myself.

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