Canada Monthly - June 2018

+16 votes

Hear ye, hear ye! If you are interested in Canada, and the people who made it what it is today, then the Canadian History Project might be for you!

Canadians in the News

Canadian Notables

The following former Prime Ministers of Canada have open profiles that are not (yet) connected to the main tree:

Canadian Sources

This month, I want to point you to the Census section of the Library and Archives Canada web site. (There's a bunch of other stuff at the LAC site, but for this month, I'm going to stick to the census.) There is no charge to use the site, and you don't have to sign up: it's freely available to anyone. You can see examples of the usefulness of census records on the profile for former Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia Thomas Wilson Paterson.

Theoretically, you should be able to find anyone who lived in Canada (as long as they were here during a census year) from 1851 (when the census included all members of a household for the first time) to 1921 (the last year for which the census results are available). However, you may find it frustrating trying to find ancestors, due to a combination of spelling mistakes by the original enumerators, transcription errors (which are pretty common, although I have often found that the problem lies with either really poor quality scans of the original records, astonishingly bad handwriting by the enumerators, notations made after the fact right over people's records, or a combination of all three), or missing records. (Some sheets have been lost or destroyed, and I understand that the 1931 census records were pretty badly damaged, so we'll probably have pretty slim pickings when those are released.) However, there is a wealth of material available on the LAC web site to help you in your searches. I have also found that the LAC staff are pretty responsive when I write in to alert them to mistranscribed records.

My personal favourite is the 1901 census, because that asked for people's full birthdates, not just years. Some other census years include at least the month, but, of the census years which are available to the public, the 1901 census is the only one to ask for the exact date. Although I have learned to treat ages in the census results with a grain of salt, and try to find other records to determine the actual date. Looking at the records, it appears that some enumerators only asked people their age and then calculated their birth year (and didn't always get their sums right), and others asked people their birth year and then calculated their age (with similar results). Then, too, some people clearly lied to the enumerators. (I have seen cases where women whose husbands were younger than them seem to have been embarrassed by that, because their ages get reduced, and sometimes their husbands' ages get increased, but I've also seen cases where young men have increased their own age, especially underage recruits during wartime.)

Censuses are particularly useful to connectors, because they help you find links (parents, siblings, spouses, children, and sometimes in-laws). 

Provincial Sub-Projects

Past Issues

in The Tree House by Greg Slade G2G6 Pilot (713k points)
edited by Greg Slade
Another resource I have found useful is at this link ... ...It only covers the Niagara area, but it seems many colonists settled this area first. I have found many of my family in it as land owners

2 Answers

+7 votes
Awesome!  Thanks for the tips - just joined up with the First Peoples Project with the M├ętis sub project - need to get some of these parts of my family sourced and the Bios better - I am sure working together we can improve a lot of these profiles and learn and teach along the way!
by Navarro Mariott G2G6 Pilot (172k points)
edited by Navarro Mariott
+3 votes
Thanks for the tips!  Question is there an appropriate way to cite info sourced from LAC?
by Shirley Gilbert G2G6 Mach 6 (68.4k points)

Indeed there is. The Help Page on Sources gives an example of using a census record, and I adapted that format to the information the LAC site gives in citing the census records in the profile for Thomas Wilson Paterson.

You're awesome - thanks so much for the direction.
You're welcome.

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