Source Information 1891 Census of Canada [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2008.

Original data: Library and Archives Canada. Census of Canada, 1891. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada: Library and Archives Canada, 2009. Series RG31-C-1. Statistics Canada Fonds. Microfilm reels: T-6290 to T-6427.

About 1891 Census of Canada

This database is an every name index to individuals enumerated in the 1891 Canada Census, the third 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 1891 Census (images are of Library and Archives Canada microfilm reels T-6290 to T-6427).

What Areas are Included:

The 1891 census includes seven provinces - British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, and Quebec – and the Northwest Territories, which at the time was comprised of the districts of Alberta, Assiniboia East, Assiniboia West, Saskatchewan, and Mackenzie River. Other unorganized territories are also included.

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 1891 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 1891 Census was begun on 6 April 1891. 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 6 April 1891
  • Relation to head of family or head of household
  • Sex (M = Male; F = Female)
  • Age
  • Marital Status (Single, Married, Widowed, or Divorced)
  • Country or province of birth
  • Whether French Canadian
  • Birthplace of father
  • Birthplace of mother
  • Religion
  • Profession, occupation, or trade
  • Employer
  • Wage Earner
  • Whether unemployed during the week preceding the census
  • If an employer, state the average number of hands employed during the year
  • Whether able to read and write
  • Whether deaf and dumb, blind, or of an unsound mind