Source Information and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1871 Census of Canada [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2009.

Appreciation is expressed to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for providing the 1871 Canada Census Index.

Original data: Library and Archives Canada. Census of Canada, 1871. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada: Library and Archives Canada, n.d. RG31-C-1. Statistics Canada Fonds. Microfilm reels: C-9888 to C-9975, C-9977 to C-10097, C-10344 to C-10388, C-10390 to C-10395, to C-10540 to C-10570.

About 1871 Census of Canada

This database is an every name index to individuals enumerated in the 1871 Canada Census, the first census of Canada since confederation in 1867. National censuses have been taken every 10 years since 1871 and every five years since 1971.

Due to the poor quality of the original filming, some images are unreadable or very difficult to read. As a result, some names may not appear in the index.

What Areas are Included:

The 1871 census includes the four original provinces – Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, and Ontario.

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 1871 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 1871 Census was begun on 2 April 1871. Answers to census questions were to reflect the individual’s status as of April 2nd, regardless of the day the enumeration actually took place.

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

  • Sex (M = Male; F = Female)

  • Age

  • Born within the last twelve months

  • Country or province of birth

  • Religion

  • Origin (Ethnic Background)

  • Profession, occupation, or trade

  • Married or Widowed

  • Married within last twelve months

  • Instruction – (1) going to school, (2) over 20 unable to read, (3) over 20 unable to write

  • Infirmities – (1) deaf and dumb, (2) blind, (3) unsound mind