Saturday, August 23, 2008

Census of Canada, 1881

Many of us with Canadian ancestry have relied on the transcribed 1881 Canadian census database at But how about free access to digital images of the census? It's available and easy to use, I quickly located my great-grandmother Martha Dow in Canterbury, New Brunswick! Here's the scoop:

The 1881 Census offers a rich source of information about Canada and Canadians. Through this research tool, you can access digitized images of original census returns which list the name, age, country or province of birth, nationality, religion, and occupation of Canada's residents at the time of the 1881 Census. This includes notable figures such as Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Sir Robert Laird Borden, and Sir John A. Macdonald.

Library and Archives Canada gratefully acknowledges the contribution of Statistics Canada ( and the Genealogical Society of Utah (, without which this project would not have been possible.

You can learn more about the history of the Canadian census at 'The Living Census: Sharing 340 Years of Canadian Growth' (, developed by Statistics Canada in collaboration with Library and Archives Canada.

What would you like to do? You can search census records, learn about the Canadian experience in 1881, including a description of famous and notable Canadians, and learn how the census was collected and how to interpret the column headings and abbreviations.

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