Monday, July 27, 2009

Bonuses in the Canadian Census Records on Ancestry

I've been busy working on organizing my genealogical digital media. I decided to start with my Canadian ancestors because I hadn't searched through all the new censuses that were added to Ancestry in June. I had previously searched the censuses at the Allen County Public Library for my direct ancestor and any collateral relatives that I happened to find. This left me with many blanks in my research.

In searching the Censuses of Canada, I have found a couple interesting additions:

The first thing I found was that the 1861 Census of Canada includes the agricultural census. I love using the agricultural census to help tell the story of my ancestors. With lots of farmers in my direct lines, I want to know how much land they had, what they grew, the types of animals they raised and how much money they were making.

The 1861 Agricultural census is indexed by county/district. Instead of a township or town, it will tell you "All Places (agricultural)". I actually missed these when I started searching, because I was narrowing my search by the township. Now I need to go back and collect all of the agricultural censuses.

The 1861 Census also includes 2 pages, so make sure you click for the next image and save that as well. The second page seems to be a mini-agricultural census for non-farmers.

The second things I found was that the 1871 Census of Canada includes a schedule for deaths in the last 12 months (a mortality schedule). This schedule is also indexed, but it does not distinguish deaths in the index. So if you find a person with the same surname in the index in a certain location, but not in your family you may want to check each of them. You can also find these deaths on the last page of the images for a selected location.

I wish that all of the agricultural and mortality schedules were available for all of the census years. I believe that the reason these are available has to do with the way the census was microfilmed. When microfilming the 1861 census, they must have included the agricultural census at the end of the county's population schedule. This did not happen in other census years it would seem.

I hope this information help to add you your search for your ancestors. Leave a comment if it did.

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