Find your ancestors in Canada census 1881

What can these records tell me?

Transcripts of the census have been provided for each result, along with the image of the actual census. Transcripts will include the following information:

  • Name
  • Relationship
  • Sex
  • Age
  • Birth year
  • Birth place
  • Religion
  • Origin
  • Year
  • Family number
  • Subdistrict
  • District name
  • Province
  • Film
  • Other household members

    Images, hosted by Library and Archives Canada, will often provide you with additional information, such as occupation.

    In 1881, Canada consisted of British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, and Quebec. The census began on 4 April 1881.

    The 1881 census covered 192 districts broken up into 2,139 subdistricts. Census districts and subdistricts were composed of cities, towns, townships, Indian reserves, and less-defined areas. Areas that were less defined posed a particular challenge to enumerators and resulted in individuals being missed in the census. This was particularly the case for Aboriginal people living in districts 187 (New Westminster, British Columbia) and 192 (Northwest Territories).

    Unfortunately, the original paper records of this census were destroyed in 1955 following the microfilming done by the Dominion Bureau of Statistics. The process and quality of the microfilming was not consistent and has resulted in some images being of poor quality.