Find your ancestors in Canada census 1871

What can these records tell me?

Each result in this collection will provide you with a transcript and image of the original census form. From the transcripts, you may learn the following details:

  • First name(s)
  • Last name
  • Sex
  • Age
  • Birth year
  • Birth place
  • Origin
  • Marital status
  • Religion
  • Family number
  • Subdistrict
  • District
  • Province

Images, hosted at the Library and Archives Canada, will often be able to provide additional details. Since census enumerators often used abbreviations, you may find the following useful.


  • Bible Christian (B.C.)
  • Church of England (C. (of) E.)
  • Church of Scotland (C. (of) S.)
  • Episcopal Methodist Church (E.M.C.)
  • Free Church—Presbyterian (F.C.)
  • Methodist Episcopal Church (M.E.C.)
  • Presbyterian Church of the Lower Provinces (P.C.L.P.)
  • Presbyterian Free Church (P.F.C.)
  • Roman Catholic (R.C.)
  • Reformed Presbyterian (R.P.)
  • United Presbyterian (U.P.)
  • Wesleyan Methodist (W.M.)

Additional shorthand

  • Where a downward stroke (|) or a ‘1’ was recorded where the answer was ‘yes’ or ‘one’.
  • Where a dash (-) was recorded or a field left blank where the answer was ‘no’ or ‘zero’.

See the additional sections on the search screen to learn more about deciphering the images for the 1871 census.

Discover more about these records

The 1871 census began on 2 April 1871. The process of collecting population data for this census included the assignment of 2,789 enumerators to designated areas. For this purpose, Canada was divided into 206 census districts and 1,701 sub-districts.

In total, enumerators gathered information on 3,485,761 individuals in Canada:

  • New Brunswick (285,594)
  • Nova Scotia (387,800)
  • Ontario (1,620,851)
  • Quebec (1,191,516)

In 1967, the census returns were microfilmed, with a re-filming done in 1975. The images provided by the Library and Archives Canada were made by scanning these microfilms. As such, where the microfilm is unreadable, so is the provided image.