Canadian Census
?  History of Census Returns, 1666-1861
The Intendant Jean Talon who listed 3,215 inhabitants undertook the first census of Canada in
1666.  Talon  is considered  the “father”  of  modern census  taking in  Canada, for  his work
provided details of the basic resources and needs of the colonies and opened the way for future
censuses to be taken on a regular basis.  Prior to 1841, however, provision for the regular taking
of a census was not made by statue in most of the provinces that were to form Canada at
Confederation.  Various efforts were made on an irregular basis, notably in Nova Scotia (1811,
1817, 1827, 1838) and in Quebec (1825 and 1831).  In Upper Canada, there was from 1793 (3
Geo. III, c.. 2) A series of statutes requiring the taking of a census on an annual basis, beginning
with “a true and complete list of every male and female” resident in each district but later
reverting to a nominal listing only for the heads of households.  Such surviving listings, however,
are few and scattered.  By 1851, the pattern of decennial census taking had been established.
However, not until Confederation in 1867 did the taking of the censuses become a constitutional
requirement, and in 1871, the first Dominion census was conducted.1
? Census of 1871
The most extensive and by far the most comprehensive census records in the custody of the
Public Archives of Canada are those for the year 1871.  These records have been organized and
filmed so that all nine schedules for each enumeration district are brought together as a unit.
The schedules are as follows:
1.  Nominal return of the living
2.  Nominal return of the deaths within the last twelve months.
3.  Return of public institutions, real estate, vehicles and implements.
4.  Return of cultivated land, of field products and of plants and fruits.
5.  Return of live stock, animal products, homemade fabrics and furs.
6.  Return of industrial establishments.
7.  Return of products of the forest.
8.  Return of shipping and fisheries.
9.  Return of mineral products.
Users of the 1871 census records should be aware that it is possible to relate the information in
schedules 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, and 9 directly to the nominal return (Schedule 1).  In these six schedules,
page and line references to the nominal census returns are located in the first column of each
page, entitled “Reference to Schedule 1“.
 1. Hillman, Thomas A.  Catalogue of Census Returns on Microfilm. 1987. Public Archives of Canada, Ottawa. Viii.
? Census of 1881
In 1881, the number of schedules was reduced to eight.  They were as follows:
1.  Nominal return of the living
2.  Nominal return of the deaths within the last twelve months.
3.  Return of public institutions, real estate, and industrial establishments.
4.  Return of cultivated land, of field products and of plants and fruits.
5.  Return of live stock, animal products and furs.
6.  Return of products of the forest.
7.  Return of shipping and fisheries.
8.  Return of mineral products
Only a microfilm copy of the nominal census return (Schedule 1) has survived for 1881. There
are no other schedules extant. Because the microfilm of the 1881 census, produced in the early
1950's and received by the Public Archives of Canada in 1979, is not of a consistent quality, not
all images are decipherable.  In 1881, Prince Edward Island was enumerated by Lot only. Entries
for that year may be found under the appropriate Lot number.
? Page numbers given in this book were those handwritten by the census taker. If the census
was taken on pre-printed and pre-numbered forms that number appears within parenthesis ()
after the handwritten page number.
Abbreviations Used in the Censuses of Canada
? Abbreviations used for Québec  (French-Speaking) Enumerators
BM= Naissance le mois (Birth Month)
BP = Place de la Naissance (Birth Place)
FA # = Maisonnee Numeroter (Family Number)
HO # = Villa Numeroter (House Number)
Mar.St. = Matrimonial Statut (Marital Status)
Ori = Origin
Occ = Occupation
Rel = Religion
House (maison)
B = bois (wood)
BR = brique (brick)
P = pierre (stone)
? Abbreviations used for Ontario (English-speaking ) Enumerators
BM= Birth Month
BP= Birth Place
FA # = Family number
HO #  = House number
Mar.St.= Marital Status
Occ= Occupation
Ori= Origin
Rel= Religion
Mem= Member
N-Mem= Non-Member
B= brick
F = frame
L = log
RO= roughcast
SH= shanty
SL= slab
ST= stone
? Birth Month
AU= aout (August)
AV= avril (April)
DE= décembre (December)
FE=février (February)
JA= janvier (January)
JL= juillet (July)
JN= juin (June)
MA= mai (May)
MR= mars (March)
NO= novembre (November)
OC= octobre (October)
SE= septembre (September)
? Occupation Abbreviations for French-Speaking Enumerators.
NB. Several of the following occupational titles may not be entirely accurate. This is simply due
to the following:
1.  Difficult handwriting found on many of the old census records make it difficult, at best, in
     deciphering the word in the occupation heading
2.  Many of the listed occupations are no longer in existence making it more difficult to make an
     educated guess as to the writing.
3.  Lack of a good reference book concerning the occupations of 19th century French Canada
If any reader finds information that supports a different definition than the one that appears
below please bring it to the attention of the editor so it may be corrected in future editions of this
AB= aubergiste (hotel keeper) CD= charroyeur d'eau (water carrier)
ACR= compagnon cordonnier (shoemaker CE= cardeur (carder)
apprentice) CF= coiffeur (hairdresser)
AF= apprenti forgeron (blacksmith apprentice) CG= compagnon (aide)
AG= agent CH= charpentier (carpenter)
AI= apprenti (apprentice) CHA= chasseur (hunter)
AIE= apprenti ingenieur (apprentice engineer) CHA = chantre (cantor) for Beauharnois
AIP= apprenti peintre (apprentice painter) County census extractions only
AP= auxiliaire pharmacien (assistant druggist) CHF= chauffeur (driver)
APR= Pretre Vicaire (Assistant Priest) CHT= chantre (cantor)
AR= artiste (artist) CI= chef (leader conductor)
ARC= architecte (architect) CK= cuisinier (cook)
ART= artisan (craftsman) CL= chapelier (hatter)
AT= apprenti  tailleur (tailor apprentice) CLL= collecteur (collector)
AU= citey auditor CM= commercant (merchant)
AV= abiveur? CN= constable (police officer)
AVC= avocat (Lawyer) CO= commis (clerk)
BA= barbier (barber) COL= colporteur (hawker)
BC= boucher (butcher) CON= conducteur (conductor)
BE= bedeau d'Eglise (Sexton of the Church) CP= comptable (bookkeeper)
BF= bailli (baillif) CR= cordonnier (shoemaker)
BI= bijoutier (jeweler) CS= conseiller municipal (bailiff)
BL= boulanger (baker) CSV= Clerc St-Viateur (brother or priest dedicat-
BO= bourgeois (boss, owner of a trade) ed to the instruction of boys)
BR= briqueleur (briqueteur - brick layer) CT= couturiere (dressmaker)
BU= bucheron (logger) CU= cultivateur (farmer)
C= confiseur (confectioner) CV= cervoisier (brewer)
CA= charretier (carter) CW= charron (cartwright)
CAA= capitaine (captain) DC= décorateur (stage decorator)
CB= capitaine de Bateau (boat captain) DE= dentiste (dentist)
CC= commis de cour de circuit DM= de marbre coupeur (marble cutter)
(circuit court clerk) DP= Pretre directeur (Priest Director)
DR= drover IF=infirmes (disabled person)
DS= distilateur (distiller) IG= ingenieur (engineer)
EB= ébeniste (cabinet maker) IM= imprimeur (printer)
EC= entrepreneur de courrier (mail IN= instituteur (school teacher)
contractor) IS= inspecteur (inspector)
ED= étud en droit (law student) IW= intendante (intendant woman)?
EE= en pierre coupeur (stone cutter) JO= journalier (day laborer)
EL= éclusier (person in charge of a lock in a JU= juge (judge)
canal) LA= laundress (laundress)
EM= étud en Méd (medical student) MA= macon (mason)
EN= éngagé (enlistee) MC= machiniste (machinist)
EN= entrepreneur (contractor) for 1881 MD= medecin (doctor)
census only ME= menuisier (carpenter)
EP= épicier (grocer) MEN= mendiant (beggar)
ES= ecclesiatique (member of the clergy) MEU= meublier (furniture designer)?
ET= éditeur (editor) MF= manufacturer
EV= évangeliste (evangelist) MG= ménagère (housekeeper)
FA= friar MH= mécanicien (mechanic)
FB= tabaconiste (tobacconist) MI= mineur (miner)
FD= fondeur (foundry worker) ML= mouleur (moulder)
FE= ferblantier (tinsmith) MM= meunier (miller)
FI= fitter (fitter) MO= modiste (milliner)
FL= fileur (spinner) MP= maitre de poste (postmaster)
FN= finisseur (finisher) MR= marin (sailor)
FO= forgeron (blacksmith) MS= ministre (minister)
FR= fromager (cheesemaker) MU= musicien (musician)
FS= pecheur (fisherman) MY= missionnaire (missionary)
FT= forestier (forester woodsman) NA= navigateur (navigator)
GA= gardiner (gardiner) NO= notaire (notary)
GB= générateur de brique (brickmaker) OG= organiste (organist)
GC= génétrateur de chariot (carriage maker) OH= orphelin (orphan)
GD= gardien de nuit (night watchman) OP= operateur de télégraphe (telegraph
GE= gestionnaire d'etape (stage driver) operator)
GH= génétrateur de harnais (harness maker) OPE= opérateur ?
GM= gentilhomme (gentleman) OR= orfevre (goldsmith)
GN= générateur de panier (basket maker) OU= ouvrier (worker)
GP= gardien de phare (lighthouse keeper) PA= principal d'academie (principal of academy)
GR= gardien de pont (bridge guard) PAP= papetier? (paper maker)
GS= gestionnaire (manager) PB= plombier (plumber)
GT= gerant (manager) PD= proprietaire d'étape (stagecoach stop
HF= homme de frein (brakeman) owner/manager)
HL= horloger (watchmaker) PE= peintre (painter)
HO= hotellier (innkeeper) PF= Pretre Professeur (Priest professor)
HS= huissier (process-server) PH= photographe (photographer)
HU= huissier (process-server) PI= pilote (pilot)
PL= platrier (plasterer)
PM= pharmacien (druggist)
PN= pensioneer? (retired person)
PO= pasteur (pastor)
POS= postillon (mail carrier)
POT= potier (potter)
PP= proprietaire de moulin (mill owner)
PR= pretre (priest)
PRO= protonotaire (protonotary)
PS= polisseur (polisher)
RD= revendeure (dealer)
RE= rectamateur?
RG= registrateur (registrar)
RL= religieux (monk)
RP= Pretre Curé (Rectory Priest)
RS=Religieux Superiorat (Office of the Superior)
RT= rentier (landlord)
SA= sellier (saddler)
SC= sculpteur (sculptor)
SE= servante (maid)
SN= soeur novice (nun in the 1st
probationary period)
SO= soeur (Sister)
SQ= squatter
SR= surintendant (superintendant)
SS= soeur superieur (Sister Superior)
SU= surveillant (watchman)
SV= arpenteur (surveyor)
SW= sawyer (sawyer)
TA= tailleur (tailor)
TI= tisserand (weaver)
TM= teamster (teamster)
TN= tanneur (tanner)
TO= tonnelier (cooper)
TR= commercant (trader)
TRR= timekeeper RR
TU= tourneur (turner)
TV= traversier (ferry boat)
VI= violoniste (violinist)
VO= voyageur (traveler)
VT= voiturier (carrier, carter or builder of carriages)
WR= wright de roue (wheel wright)
WRR= gardien de chemin de fer (RR
? Occupation Abbreviations for English-speaking Enumerators.
AI= assistant inspector JO= joiner
AM= axe maker L= laborer
AR= architect LA= last maker
AT= artist LB= lime burner
B= baker LC= lake captain
BA= bailiff LM= lumber merchant
BB= book binder LT= lieutenant
BK= bookkeeper LU= lumberman
BR= brewer M= merchant
BS = blacksmith MA= mason
BT= barrister MC= machinist
BU= butcher ME= miner
C= carpenter MF= manufacturer
CA= carter MG= minister of the gospel
CB= cabinet maker MI= miller
CD= corderainer MN= milliner
CE= carder MO= moulder
CG= clergyman MR= mariner
CH= chandler MS= medical student
CI= carrier MW= mill wright
CL= clerk MY= mayor
CM= chair maker OB= organ builder
CN= constable PA= painter
CO= cooper PE = peddler
CR= carriage maker PH= physician
CT= clothier PL= plasterer
DE= dentist PM= paper maker
DI= distiller PN= printer
EN= engineer PR= preacher
F= farmer PU= publisher
FI= finisher RI= revenue inspector
FM= furnace man SA = sawyer
FO= foreman SC= stone cutter
FR= ferry man SD= saddler
FU= fuller SE= servant
GA= gardener SG= stage driver
GE= gentleman SH= shoemaker
GI= jigger SK= shop keeper
GL= glazier SM= school master
GR= grocer SP= spinster
HA= hatter SR= sailor
HM= harness maker ST= student
HS= high sheriff SU= surveyor
IK= inn keeper TA= tailor
TE= school teacher
TK= tavern keeper
TM= teamster
TN= tanner
TS= tin smith
TU= turner
WA= waiter
WE= weaver
WM=wagon maker
WW=wheel wright
YE= yeoman
? Place of Birth for French-speaking Enumerators
AB= Albany
AC= Acores (Azores)
AL= Allemagne (Germany)
AM= Asie Minere (Near East)
AN= Angleterre (England)
BC= Bas Canada (Lower Canada)
BE= Belgique (Belgium)
BO= Boucherville
CA= Canada
DA= Danemark (Denmark)
E= E
EC= Ecosse (Scotland)
EU= Etats-Unis (United States)
FI= Finlande (Finland)
FR= France
HC= Haut Canada (Upper Canada)
IJ= Ile de Jersey
IN= Indian (North American)
IR= Irlande (Ireland)
IT= italienne (Italian)
LA= Lacadie
NB= New Brunswick
NE = Holland
N.E.= Nouvelle Ecosse (Nova Scotia)
NY= New York
NW= NW Territory
OD= Oneida
ON= Ontario
PL= Poland
PO= Portugais (Portugal)
QC= Quebec Canada
SC= St. Constant
SE= St. Edouard
SM= St. Michel
SP= St. Philippe
SU= Swede (Swedish)
SW= Suisse (Swiss)
VA= Varennes
VT= Vermont
WA= Pays de Gales (Wales)
? Place of Birth for English-speaking Enumerators (Hastings County)
AD= Adolphustown RA= Rawdon
AM=Ameiliasburgh RH= Rhode Island
BE = Belleville RI= Richmond
C= Canada SCO= Scotland
CA= Camden SE= Seymoor
CE= Canada East SI= Sidney
CF= Canada French SO= Sophiasburgh
CL= Clarke TH= Thurlow
CW = Canada West TY= Tyendinaga
CN= Cornwall UC= Upper Canada
CT= Connecticut UN= Unknown
EI= East Indies US= United States
ENG= England VT= Vermont
ER= Ernestown WA= Wales
FF= Frankford WE= Wellington
FIN= Finland WI= West Indies
FR= Fredericksburgh
FRA= France
GER= Germany
GL= Glengarry
GR= Greece
HA= Hallowell
HG= Hungerford
HI= Hillier
HO= Hope
HU= Huntingdon
IRE= Ireland
KI= Kingston
LC= Lower Canada
LI= Long Island
MA= Marysburgh
MO= Montreal
MS= Massachusetts
MU= Murray
NB= New Brunswick
NF= Newfoundland
NS= Nova Scotia
NY= New York
PC= Percy
PE= Prince Edward Co.
PH= Port Hope
PR= Perth
PI= Picton
QC= Quebec Canada
? Religion for French-Speaking Enumerators
AU= autres (other)
B= Baptist
BC= Bible Christian
BR= Bretheran
C= Catholique (Catholic)
CH= Christian
CN= Congregationalist
E= E
EA= Eglise d'Angleterre (Church of England)
ED= E.D.
EE= Eglise d'Ecosse (Church of Scotland)
EM= Episcopal Methodist
EP= Episcopalian
EV= Evangelical Union
FT= Free Thinker
FW= Free Will Baptist
HE= Hebreu (Hebrew)
L= Lutheran
M= Methodist
NC= New Connection Methodist
NO= No Church
OK= Old Kirk
P= Calvinist Presbyterian
PR= Protestant
PU= P. U.
RC= Roman Catholic
RE= Reformed Episcopalian
SY= synagogue
UN= Universalist
W= W
WM= Wesleyan Methodist
? Religion for English-speaking Enumerators
B= Baptist
BC= Bible Christian
C= Catholic
CE= Church of England
CH= Christian
CS= Church of Scotland
DI= Disciple
E= Episcopalian
EM= Episcopal Methodist
FC= Free Church
FP= Free Presbyterian
FR= Friends
FT= Free Thinker
FW= Free Will Baptist
L= Lutheran
M= Methodist
MO= Mormon
NC= New Connection Methodist
NO= No Church
P= Presbyterian
PR= Protestant
QU= Quaker
RC= Roman Catholic
UN= Universalist
WM= Wesleyan Methodist
? Marital Status for French-Speaking Enumerators
M= mariés (married)
V= veuvage (widowed)
? Marital Status for English-speaking Enumerators
D= divorced
M= married
S= single
W= widowed
? Origin for French-Speaking Enumerators
AL= Allemand (German)
AM= Americain (American)
AN= Anglais (English)
BE= Belge (Belgian)
DA= Danoise (Danish)
EC= Ecossaise (Scotch)
ES= Espagnol (Spanish)
FC= French Canadian
FR= Francoise (French)
JU= Juive (Jewish)
IN= Indien (Indian)
IR= Irlandaise (Irish)
IT= Italienne (Italian)
NE= Neerlandais (Dutch)
NW= Norwegien (Norwegian)
PO= Portugaise (Portuguese)
SA= Sauvage (Savage)
SU= Suedois (Swede)
WA= Gallois (Welsh)