Tuesday, December 21, 2010

LAC Launches 1916 Census of the Prairie Provinces

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is pleased to make the 1916 Census of the Prairie Provinces (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta) available online at www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/census-1916/index-e.html.

In order to track the high rates of population growth in Western Canada during the early years of the 20th Century, the Canadian government called for a special census of the Prairie provinces (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta). The first census was conducted in 1906, followed by another in 1916.

Access to the digitized images of the 1916 census is available online in two different ways:

* Through a database that is searchable by Province, District Name, District Number, and Sub-district Number. The database is available at: www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/census-1916/index-e.html

Please note that this is NOT a nominally-indexed database - it is not searchable by family name.

* Through the research tool "microform digitization," you can browse the microfilm reels page by page. The tool is available at:

One webpage which the LAC staff has published is "Column Headings and Interpretation", which gives an explanation of each of the fields of the census plus "Common Abbreviations".

On a personal note, I do have Webster ancestors (by marriage) who went out to Manitoba in 1904, and I can trace them up to the present day, due to the census and material that is at the LAC.

So while you are at the LAC website, be sure to put your ancestor's name in the search engine, and the results will be shown in the Archives, the Library, the Ancestor Database, and on the Websites at the LAC.