The census is a gold mine for genealogists

Those curious about their family history can begin with federal government census records.

  • Jun. 6, 2016 12:00 p.m.
Bob Maynard

Bob Maynard

by Bob Maynard

Genealogist

This month we will talk about census records as the Canadian government has sent out the forms for each family to fill out. The census tells the government how many people live in a house, and what are the ages of these persons. From that, all levels of government can make important decisions like how many schools and hospitals are needed now as well as in the future.

The old census records are agreeably the most popular resource for genealogists no matter what their experience levels may be. The first Canadian census was done in 1871. The Canadian census information can be accessed when it is 92 years old so anything before 1924 is online now. You can get names, addresses, ages, occupation and place of birth. Websites like www.archives.com/ca.census or www.Ancestry.ca or for England www.familysearch.org. You can also get a CD-ROM that is relatively easy to use.

To trace families back though the census as research on the internet is more economical and can be infinite and print out costs just a drop of ink and this truly is golden for many a family research. You don’t have to wait in line now or fill out form at the archives. You just turn on the computer, get to the right website and spend hours looking for your ancestors, like I do. All of my research is done in England so I know more of English census but I can write about other census.

The first census of England was done by the government in 1841. Before that records were kept at the church or parish of the town. Will talk about this next month.

Bob Maynard is a local historian and genealogist, and will be writing a monthly column about the topic in The Pipestone Flyer.