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Banner: ArchiviaNet: On-line Research Tool
ArchiviaNet: On-line Research Tool

Census of 1851
Online Help

The Documents
List itemCensus of 1851 (Canada East and Canada West)
List itemCensus of 1851 (Nova Scotia)
List itemCensus of 1851 (New Brunswick)

Searching the Records Online
List itemThe Database
List itemThe Search Screens
List itemThe Search Results Screens
List itemThe Search Syntax

The Database

The database on which this research tool is based contains 2459 records. Each record consists of the following fields: Province or Colony, District Name, District Number, Sub-district Name or Description, Sub-district Number, Reference, and Microfilm Reel Number.

Geography is the key to using this database successfully. The 1851 Census was conducted in accordance with census districts and sub-districts. As a result, the database is indexed by province or colony and by district and sub-district, where available. Therefore, knowledge of the districts and sub-districts is of great value in locating either an individual or a geographic location.

To provide assistance with district names and sub-district names or descriptions, a list of Census Districts and Sub-districts is provided.

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The Search Screens

Two different search screens are provided for searching; one for a basic search and the other for a Advanced Search in which two or more fields can be used in combination.

The Basic Search Screen

The Basic Search screen has two fields into which you can enter search terms:

The Province or Colony is a series of check boxes enabling you to retrieve all the references for a specific province or colony. These check boxes can also be used in combination with the Geographic Location field.

The Geographic Location field enables you to search within all fields in the database.

The Advanced Search Screen

The Advanced Search screen is a multi-fielded search screen that offers a larger number of variables with which you can search the database, any of which can be used in combination. When using the fields in combination, you should note that the default search operator is "AND."

Province or Colony can be used in combination with a district number or a sub-district number which is not unique to a specific province or colony.

To determine a valid search term for any of the following fields, you can consult the list of Census District and Sub-district Names.

District Name is the official name given to the Census District by the Dominion Bureau of Statistics. In some cases, district names correspond to county names.

A District Number was assigned to each Census District by the Dominion Bureau of Statistics for administrative purposes. District Number can be used to quickly retrieve a previous result by using it in combination with a province.

  • When entering a single digit number (e.g. 2), enter the character $ following the number (e.g. 2$).

A Sub-district Name was assigned to each area within each Census District. The names of sub-districts often correspond to place names within a county, and can include ward, town, village or parish names. Where a sub-district name was not assigned, a description of the area is provided, when available.

A Sub-district Number was also assigned by the Dominion Bureau of Statistics for administrative purposes and the numbers are unique only within a Census District. A sub-district number can be used to quickly retrieve a previous result by using it in combination with a district name or number.

  • When entering a single digit number (e.g. 2), enter the character $ following the number (e.g. 2$).

Microfilm Reel Number enables you to retrieve all the records on the same microfilm reel (numbers were assigned by Library and Archives Canada).

The Keyword search field enables you to search any of the above fields alone or in combination.

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The Search Results Screens

A successful query will return result pages with the number of results determined by the number of records matching the search terms and the number of references per page (defaults to 20 references per page).

Each result page will display a line of text above the first result, which indicates the search term(s) used and the number of successful hits or references.

A reference will contain the following fields:

Image of Example Results

Note that the number in the Microfilm Reel Number field is used to order a copy of the microfilm to search the records off-line.

If you click on the "Associated images" link, you will be taken to another page listing all images available for that reference in PDF format.

Census of 1851
(Canada East, Canada West, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia)

Image of Example Results

To open a PDF file, you must download the free Acrobat Reader software available from Adobe Systems Incorporated (www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html). If you have trouble installing or using Acrobat Reader, visit the Adobe Acrobat Reader support page (www.adobe.com/support/products/acrreader.html).

When you open a PDF image, the image will be displayed inside the current browser window. Use the "Back" button to return to the list of available images.