March 5, 2011

Finding Ancestors on 1851 Agricultural Census Canada

Recently I talked about the 1861 Agricultural Census for Ontario and the goof that  Ancestry.com made when bringing it online.

Why search for ancestors in an Agricultural Census? These records provide details of exact location of land, type of farming, house lived in, livestock and more.

 Ancestry.com doesn't appear to have the 1851 or 1871 Agricultural Census schedules(at least they are not easily found!) but there's good news!

You can search for ancestors in the 1851 Agricultural census at Collections Canada. Caveat: This search engine can NOT be searched by name.

It can only be searched by location but I have an Olive Tree Genealogy Tip to get you right to the first page of Schedule B (the Agricultural portion of the census)

First go to 1851 Agricultural census at Collections Canada.

1. Select Canada West (Ontario) from the drop down list for Province/Colony.

2. Tick the radio button beside "B" for Schedule

3. Tick the radio button for "Descriptions with a digitized image" This limits the search to the surviving digitized Agricultural Census returns. To give you an example if you search without ticking this box, you will see 618 results. But many are not online, it is a list only. If you tick the box you see 302 results, and all have images

4. To narrow your search by township or county (or both) simply add them as keywords. I had ancestors in Flamboro Township in Wentworth County in 1851 so I entered keywords "flamboro wentworth" and got 3 hits. Each hit has a list of available images. All I needed to do was start at the first image and begin looking.

Here's an example of what one page of the 1851 Agricultural Census looks like. The graphic used here is blurry but the original is crystal clear.

So don't be afraid to give this a try in your search for more details of an Ontario ancestor.

3 comments:

Lisa Suzanne Gorrell said...

This is a great post and I was able to follow your instructions well. I have a question.

If the agricultural images are not online but microfilm reel number is listed, how can one find the film to view it?

My ancestor (Martin Gleeson) was in Goulbourne twp in Carleton Co, Canada West. I did find him in 1851 census. By the way, I live in California.

Thanks! Lisa Gorrell

Lisa Suzanne Gorrell said...

This is a great post and I was able to follow your instructions well. I have a question.

If the agricultural images are not online but microfilm reel number is listed, how can one find the film to view it?

My ancestor (Martin Gleeson) was in Goulbourne twp in Carleton Co, Canada West. I did find him in 1851 census. By the way, I live in California.

Thanks! Lisa Gorrell

Lorine McGinnis Schulze said...

Lisa you can check Family Search catalog and order the film in to nearby Family History Center.

I believe you might be able to order the film from Archives of Ontario or National Archives of Canada and have it sent to your local library