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February 12, 2020

Genealogy Tip: 1842 Canadian Census Returns

Genealogy Tip: Census records for Canada were taken in 1842. Enumerators visited 17 census districts, divided into sub-districts. These units were made up of cities, towns, parishes, villages and townships. Not all returns survived. The returns for eight districts and 51 sub-districts have been preserved and are accessible at Library and Archives Canada.

1842 Census Headings Columns 1-51

HOWEVER not all pre 1851 census are online! Library and Archives Canada has the census of 1842 for Upper Canada (Ontario) online BUT their database only includes the census returns held by Library and Archives Canada.

The Archives of Ontario holds the census returns that still exist for other places; however, they are not digitized, not available online and not included in LAC's database. So you would have to consult Archives of Ontario if your folks don't show up in the online LAC database
When using LAC online searchable 1842 census, be aware that the 1842 Census for Canada West consists of 2 pages:
  • Columns 1 to 51 appear on the first page.
  • Columns 51 to 89 appear on the second page.
The first page is on the digitized image link to an entry in the database for an individual.  If you want to view the second page, increase by one the last digit of the url address of an image that appears in the navigation box of your browser.

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