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June 26, 2008

Figuring out Canada Locations on USA Census Records

We've all seen it - an ancestor found in a USA census record and under place of birth "Can-Eng".

Sometimes this reference is misindexed as "England". It isn't England but where is it?

Earlier census records might indicate "C.W." or even earlier ones may have the notation "U.C" but what does that mean?? Where are these locations?

You can't find an ancestor in Canada without knowing at least a Province of origin. You will need to determine what Province your ancestor came from in order to search for records.

Here is a handy little guide for anyone finding a Canadian ancestor in the American Census Records. You will also find some of these same abbreviations in Canadian Census Records.

U.C. = Upper Canada. This is now the Province of Ontario and is often found in early Canadian Census records.
L.C. = Lower Canada. This is now the Province of Quebec

C.W. = Canada West. This was Upper Canada until 1842 and is now Ontario
C.E. = Canada East. This was Lower Canada until 1842 and is now Quebec

Can.Eng. = Canada English usually referring to Ontario
Can.Fr. = Canada French usually referring to Quebec

For more on name and boundary changes in Canadian Records see

If you are bewildered by Canadian Genealogy research you may want to start at the Canadian Genealogy pages at

1 comment:

Canadian Lib Genie said...

Thanks for pointing out the abbreviations used typically in the US. I've personally run into the whole Can-Eng turning into England in the indexing which, when you only have the index available, can cause SOOO much grief.

I would caution people to consider the possibility that Canada-English might not always mean Ontario. I do have *two* ancestors born in Montreal, Quebec (English speaking and Protestant) who appear on the US census as Canada-English.