Using the Census to Find your Canadian and American Ancestors

  1.  The most recent published Canadian census is 1921.  The most recent US census in 1940.  Where can you find the census?  Go the wiki at FamilySearch, search for your country and then select Census – don’t rush to the link for online records.  Take time to learn about when during the year the census was taken and what kinds of information was gathered.  Some census gathered dates of birth and years of immigration and year of naturalization (1901 Canada Census). There is a nice chart on the wiki telling you where each census is available with links to get there – click here to see the Canadian one.
  2.   Don’t be fooled by the heading on the Ancestry.ca screen for the Canadian Census – they do have the Canada 1921 Census !screen-shot-2016-12-13-at-11-42-58-am
  3.   Remember that there are problems with the 1890 US Census – “The Eleventh Census of the United States (1890) was destroyed/damaged by fire, at the Commerce Dept. in 1921. Less than 1% survived, covering 6,160 individuals.” (source: FamilySearch Wiki) Does that mean I will have a 20 year gap in my research?  Not if you can find a state census for say 1895.  I was recently  helping a friend in this time period and she knew her ancestors lived in Iowa.  We used the FamilySearch wiki to find where we can search the 1895 Iowa State Census .  Hint:  First went to United States on the Wiki – then picked Iowa then census – then we used the Iowa State Census Collection 1836 to 1925 at Ancestry.ca – although the chart also showed it was available at FamilySearch here
  4.  Remember that “additional” census were taken for the Prairie Provinces in 1906 and 1911.
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