From the Statistics Canada website:
"Statistics Canada plays a vital role in providing consistent data that tell the ongoing story of our country and our families. Beginning in 1666 when Jean Talon, the first Intendant of New France, conducted the first census, to more than three centuries later, the Census Program continues to be a valuable source of information for historians and genealogists."
|Guest Speaker: Professor Lisa Dillon|
The event was well attended by a number of representatives from various government departments as well as academics, and genealogists.
The guest speaker was Lisa Dillon who is the Professor of Demography from the Université de Montréal.
Lisa's presentation was followed by a panel discussion and then a question and answer session .
Here are some of the highlights that I noted:
- During Professor Lisa Dillon's presentation, we were made aware of a wide variety of research projects that used census data:
- There are many SPECIAL PROJECTS that use census data: One project looked how families cared for aging parents during the late Victorian period and compared the data from Canada's 1871 census with the 1880 U.S. census.
- The HISTORIC CENSUS DATA HAS SHORTCOMINGS: Academics have criticized the earlier census for having no coherent structure
- LINKAGES ENRICH OUR UNDERSTANDINGS: Parish records/census: the age calculations in the 1666, 1667 and 1681 censuses of Quebec have been compared to ages as calculated from baptismal records
- DATA COLLABORATIONS enable research: Famiy Search and Universities have collaborated by sharing materials (i.e. 1852 Census)
- EARLY 20TH CENTURY CENSUSES show families in transition: A special project about the residential autonomy of never-married persons in urban Canada 1921-1951 as influenced by multiple variables
- Partners mentioned in the presentation: Statistics Canada, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Family Search (Mormon Church of Latter Day Saints), PRDH Programme De Recherche , Canada Foundation For Innovation and the Minnesota Population Center
- During the panel discussions I noted:
- Glenn Wright: The census records are a fundamental resource for genealogists. We can learn so much about ancestors based on questions asked at the door: religion; ethnic origin; could our ancestors read and/or write; etc, etc
- One of the upcoming challenges for the census and genealogists will be the definition of "family". On the 1911 Canada census, the divorce question was introduced. There are likely other questions that will need to be added in the future
- Johanna Smith: (Johanna was the first to acknowledge that this Speaker Series was being held on unceded Algonquin territory - thank you for that Johanna)
- For Library and Archives Canada (LAC), the census that is accessible online is the MOST accessed collection at LAC
- Genealogists are the largest group of researchers accessing the census records
- There's a 92 year countdown to the release of each census (All censuses prior to 1906 were publicly available at the National Archives of Canada as the legislation at the time did not include any confidentiality provisions.) (S-18 An Act to Amend the Statistics Act received Royal Assent on June 18, 2005.The Act creates section 18.1 of the Statistics Act which releases personal census records for censuses taken between 1911 and 2001, inclusive, 92 years after each census.)
- The 1926 census will be released next year!
- How censuses are offered (from the OLD days of ordering microfiche) there is an expectation that everything is digitized, indexed and searchable (like Google)
- Censuses can be used to give greater context to your family history - you can look at the neighbourhoods, the amenities and place the family story in a broader context
- Lisa Dillon: Lisa wanted to emphasize the importance of partnerships. Academics never work in isolation.
- A good example of a partnership that fascilitated the access to reseources and data is the partnership between BIFHSGO, the Morman Church (Family Search) and Library and Archives Canada collaboration on the 1881 census.
- Social history always references that families are the foundation for society and there is such diversity within families as a result of a number of variables
- Lisa invited folks to look at the other rich data that can be found on census returns that is often overlooked. Things like comments from the census takers "old woman lives alone in cabin with 20 goats and won't let us enter" or the contextual summaries at the end of the census districts where the census taker would note things like the number of windmills etc.
- Individual based research requests such as immigration files (that do not even go to the Library and Archives Canada until after 150 years) must be dealt with through the Privacy Act and Access To Information processes
- 2011 Change in Census Policy occurred during the Harper years. This will create problems for researchers in 92 years and represents a substantial gap in data.
|Screenshot: Wikipedia: Census in Canada|
- Library And Archives Canada: Online/Searchable Censuses
- Automated Genealogy Automated Genealogy hosts several projects to index Canadian censuses
- List of Census Tables from 1665 to 1871.
- 2006 Census release topics
- Long form census is back in time for 2016
- Family Search: Canada Census: Printble Charts & Forms
- Cyndi's List: Canada Census
- Cyndi's List: Canada Census: Printable Charts & Forms