Census Records

Thanks to Library and Archives Canada, we have free online access to not only the Canadian Census Indices but the opportunity to view the original recorded Census documents for the years listed below. While the 1921 census records are not available on the Libraries and Archives Canada site, they provide a link to Ancestry.com where the records are accessible for free (without subscription). Also provided on the Library and Archives website is an explanation of how each census was collected, common abbreviations, the instructions provided to enumerators and any issues regarding that particular year’s census or database. Electoral maps are provided, if available. District and sub-district census information is also listed. Census districts or county boundaries may have changed over time.

YearAreaDate of EnumerationInterpretation of Age
1770-1856Returns on Microfilm
1825Lower CanadaJune 20 - September 20None Provided
1831Lower CanadaJune 1 - October 1None Provided
1842Canada East (current day Quebec); Canada West (current day Ontario)February 1None Provided
1851/52Canada East, Canada West, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia January 11, 1852At Next Birthday
1861Canada East, Canada West, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island (some of the New Brunswick records are only available on microfilm) January 14 (Canada East and Canada West); March 30 (Nova Scotia); August 15 (New Brunswick); Date unknown for Prince Edward IslandAt Next Birthday
1870ManitobaJuly 16At Next Birthday
1871CanadaApril 2As of Census Date
1871OntarioApril 2At Last Birthday
1881CanadaApril 4At Last Birthday
1891CanadaApril 6As of Census Date
1901CanadaMarch 31At Last Birthday
1906Northwest ProvincesJune 24At Last Birthday
1911CanadaJune 1At Last Birthday
1916Prairie ProvincesJune 1At Last Birthday
1921CanadaJune 1At Last Birthday

If you prefer working with microfiche, the census records for Wellington County are available at the Guelph Public Library, the Wellington County Museum and Archives, and the University of Guelph McLaughlin Library.  If you are planning a trip to view a specific census year, it is recommended that you contact the facility ahead of time to determine if they have that particular year.

  • Note: 1851 Census records for Erin Township and Guelph and 1891 Maryborough Township records are not available.

Read more on why Census records are important to researchers, here.