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1861 Enumerator Instructions

Excerpted from David P. Gagan, "Enumerator's Instructions for the Census of Canada, 1852 and 1861, "Histoire sociale/Social History", Vol. VII, No. 14 (November 1974): 355-365.

P. 356, Footnote 2: "[...] The 1861 instructions were published in the Hamilton Weekly Spectator, 10 January 1861.

Instructions to Enumerators

The Census (1861)

Page 363

The following are the instructions issued to the Census Enumerators from the Bureau of Agriculture and Statistics.

Sir - The Census Commissioner for your County having appointed you one of the Enumerators for taking the Census. I am directed by its Board of Registration and Statistics to convey to you through him the following instructions: --

In the first place, you will make yourself thoroughly acquainted with the limits of your Enumeration District, and draw up an account thereof describing the boundaries, roads, etc. and general character, and, if competent, draw a sketch thereof on the front of your book. On receiving your blanks, you will, before commencing to take the census, endeavour perfectly to understand each column, and if any difficulty arise the Census Commissioner will advise you.

On the second Monday in January, which will be the 14th day of the month, you will proceed to your labor, having previously left the schedules with each family, if in town or city. You will write at the head of the sheets given to you a description of the boundaries of your District.

1st. In the first column you will enter the name of every person who sojourned in each house, on the night of Sunday, the 13th of January, as well strangers as members of the family who are temporarily absent, but whose usual residence it is.

2nd. In the second column enter the Trade, Profession, or calling of each person. Where a son works for the benefit of his father - if the father be a farmer, enter the son or sons as labourers – if a mechanic or tradesman, enter the son as the same, unless he follows a different trade.

3rd. In the third column give the Country in which each person was born. (not the particular town or city) and distinguish between Lower Canada and Upper Canada, and Prussia and the German States.

4th. Requires no comment.

5th. In the fifth column give the religion, carefully distinguishing the class of Presbyterian or Methodist where such there are - thus, if Presbyterians in connection

Page 364

with the old Kirk, or Church of Scotland, mark them C of S; if with the Free Church or Presbyterian Church of Canada, mark them F.C.; and if United Presbyterians, mark them U.P. The Methodists you will mark with W, for Wesleyans; E. for Episcopal; and N.C. for New Connection, and if none of these, mark them "Other" Methodists. There are no sects other than these two requiring special distinguishing marks.

6th. The sixth column is only intended to note residence of any strangers that may have been in the house on Sunday night, the 13th of January. If their residence cannot be found out mark in "unknown" in this column.

Columns 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 need no explanation.

13th. In this column mark a figure (1) every coloured person,s name, i.e. negro or negress. This was much neglected last census, and the number of coloured persons was not ascertained. If Mulatto, mark M after his or her name - thus, (1) M; and if Indian, mark "Ind".

Nos. 14, 15, 16 and 17. These four columns should include all the residents in the house, whether members of family, clerks, servants, or apprentices - but one casual traveller or visitors, as they are noted in the fifth column.

Nos. 18 and 19. In these columns note the members of the family temporarily absent.

Those six columns from 14 to 19, both included, should, when added up agree with columns 8 and 9 together. You are requested to take care that they do agree.

Nos. 20, 21 and 22. Partial blindness need not be noted. Be careful to distinguish between Lunaties and Idiots. Lunatics are persons whose faculties are impaired; Idiots are such as never possessed vigorous faculties at any time.

Nos. 23 and 24. These columns are intended to include all children generally attending school through the year, although casually or temporarily absent.

Nos. 25, 26, 27, 28. Require no comment.

Nos. 29, 30, 31. These are to note the age and cause of death where deaths have occurred in the family common within the year 1860; and you will be very particular in endeavouring to arrive at the truth in every case both as to the age and cause of death, if such information can be obtained, as these show the healthfulness of the country or otherwise.

Nos. 32, 33, 34, 35 and 36 require no comment.

Nos. 37 to 45. These columns are intended to apply only to Live Stock of persions resident in cities, towns, villages, etc., and who are not Farmers. The Stock held by the latter will be returned in the Agricultural Census.

The succeeding columns are easily understood, but in the last it is desirable to include all churches and places of worship, the extent of their accommodation and value.

Care must be taken to note in the columns left for such purposes. Shops, Stores, Inns, Taverns, Schools, etc., also Factories of all kinks... Woollen Factories, Lathes, etc., etc., and note whether wrought by steam, water, or wind power. You will also endeavour to procure accurate information as to the average annual produce of the Factories, whether in Lumber, Flour, Leather or Cloth, etc., and also the value of property invested, if possible to be ascertained, and the number of hands employed in each factory, distinguishing the number of Male and Female - in fact, all the information with regard to manufacturers which you can obtain. The last Census was very deficient in this respect. You will fill one sheet before commencing another, and put an equal number of names on each sheet, except, of course, the last, which there may not be names to fill.

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In taking the Agricultural Census, which is to contain only the names of heads of families occupying lands, whether male or female, you will take care that opposite each person’s name (in Column 4) the total number of acres occupied within the limits of your Enumeration District, by him or her, is legibly set down in good figures, and that column 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9, when added, correspond with column 4.

The other columns are easily understood.

In column 50 it has been thought desirable to designate the value of working horses separate from other animals, as they are an important element in the agricultural policy of the country.

Column 54 should include the value of all the live stock mentioned in columns 46 to 53 inclusive. They form a very important item in the wealth of the country and will be a criteria of the comparative state of agriculture in each township or county, and also in Canada as compared with other countries.

In columns 62 and 63 you will set down the number and value of pleasure carriages and pleasure sleighs, cutters, etc., kept by each person. Where two or three are kept by the same person, the value of all may be set down in one sum in dollars.

Column 68 is left for remarks you may think right to make, as to cause of deficiency in any particular crops etc., etc.

You will endeavour to impress upon the people in your Enumeration District that the information here sought has no reference whatever to taxation, and that accuracy in their returns is of the highest importance in order to ascertain the state of the resources of the country and encourage the introduction and investment of Capital in the Colony, where the statistics, truthfully taken, warrant the investment.

William Hutton

Last updated: 9/1/2010

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