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Instruction to Enumerators >

Variable List

1852 and 1881 Canadian Censuses Microdata
Variable List

  • ID
    A sequential unique identification number for every individual.
  • REEL_NAC
    This field was attached to the file on the basis of the Library and Archives Canada reference.
  • PROVINCE
    This field was attached to the file by the I.C.S. staff, on the basis of REEL_NAC.
  • DISTRICT_NUMBER
    The first census geographic unit below province. Drawn from the index to the 1881 Canadian Census prepared by the Library and Archives of Canada. This field was created by the I.C.S. staff.
  • DISTRICT_NAME
    Drawn from the index to the 1881 Canadian Census prepared by the Library and Archives of Canada. This field was created by the I.C.S. staff.
  • SUB_DISTRICT_NUMBER
    The first census geographic unit below district.  Drawn from the index to the 1881 Canadian Census prepared by the Library and Archives of Canada. This field was created by the I.C.S. staff.
  • DIVISION_NUMBER
    Some large census sub-districts were sub-divided into divisions for the purposes of enumeration. As a result, the Division_Number column is sometimes filled in and sometimes blank (depending on whether it existed). Drawn from the index to the 1881 Canadian Census prepared by the Library and Archives of Canada. This field was created by the I.C.S. staff.
  • SUB_DISTRICT_NAME
    Drawn from the index to the 1881 Canadian Census prepared by the Library and Archives of Canada. This field was created by the I.C.S. staff.
  • VOLUME
    This field was created by the I.C.S. staff on the recommendation of the Minnesota Historical Census Projects. There is one volume number for each census sub-district and division (or, if there was no division, for each sub-district). As a result, VOLUME can substitute for sub-district & division. *** One way to sort the file properly is to sort on REEL_NAC, Volume, Page and Line number.
  • PAGE_NUMBER
    Pages within each sub-district and division were numbered sequentially.  Typos in this column were cleaned by the I.C.S. staff so the file would sort properly.
  • LINE_NUMBER
    Each page in the 1881 Canadian Census had 25 lines. Typos in this column were cleaned by the I.C.S. staff so the file would sort properly. Some pages had blank lines at the bottom of the page, so the page will end at line 23 or 24. Some pages had a blank line at the top of the page or somewhere in the middle. If the enumerator "squeezed" an extra person between two lines, the lines following that extra person were renumbered so that the page ends on line 26. For those pages, the line numbers on the database will be "one off" the line numbers on the manuscript census, but it was decided that to preserve the numerical integrity of this field (for the purpose of sorting), this was the best solution.
  • FAMILY_NUMBER
    The 1881 Canadian Census provided two columns to number family and dwelling groupings: "Household" (otherwise known as dwelling) and "Family" (sometimes known to historians as household). The LDS volunteers entered the second column, "Family". Volunteers working with the I.C.S. staff have observed that the LDS volunteers consistently used the "Family" column and rarely entered numbers from the "Household" column by accident.
  • FAMILY_FLAG
    In some instances, enumerators skipped a family number and in some instances, they neglected to give a new family number to a new family. In either case, this error shows up in the I.C.S. cleaning programs as a "skipped" family number. We have not had time to correct these skips by comparing the microfilm against the database, but have instead created a "flag" variable which indicates all cases of skipped family numbers. Genealogists and historians using this database can use the family number flag to conduct their own investigation. We estimate only 1 to 3% of the file may contain skipped family numbers.
  • DNAMFRST
    First name, cleaned of asterisks, slashes, dit names etc.
  • SNAMFRST
    First name, with spelling variations standardized for purposes of record linkage.
  • DNAMLAST
    Last name, cleaned of asterisks, slashes, dit names etc.
  • SNAMLAST
    Last name, with spelling variations standardized for purposes of record linkage.
  • COMMENT
    This field is filled in for perhaps 20 or 30 lines for each microfilm reel. One can see all these comments at once by sorting the file on this column in descending order. This field usually contains information such as "Esq." "Sister" "Mrs." "twin" "baby" or "student." Occasionally it has interesting information e.g. "wife now living with father". Sometimes it has comments made by the LDS volunteers themselves. One can usually tell which comments were entered by the LDS volunteers and which comments were copied from the enumeration schedule, but there is no systematic distinction between the two types of comments (as there is with the Minnesota Historical Census Projects).
  • CROSSED_OUT
    Enumerators for the 1881 Canadian Census occasionally wrote a line on a page and then crossed it out. Some LDS data entry volunteers entered these lines into the database, with a note in PRINCIPAL_NOTE indicating that the line had been crossed out, while other data entry volunteers skipped these lines. When these crossed-out lines are present in the database, we have not deleted them but instead put a "1" in the field CROSSED_OUT. I.C.S. volunteers who conducted checking tasks identified lines that are crossed out on the microfilm reel but have not been entered into the database. We have not subsequently added these crossed-out lines to the database but have retained a record of them in the Excel files which correspond to this database.
  • SEX
    Sex, "M" or "F"
  • AGE
    Age in years or months. Age in months are given as a fraction. In a subsequent stage of this project, we should put age in months in another column.
  • BORN_DURING_YEAR_NOTE
    The LDS volunteers usually put the month of birth in this column if it was given (but sometimes they put it in the age column).
  • BIRTHPLACE
    Place of birth, province or another country or "at sea".
  • RELIGION
    Religion of the individual, sometimes abbreviated and sometimes written out in full.
  • ORIGIN
    The file delivered from the LDS labelled this column "nationality" but it is really ethnic origin, according to the 1881 Canadian Census enumerator instructions. We will eventually relabel it "ORIGIN" once the file is all together. This column is the only way to identify black persons (usually "African") or indigenous persons ("Indian" or often a specific tribe is given).
  • OCCUPATION
    Occupation. Usually blank for women and children. Some LDS volunteers entered information from the school attendance column (which was not included in data entry) in this column by putting "At School".
  • MARITAL_STATUS
    "M" for married or "W" for widowed. There are very few "D"'s for divorced. This field is left blank for single persons.
  • SOURCE
    1. UdeM 20% sample
    2. PHSVQ Quebec City Project data for 20% sample
    3. UdeM sample fragment from top of selected page
    4. Other PHSVQ Quebec City Project data
    5. UdeM Volunteer
    6. LDS Volunteer
Last updated: 10/4/2010

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