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1861 E. I. >

1852 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.

Page 356, Footnote 2: "I am grateful to Mr. Dan Brock for drawing the 1851 instructions to my attention. An original is in the William Cambers Papers, Special Collections, University of Western Ontario Library."

Instructions to Enumerators

Office of Registration
Inspector General's Department
Québec, Nov. 1852

Page 359


The Census Commissioner for your County having appointed you one of the Enumerators, I am directed by the Board of Registration to convey, through him, to you 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 its boundaries, rivers, roads and general character.

On receiving your Blanks you will, before commencing to take the Census, perfectly understand each column, and if any difficulty should arise, the Census Commissioner will advise you.

On the second Monday in January you will proceed to your labour, you will write at the head of the sheets given to you, a description of the boundaries of your District.

In the 1st column you will take name of every person who sojourned in the house on the night of Sunday, the 11th of January, as well strangers as members of the family, and also those members of the family who are temporarily absent, but whose usual residence it is.

Col. 2 - Enter the TRADES, PROFESSIONS and CALLINGS of each person, being careful to note that where a son works for the benefit of his parent, he is to be noted - if the parent be a farmer, as a labourer, but if his parent be of a trade, then of the same trade or calling.

Col. 3 - The BIRTH PLACE of each person: you will here note that those born of Canadian Parents are to be marked with an F.

* Col. 4 - RELIGION.

* "Name the Religious denomination they call themselves - "No Religion" only when they don’t believe in a Revelation ... " {handwritten notation of enumerator}.

Page 360

Col. 5 - When a person chanced to stay in a house on the night of the 11th of January, you are to mark if possible the place where his usual residence is: in very many cases this will be impossible, and you are then to write the word "UNKNOWN" in the column.

Col. 6 - The age of each person, next birth day.

Cols. 7 & 8 - The sexes.

Col. 9 - Whether the person be married or single : widowers to be noted Wr. and widows W.

Cols. 10 & 11 - You will at once apprehend by the term "colored persons", is meant negroes.
Cols. 12 & 13 - Those who are actually members of the family, staying in the house on the night of the 11th of January.

Cols. 14 & 15 - Those who stopped in the house on that night, but who are not members of the family, such as travellers, lodgers, clerks, servants, etc.

Cols. 16 & 17 - Those being members of the family or usual FIXED residents, who may perchance have been absent on the night of the 11th of January.

With these columns you can easily check your returns : thus if columns 7 & 8 and the columns 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 & 17 agree each with the number of names on the sheet, you are correct, thus if the sheet give 50 names : column 7 being 31 and column 8, 19-50.

Col.12, 14M.
13, 10F. Members of family,..........24.

14, 10M.
15, 7F. Not members,.................17.

16, 6M.
17, 3F. Members absent,...............9.

Should any discrepancy appear, the error can easily be corrected.
The columns for Deaf and Dumb, Blind and Lunaties, need no explanation.

Cols. 24 & 25 - By the words "attending school", not only those actually attending school at the time, but those who usually attend during some or any portion of the year, are meant to be included.

The columns for Births and Deaths refer only to year 1851 - you will please be very particular in nothing the ages of the persons that have died and where possible the complaint or cause of death.

Having perfected your personal enumeration, you next proceed to the House, giving in

Col. 31 - The sort or kind - in 32 the number of flats or stories according to the usual custom of nothing them - in 33 the number of families which occupy each house.

Cols. 34 & 35 - Houses vacant or building.

Col. 36 - All Shops, Stores, Inns, Taverns, etc. etc.

Page 361

Col. 37 - All Public Buildings, such as Markets, Prisons, Court Houses, Public Halls, etc.

Col. 38 - All places of worship, to what denomination belonging, whether held in common between two or more congregations - the material of which built, and as near as you can come to the number of persons each is capable of holding.
Col. 39 - In this column you will enter all Factories of whatsoever kind - distinguishing whether wrought by steam, water, wind or other power, as far as possible the average produce thereof per year, and where you can arrive at it, the value of property invested - and you will please note any circumstance that may attract your attention in relation thereto.

Col. 40 - The number of hands usually employed in each.

Col. 41 - General observations.

It is hoped that the form now adopted will not only save the enumerators much trouble, but also render mistakes or inaccuracies easily to be avoided.

Sheet no A. or the Personal Census, being thus completed you will proceed with B. or the Agricultural Census. In this you will observe that only the occupiers of land are to be inserted. The columns need very little explanations. Nos. 37, 38 and 39 are left blank, in order that you may insert any crop not before given. Experience has shown the great difficulty of arriving at a correct return of the various crops, you will please pay particular attention to thes columns. You will take care in filling columns 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9, the total of 5 and 9 should agree with the quantity given in 4 - thus if a person hold .................... 200 acres.

Cleared - Col. 5........................160
Wild - Col. 9...........................40

and 6, 7 and 8 must agree with 5.

Land cleared............................160
Under Crop, 100.........................100
Under Pasture, 45.......................15
Under Gardens or Orchards...............15

Col. 33 - The produce of HAY is to be given the usual method of the Country, whether by bundles or tons.

The several columns of this return are to be added up previous to their being delivered to the Census Commissioner. In column 55 you will make such remarks as you think best, in regard to the nature of the soil, how watered, general value of the land, etc.

page 362

By comparing the present forms with those formerly used, you will at once perceive the desire of the board to lighten as much as possible the labours of the enumerators and at the same time facilitate the acquirement of the necessary information.

Your Enumeration District must be perfected within 14 days.
I have the honor to be,
Your obedient servant,

Secy. to the Board

Last updated: 2/10/2021

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