Names and Locations from Census Records

Sources of Census Transcriptions and Images

The “Personal” or “Nominal”- (Schedule 1) are the familiar accountings of Households – names, ages, relationships etc.

The addenda Schedules, in particular, the Agricultural / Cultivated Lands Schedules can be consulted to match each Head of Household to Concession/Lot locations. These are locations where the householder reported agricultural yields and perhaps not always the location of the family home.

Images of the agricultural schedules are available online, free, at Library and Archives Canada. Various methods have been utilized to index surnames and to display images. Genealogical research sites such as FamilySearch and Ancestry, have incorporated the same indexes, with some finer detail in their indexing.

For this project, suggestions are made on each Township Page, to assist in location of the agricultural schedules, with the understanding that the existing indexes may be significantly incomplete, especially for 1861.


Using “Wildcards”
The census data has been transcribed into indexes, often with variations or unexpected spellings. It is suggested that surnames be searched using wildcards.
Library and Archives Canada search utilities are the most restrictive in terms of ‘fuzzy searching’. This means that their search forms will return exact matches only, and not search for spelling variations or similar-sounding (Soundex) matches.
The (star) wildcard returns all matches beginning with specified letters. It can be used in all search fields.
Spr* returns Spragge, Sproule, etc.

Also try variations on names i.e. how they might have been spelled when sounded out/ Anglicized.


1842 Census of Canada West (Partial)

LACAbout | Name Search with Images
This Census did not ask for Concession/Lot locations, however some enumerators recorded such in the margins.
[details and links coming soon]

1851 Census of Canada West

About | Name Search with Images
Library and Archives Canada originally had not transcribed Names from the 1851 Agricultural Census. Instead they had provided this index to the images. LAC’s indexes now DO include these names, and can be filtered by District (roughly, County) and Sub-District (roughly, Township).
For this project, at each Township’s page, a custom link is provided to the LAC search form, pre-filtered by Township and requesting only the Agricultural Schedule results. Add a Surname to the search field (or for a list of all names leave the Surname field blank) and hit ‘Search’.


1861 Census of Canada West

About | Name Search with Images (not accurate; see below)
The 1861 Agricultural Schedules, in most cases, were attached as a group at the end of each District (County) collection of Nominal Schedules.

When searching LAC’s indexes, and filtering for “agricultural” schedules only, only District level results will be returned (entire county). If you specify any Sub-District (township), an error will be returned. The names from agricultural returns for many townships have been completely or partially missed in the indexing. If your household has been located in the Nominal schedules, it is worth manually searching the Agricultural schedules by images..

For this project, at each Township’s page, a chart is provided linking directly to all Ag Schedule images within the Sub-District (Township).

TIP: The indexes found at FamilySearch and Ancestry websites seem to be the same inventory as at LAC, but return more surname results based on similar spellings / soundex.


1871 Census of Ontario

An “Agricultural” Schedule DOES EXIST FOR 1871, showing Concession and Lot locations, and even locations within towns. It’s a multiple-step process to find the correct entry in Schedule 4: Return of Cultivated Land and Products, and involves cross-referencing the Households on the Schedule 1: Personal Census with their corresponding Ag entries based on a common reference.

1. Locate the Household of interest on the Personal Census (Sched. 1), viewable at LAC (free), FamilySearch (free account) or Ancestry (subscription). Determine who is the Head of Household.

2. Record the specific Census collection details – District, SubDistrict and (Enumeration) Division. The Division is important as a single township could have up to six divisions.

3. Record the Page Number and Line Number of the Head of Household on the Personal Census (Sched. 1). See an example at bottom of this page.

4. Our project, on each Township’s page, has a chart of the start pages of the Sched. 4 Cultivated Lands Schedules per Division. At the LAC site, use the < and > arrows to arrive at the page that cross-references to the Page and Line number of the Head of Houshold from the Personal Census (Sched. 1).

5. The next columns reveal the Concession and Lot locations of the agricultural yields of the Household.



Using the 1871 Census of Ontario Indexes at FamilySearch, an ancestor –
George Keys – has been enumerated in Stephen Township, Huron County.

Here, I am using FamilySearch’s free indexes (requires a free account).


It is important to determine who is the Head of this Household (usually the first listed individual of the group). This can be confirmed by viewing the image of the original.

Be sure to record all details from the FamilySearch (or Ancestry) index – these are required to locate the Sched. 4 counterpart.

Since FamilySearch does not link to images, and it is wise to re-confirm details (!), I can search for the record at Library and Archives Canada’s 1871 Census page. Use the exact same Surname spelling as transcribed in the FamilySearch index.

If using Ancestry’s site with a subscription, you get direct links to the images.


Again, re-confirm who is listed as the Head of Household (in this case it IS George), and record the unique identifcation key which is the Page and Line Number and make sure also to record which Enumeration Division this set belongs to, in this case Div. 1.

Now go to the page for Stephen Twp. at this project site. (This link opens it in a new tab).

Click the Census menu and the ‘1871 Schedule of Cultivated Lands’ title.. a chart drops down.

Follow the link to the start page of that Census Collection (specifically Enumeration Division 1, in this example). (This link opens the start page in a new tab. Once there, notice the navigation bar at top, then scroll down to see the Sched. 4).

LAC’s Microform Digitization site allows advancement through the collection using < and > arrows.

For this example, advance to the page where Col. 1 and 2 correspond to the references from the Sched. 1 (in this example the HOH was on Page 18, Line Number 5.

The adjacent columns reveal the Concession and Lot location of this Household (more accurately – the location of agricultural yields for this household- they may reside elsewhere).

Not seeing a Sched. 4 page? Scroll down to bottom.
In this example, you need to advance pages until Col. 1 (Pg) says 18, and Col. 2 (Line) says 5.
The results for the George Keys household: He is a T (Tenant) cultivating a 1/2 acre at Con. 1 Lot 23 of the Township of Stephen, Huron Co.
It is worth the search – most small-holdings tenants would not have subscribed to participate in a published Map or Gazetteer.

heritagePIN PROJECT DATABASES | Project Goals and Progress

HeritagePIN has a number of Name Transcription Projects on the go since 2008. The time period of study is Pre-Confederation (1867). Since Ontario's civil records program took some years to fully implement, this time period has been extended to include Ontario's documented inhabitants prior to the mid-1870's.

Transcribed surnames are searchable at each Township's page


MAPS | project

I had been able to photograph several of the (brittle) Pre-Confederation maps at various universities and archives, and by 2016 the University of Toronto has made images available ONLINE for many more!

The names in these databases have been transcribed by me personally, and include names from the inset town maps, and indexes of subscribers, located in the margins of each map.


Likewise, with historical directories, names have been transcribed by eye, not by OCR (conversion to text). They include those entries for individuals living in towns and cities.


Where maps and directories are sparse for a township, or for an early time period, the Databases are supplemented with record-sets * that show names and Concession/Lot locations *. These include early Land Grant/Patents, and Agricultural Census returns.