Sunday, August 03, 2014

Census Sunday: The Vanasse Family and the 1921 Census

1921 census of Canada
1921 census of Canada (Chichester Township, Quebec) [1]

My paternal grandmother Julie Vanasse was enumerated on the 1921 census of Canada. [2] She, her parents and some of her siblings lived in rural Chichester, Pontiac County, Quebec.

Julie was born on 31 August 1896, so her presence on the 1921 census marks her third appearance on a federal Canadian census.

Cropped version of 1921  Chichester Township census

The family’s surname is spelled Venasse on the above images, but is indexed Vinson in the census database at

There were eight members in the household: head of family Oliver (54), wife Elizabeth (54), and children Mary Ann (31), Willie (28), my grandmother Julia (24), Joseph (23), David (18) and Agnes (15). Three other children, eldest son George, and younger daughters Celia and Cora, lived in their own homes or in other communities.

Although the census form is bilingual (French and English), the responses are in English. I don’t see a date on this return, but the official census date was 1 June 1911. [3]

Oliver is a farmer. He owns his house, which is constructed of wood and has four occupied rooms. [4] The family is Roman Catholic, all its members were born in the province of Quebec, Oliver cannot read or write, his wife Elizabeth can write, and all their children can read and write. The family speaks French and English.

The thing that strikes me the most interesting about my Vanasse great-grandparents’ family on this census is that almost all of their unmarried children lived at home. I would expect to see teenager Agnes and perhaps her 18-year-old brother David still at home, but the others are between 23 and 31 years old and of an age to be living in their own homes or working out of town. I like to think that this nearly complete household means that they were a particularly close and united family.


1. 1921 census of Canada, Chichester Township, Pontiac-Témiscamingue-Abitibi, Quebec, population schedule, subdistrict 7, p. 7, dwelling 49, family 49, Oliver Venasse [sic] household; digital images, ( : accessed 8 August 2013); citing Library and Archives Canada, Sixth Census of Canada, 1921. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada: Library and Archives Canada, 2013. Series RG31. Statistics Canada Fonds.

2. 1921 census of Canada, Chichester Township, Pontiac-Témiscamingue-Abitibi, Quebec, pop. sched., subdist. 7, p. 1, dwel. 49, fam. 49, Oliver Venasse [sic] household.

3. Dave Obee, Counting Canada: A Genealogical Guide to the Canadian Census (Victoria, BC: Dave Obee, 2012), 160.

4. “1921 Canada Census Enumerator Instructions”, Ontario (Upper Canada) Genealogy and History - 1921 Canada Census Information ( : accessed 2 August 2014), entries no. 73, 77 and 78.

Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.

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