Thursday, March 31, 2016

The 1901 Census of Canada and My Ancestors

Today is the 115th anniversary of the 1901 Census of Canada. The official enumeration date was 31 March 1901, the day on which Canadians were counted from coast-to-coast (except for Newfoundland and Labrador). [1]

I thought it would be an interesting activity for me to see how many of my ancestors appear on that year’s nominal census. Here’s what I found. A numbers in parentheses following an ancestor’s name indicates his or her number in my ancestor list.

Youngest

My grandfather Eugène Desgroseilliers (no.6) was almost eight months old when he was enumerated on the 1901 census. [2] His age is not indicated on the image below, but his date of birth of “30 août 1900” [30 August 1900] is correct. He and his parents Albert, a farmer, and Clémentine resided in the Township of Appleby, which is south of Sudbury, Ontario. All three were born in rural Ontario, were of French origin, held Canadian nationality, and belonged to the Roman Catholic faith. Albert and Clémentine could read and write and speak French, but only Albert could speak English.

Eugene Desgroseilliers on the 1901 census of Canada
Eugène Desgroseilliers with his parents on the 1901 census of Canada (Ancestry.ca)

The three-member Desgroseilliers family lived on concession 2, lot 1 in Appleby. There was one dwelling house and one barn/stable/other outbuildings on the property of 160 acres. The enumerator, Joseph Levert, visited and counted the family on 25 April 1901. [3]

Oldest

My great-great-great-grandfather Charles Beauvais (no. 56) was 89½ years old when he was enumerated on the 1901 census. [4] His age (92) and his date of birth of “22 Oct 1818” on the image below are incorrect. He was born on 19 October 1811, according to his baptism record. He and his second wife Magdeleine (aka Marie Madeleine Miron dite Migneron) lived with their elder son Felix, his second wife and their four children in Hartwell, now Chénéville, Quebec. All the family members were born in rural Quebec, were of French origin, held Canadian nationality, and belonged to the Roman Catholic faith. Charles’ occupation was “Rentier Cult[ivateur]” [pensioner farmer]. He spoke French, but not English, and couldn’t read or write.

Charles Beauvais on the 1901 census of Canada
Charles Beauvais in his son's household on the 1901 census of Canada (Ancestry.ca)

The eight-member Beauvais family lived on [concession? 21A], “rang 4” in Hartwell. There was one dwelling house and four barn/stable/other outbuildings on the property of 260 acres. The enumerator, Wilfrid Parisien, visited and counted the family on 26 April 1901. [5]

Other Ancestors

• Grandparents: Fred Belair (no. 4) and Julie Vanasse (no. 5), both lived in the province of Quebec.

• Great-grandparents: Pierre Belair (no. 8), Olivier and Elisabeth (Vanasse) Vanasse (nos. 10 and 11), Albert and Clémentine (Léveillé) Desgroseilliers (nos. 12 and 13), and Joseph and Olivine (Hotte) Beauvais (nos. 14 and 15). All lived in the province of Quebec except for Albert and Clémentine, who lived in the province of Ontario.

• Great-great-grandparents: Olivier and Elisabeth (Frappier) Vanasse (nos. 20), widow Marie (Guérard) Vanasse (no. 23), Pierre and Flavie (Lepage) Desgroseilliers (nos. 24 and 25), Joseph and Cordélia (Racette) Léveillé (nos. 26 and 27), widow Arline (Deschatelets) Beauvais (no. 29), and Louis and Marguerite (Lacasse) Hotte (nos. 30 and 31). All lived in Quebec except Pierre and Flavie, and Joseph and Cordélia, who lived in Ontario.

• Great-great-great-grandparents: widow Marcelline (Gagnon) Racette (no. 55) and widow Angélique (Caillé) Deschatelets (no. 59). Marcelline lived in Ontario, while Angélique lived in Quebec.

Ancestors Not Found

Living, but missing from the census returns are my great-great-grandparents Paul and Angélique (Lalonde) Belair (no. 16 and 17).

Some Census Statistics

• 206 census districts divided into 3,204 sub-districts.
• 8,800 enumerators collected information from 2,182,947 individuals in Ontario and 1,648,898 in Quebec.
• The original paper records were microfilmed and then destroyed by the Dominion Bureau of Statistics.
• There were eleven schedules, with a total of 561 questions.
• Schedules 1 and 2 (“Population” and “Buildings and lands, churches and schools”) survived, unlike the other schedules. [6]

Sources:

1. Dave Obee, Counting Canada: A Genealogical Guide to the Canadian Census, by Dave Obee (Victoria, BC: Dave Obee, 2012), 140.

2. 1901 census of Canada, Jennings, Casimir and Appleby, Nipissing, Ontario, population schedule, subdistrict F1-1, p. 2, dwelling 14, family 16, Eugène Desgros[ellier?] (written as Eugène Desgros[ellier?], indexed as Eugine Desgrosillier); digital image, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 28 March 2016); citing Census of Canada, 1901, microfilm T-6428 to T-6556; Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

3. “Ontario, Schedule 2, 1901”, digital images, Library and Archives Canada (http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/census/1901/Documents/1901-Ontario-Schedule-2.pdf : accessed 28 March 2016). To view the unindexed images of Schedule 2 of the 1901 census, follow this path from the above URL: page 185 of 381; District Name: Nipissing; District Number: 92; Subdistrict Name: Jennings, Casimir and Appleby; Subdistrict Number: F1; Division: 1; Page Number: pg. 1; Image: http://data2.collectionscanada.ca/1901/z/z002/jpg/z000084961.jpg; p. 1, line 17.

4. 1901 census of Canada, Hartwell and Preston, Labelle, Quebec, population schedule, subdistrict F1, p. 18, dwelling 145, family 152, Charles Bauvais (written as Charles Bauvais, indexed as Charles Banvais); digital image, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 28 March 2016); citing Census of Canada, 1901, microfilm T-6428 to T-6556; Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

5. “Quebec, Schedule 2, 1901”, digital images, Library and Archives Canada (http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/census/1901/Documents/1901-Quebec-Schedule-2.pdf : accessed 28 March 2016). To view the unindexed images of Schedule 2 of the 1901 census, follow this path from the above URL: page 87 of 246; District Name: Labelle; District Number: 160; Subdistrict Name: Hartwell and Preston; Subdistrict Number: F; Division: 1; Page Number: pg. 4; Image: http://data2.collectionscanada.ca/1901/z/z003/jpg/z000143449.jpg; p. 4, line 3.

6. “1901 Census”, database, Library and Archives Canada (http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/census/1901/Pages/about-census.aspx : accessed 28 March 2016).

Copyright © 2016, Yvonne Demoskoff.

2 comments:

  1. Such interesting reading, must do a summary of my own!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for dropping by and commenting, Ilene!

      Delete

Read This Before Leaving a Comment:

Please make sure your comments are on-topic and blog-focused.