1842 Census for Canada East

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The 1842 census only lists the name for the head of the household but it’s helpful to find where families with a particular surname were living and later censuses (after 1842) often have all family members listed and you can track entire families. “In the first half of the 19th century, a series of censuses were done to determine the distribution of parliamentary representation. Shortly after the Act of Union created the Province of Canada, consisting of Canada West (present-day Ontario) and Canada East (present-day Quebec), legislators agreed about the need for a census in September 1841. It was to be completed by February 1, 1842….In Canada East, enumerators visited 23 census districts, divided into 139 sub-districts. These units were made up of cities, towns, parishes, villages and townships. Unfortunately, not all returns have survived. For various reasons, this census was not a success and it was retaken in May, June and July 1844. The total count of the population of Canada East in 1842 was 697,084 individuals. Only the census returns for 1842 have been preserved….This census is partly nominal, meaning that only the names of the heads of families or households were collected. The other members of the families or households were counted, but not named, and totals were recorded per category….The enumeration data were collected using one document, known as a schedule, which included a total of 89 questions, spread across 8 sheets. Questions were asked in French in Canada East and in English in Canada West. Therefore, the text in the column headings is in French for the 1842 Census of Canada East, followed by an English translation taken from the wording used in the 1842 Census of Canada West.”

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