- About The Project
- 1901 Census
- Manitoba Affidavits
- Northwest Scrip Application
The Census in the Database
Data Categories for 1901 Census Document Series
The information gathered by enumerators in the “Unorganized Territories” was different than the information gathered in the “Organized Territories.” However, some consistency between the two districts occurs and these consistent data categories have been captured for the MNC Historical Online Database. An examination of the digital version of the original documents may provide additional information.
Province/Territory: This field indicates the province or territory in which the enumeration took place.
District: This field indicates the district within the province or territory in which the enumeration took place. Each district was divided into subdistricts, which approximated townships, parishes, larger villages, lots, rural municipalities, and city wards.
Community: This field indicates the community (i.e. town, village, settlement) in which the enumeration took place. Communities were enumerated as part of larger townships or parishes.
Year: This field captures the year that the Census was taken. Censuses were taken every ten years. (This field anticipates that the MNC Historical Online Database will include data from other Censuses in addition to 1901.)
Dwelling House (#): The enumerator numbered each house or place of abode in the order of visitation. As long as each structure had only one principal door, it counted as only one dwelling, no matter how many families may have lived in it. If the dwelling had two or more principal doors that led into separate units within the structure, then the structure would be given two or more dwelling numbers. The number assigned to a dwelling by the enumerator has been entered into the database as it appears on the original document.
Family or Household (#): The enumerator numbered each family in the order of enumeration. The Family or Household number may not be the same number as the dwelling number. This is the case when more than one family resided within the same dwelling. The number assigned to a family by the enumerator has been entered into the database as it appears on the original document.
Surname: This field captures the surname (birth name) of the individual enumerated. In most cases the surname is only recorded for the “Head” of the family and ditto marks are recorded for the other listed family members. The ditto marks correspond to the “Head” of the family’s surname.
Given Name: This field captures the given name (first name) of the individual enumerated. Sometimes, given names were abbreviated by enumerators using standardized abbreviations (i.e. Wm for William, Jas for James, Chas for Charles, etc.). In these instances, researchers have entered the full name of the enumerated individual into the database.
Sex: This field identifies if the individual enumerated was a male or a female. However, there are cases where the enumerator may have mislabelled the individual’s sex. For example, the given name is recorded as Isabelle and the sex is recorded as “m,” indicating male. In such cases, the researchers entering the information into the database did not “correct” the enumerator’s potential mistake but entered the information exactly as it appears on the original document.
Colour: This field identifies the individual’s racial designation, which for the purposes of the 1901 Canadian Census was characterized by a person’s skin colour. Colour was typically classified as “R”, “W”, “Y”, or “B”, which denotes Red, White, Yellow, or Black. Occasionally, enumerators populated this column with the abbreviated terms normally used in the “Racial or Tribal Origin” category. The whole word, rather than the abbreviation, has been entered into the database (i.e. “R” has been entered into the database as “Red”).
Relationship to head of family or household: This field captures the relationship of the individual to the “Head” of the family or household. The relationships were “Wife,” “Son” or “Daughter,” etc. However, the relationships were not limited to just immediate family members and the enumerator recorded associations other than by blood (i.e. lodgers, domestics and/or servants). This information has been entered into the database exactly as it appears original census document.
Single, married, widowed, divorced: This field identifies the marital status of the individual. The marital status was classified as “M,” “S,” “W,” or “D,” denoting married, single, widowed or divorced. This information has been entered into the database exactly as it appears original document.
Year of Birth: This field captures the year of birth of the individual. In some cases the year of birth was left blank by the enumerator. If the “year of birth” was left blank but the “age at last birthday” was recorded, the researcher calculated the year of birth for the purposes of the database. For example, if the age given at last birthday was 43, the researcher would subtract 43 from 1901 (1901- 43 = 1858). The researcher would then enter the year of birth into the database as 1858, followed by a question mark. The question mark appears after the year of birth to indicate that the information has been calculated by the researcher.
Country or place of birth: This field identifies the country, province/territory, district, sub-district, region, or community of the individual's place of birth. In most cases the enumerator indicated an “r” representing rural residency or a “u” representing urban residency after the birthplace (i.e. “Ontario r”). In some cases the country or place of birth was abbreviated by enumerators using standardized abbreviations such as “Man” indicating Manitoba, or “O” indicating Ontario. This information has been entered into the database exactly as it appears in the original document.
Racial or Tribal Origin: This field identifies an individual’s ethnic or racial origin. At the time of the 1901 Census, race served to distinguish between populations or groups. For example, the term “halfbreed” was used to describe an individual of mixed ethnicity or “blood.” In many cases the enumerator abbreviated the racial and tribal origins. When entering the information into the database, the researcher has expanded the abbreviation into its full phrase (i.e. “FB” was entered into the database as “French Breed”).
Religion: This field identifies the religious beliefs and/or affiliation of the enumerated individual. This information has been entered into the database exactly as it appears in the original document.
Mother tongue if : This field captures the individual’s native language, the enumerator only recorded the language if the individual spoke it. This information has been entered into the database exactly as it appears in the original document.