The first provincial census in what is now Ontario took place in May 1842. Government bodies responsible for returns have been the Department of Agriculture in the 1800’s, the Dominion Bureau of Statistics in the 1900’s, and Statistics Canada in the 1960’s.
The census returns were copied by the Arnprior & District Archives from Microfilm copies at the Library & Archives Canada in 1995.
Scope and Content
Collection consists of 4 census returns, 1842 McNab Township (includes people in Arnprior & Braeside); 1851-1852 and 1861 McNab Twp. (includes Braeside) & Arnprior (Arnprior enumerated separately because by this time, it was a town); 1901 McNab Township and Arnprior.
Census Returns list every member of each family for McNab Township for 1851-1852; 1861 and 1901. The 1842 census lists only the head of each household; however, it does include many columns of statistical information about all of its members. The returns were done by district or county (made up of municipalities, townships, and villages) by an assessment officer who swore an oath that the information collected was accurate and true. The returns give age, occupation, birthplace (usually country or province) and religion. If person not home that day, then person enumerated elsewhere; if person born outside Canada, only name of country is given (not town, village, or city in that country). The returns are done by concession and lot nos. for country addresses done and by streets for city address done. Braeside enumerated separately once it became a village in 1921; in 1901, 2 types of returns were done: 1. individual--Schedule 1 and 2. property--Schedule 2; use the lot and concession nos. to connect the 2 schedules; see nos. in far left columns.
Abbreviations, spellings & definitions found on the returns include:
Range = Lot
W = Wooden
B = Brick
S = Stone
Dom = Domestic
Galiek = Gaelic
C.S. = Church of Scotland
F.C. = Free Church
W.M. + Wesleyan Methodist
R.C. = Roman Catholic
E.C. = Episcopal Church (Church of England)
Some population stats:
1842 700 Twp. of McNab
1901 8,000 Twp. of McNab + Arnprior
1995 12,000 winter Twp. of McNab
24,000 summer Twp. of McNab
See also File Folders “Census information” and “Voters’ Lists” in Peter Hessel collection Accession #1994 0021.