10 August 2013

The 1921 Census of Canada: looking deeper

Still struggling to find your folks in the 1921 census?  With almost 8.8 million people in about 220 divisions, and about 4846 sub-divisions there's a lot to trawl through if you don't know where they lived. Hopefully they're not on a page that's missing, probably not. Searching without a name index is different and certainly more challenging than the way things are today; it brings back memories of how things used to be.
In a comment on the previous 1921 post Helen pointed out the map resources of  the Canadian Century Research Infrastructure (CCRI), a facility previously mentioned by Lisa Dillon.
If you're straining to read the column heading on the census images CCRI has a fairly good quality image at:  www.canada.uottawa.ca/ccri/CCRI/Images/1921.Schedule.jpg
Want to know just what the terms on the form mean? Read the Enumerator instructions at:  www.canada.uottawa.ca/ccri/CCRI/Images/1921%20Enumerator%20Instructions%20-%20English.pdf, and then hope the enumerator for your area had read and followed them too!
As for the CCRI map resources, I'm a bit puzzled. Take the source CANADA 1921 CCRI Reference Map A_B List of CDs.pdf. It has 54 districts for Ontario, with no entry for Ottawa, while the census on Ancestry has 81 districts including Ottawa. Ancestry has 16 districts in Saskatchewan, CCRI has 18.
In total Ancestry has 228 census divisions, spread across the provinces. The Territories have no divisions, only sub-divisions.
If you're interested in population statistics from 1921 there are a series of bulletins at http://archive.org/details/1921981921P21921eng
In case Newfoundlanders are feeling left out of the fun, there's no need. Transcriptions of their 1921 census have long been available at http://ngb.chebucto.org/C1921/121-dist-idx.shtml


Anonymous said...

The most annoying thing for me, in looking for people in Toronto, is that some sub-districts have very detailed descriptions, as in "Polling Subdivision no. 55 - Comprising Bathurst Street, west side, from Harbord to Blear Street; Markham Street, east side, from Dicer Street to Harbord Street; Harbord Street, north side from Bathurst to Markham Street; Herrick Street, both sides, from Bathurst to Markam Street; Lennox Street, both sides, from Bathurst to Markam Street; Bloor Street, south side, from Bathurst to Markham Street", while all the people I'm looking for live in the sub-districts described only as "Polling Subdivision no. 56 and 57". And of course 'Blear Street' is actually Bloor Street, and I think 'Dicer Street' is actually Ulster Street.

Ellen C said...

Do you or anyone know what the official 'DATE' of this 1921 Census is/was?

Glenn W said...

In response to Ellen, the census was taken on June 1, 1921. It was done very quickly and by the first of August, preliminary statistical returns were being published in local papers.

turner said...

I can believe it was done very quickly Glenn. I have found my father, born in 1913 (wow, first time!) and his dad my grandfather Malcolm Turner, enumerated twice!


Anonymous said...

Does anybody know which sub decision of Winnipeg Transcona comes into please?