Friday, June 12, 2009

Finding 1851 Canada Census Images - Post 1

I wanted to find, and save to my hard drive, the images of my Canadian ancestral families from the 1851 Canadian Census.

I learned in Canada Census Indexes at FamilySearch Record Search that the FamilySearch Record Search index is pretty useless (it has all the people with the indexed information, provides reference numbers, but doesn't provide the parents, spouse or children in a family) and that there are no images available yet. I learned in Canadian Census Records that there is a transcription of the 1851 census at and that the images are available at the Canadian Genealogy Centre.

I am looking for my great-great-grandmother, Mary Jane Sovereen, born in 1840 in Norfolk County, Ontario, daughter of Alexander and Eliza (Putman) Sovereen. I went to the Automated Genealogy web site and clicked on the 1852 link up in the left hand corner of the page. The 1852 Province of Canada (Quebec and Ontario) page opened:

I put "Sovereen" in the Surname field and clicked on "Search." There were 42 matches - see the two screens below:

The results are alphabetical by first name. I saw Alexander Sovereen right at the top of the list, so I clicked on the link to the transcribed page (17b, 18a (35)) and the transcribed page came up (two screens below, some overlap):

It's great that they highlighted the person I selected. As you can see, Alexander Sovereen (a farmer, born Upper Canada, Baptist, age ??, male) with Elizabeth Sovereen (born Upper Canada, Baptist, age ??, female), Mary J. Sovereen (born Upper Canada, Baptist, age 12, female) and Rachel E. Sovereen (born Upper Canada, Baptist, age 6, female). There are also a servant and a labourer, followed by Frederick Sovereen (age 66), Mary Jane Sovereen (born New Brunswick, age 61) and Mary Catherine Smith (age 17).

From my research, I know that Frederick and Mary Jane (Hutchinson) Sovereen are the parents of Alexander Sovereen and that Mary Catherine Smith is the granddaughter of Frederick and Mary Jane Sovereen, and a niece of Alexander and Eliza Sovereen.

The Automated Genealogy search function is very simple - only a Surname (so you would have to guess at spelling variations), but it's a free web site indexed by volunteers. It will not accept a partial surname (like Sover or Sov) or wild cards. You can search counties page-by-page using the links for Canada West (Ontario) and Canada East (Quebec) on the 1852 Census page.

In the next post, we'll try to find the census image on the Canadian Genealogy Centre web site.

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