Saturday, June 13, 2009

Finding 1851 Canada Census Images - Post 2

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 the Automated Genealogy site and that the images are available at the Canadian Genealogy Centre.

In the first post in this series, I went through the 1851 Canada census index on the Automated Genealogy web site to find the Alexander Sovereen family in Norfolk County, Ontario. In this post, my plan was to show you the next step in the process - finding the image of the census record on the Canada Genealogy Centre web site, which requires knowledge of the County, Township and Page Number found on the Automated Genealogy site.

Before I could do this, Lorine Schulze, a resident of Canada and an expert on all records Canadian, commented on Facebook that I didn't have to go to the CGC site - I could use the "Split View" link on Automated Genealogy to see the image on the CGC site. Oh. Cool. What a time saver! Thank you, Lorine! I had missed the "Split View" link at the top of the census transcription page.

Here is the top of the transcription page in the 1851 census for Windham township, Norfolk County, Canada West:

The "Split View" link is right at the top of the screen. See it? In blue. Underlined. Got it! I clicked on that and the screen split vertically - a census page image above and the transcription below:

Each half has its own vertical scroll bar. The user can "grab and drag" the boundary between the two screens to make one bigger and the other smaller:

I then used the Zoom In button to magnify the page image and scrolled down to the entries for the Alexander Sovereen family group:

This really great feature on this web site permits the user to see both the census image and the transcription of the image. Well done!

Why don't record database companies like,, and others do something similar? After all, they have the indexed information in their databases. Being able to see the entire transcribed page is a real benefit to researchers, in my humble opinion.



Greetings Randy,
You might just want to take a look at the image on the Canadian Genealogy Centre website afterall. The reason is that the 1851 Canada Census contained 4 pages. The view you see at Automated Genealogy only shows you the first two, as in your search pages 34 and 35. The left page is blank with the right page showing the names of the individuals enumerated. You need to look at the next set of images because it provides more information. On page 36, it shows that your ancestor lived in a one story, frame house.
Many people don't know about these two other pages. If you had an ancestor who was born or who had died in 1851 it is contained on this census, a real bonus as this is prior to civil registration which began in 1869.

BDM said...

Automated Genealogy provides the split screen for some later censuses too. Very cool!