About the 1825 Census for Lower Canada

How the Census Was Collected

In the first half of the 19th century, a series of census were done in order to determine the distribution of parliamentary representation. The Census for Lower Canada, 1825 marked the first collection of statistics. It took place between June 20 and September 20, 1825.

Enumerators visited 20 census districts, divided into 246 multiple enumeration units known as sub-districts. These units were made up of cities, towns, parishes, villages and townships. The total count of the population of Lower Canada in 1825 was 479,288 individuals.

This census is partly nominal, meaning that only the names of the heads of families or households were collected. The other members of the families or households were counted, but not named, and totals were recorded per category.

The enumeration data were collected using one document, known as a schedule, which included a total of ten questions.

From Paper to Microfilm

In 1955, the Dominion Bureau of Statistics was authorized by the Public Records Committee to microfilm and destroy the original paper records of the Census for Lower Canada, 1825. As a result, only a microfilm copy of the census exists as an archival holding. The microfilming of these records was not of consistent quality and not all images are readable.

The digitized images found on the Library and Archives Canada (LAC) website have been made by scanning the microfilms of the Census for Lower Canada, 1825. As exact copies, a page that was unreadable on microfilm will also be unreadable on your computer screen. Title pages from the microfilm have not been scanned, and contained this information:

  • Census year (i.e. 1825)
  • Province
  • District number and name
  • Sub-district number and name
  • Page numbers for each sub-district

Column Headings and Interpretation

A pre-printed form was used with headings written only in French. For your convenience, those headings have been translated.

Column 1. Noms des paroisses ou places dans le comté (Names of parishes or localities within the county)

Column 2. Noms des chefs de familles (Names of heads of family)

Column 3. Nombre total de personnes demeurant dans chaque maison (Total number of persons living in each house)

Column 4. Nombre d’absents de la province, appartenant à la famille (Number of persons belonging to the family, absent from the province)

Column 5. Nombre de personnes demeurant dans la maison au-dessous de six ans (Number of persons living in the house under 6 years of age)

Column 6. Nombre de personnes demeurant dans la maison au-dessus de six ans et au-dessous de quatorze ans (Number of persons living in the house from 6 years of age and under 14 years)

Column 7. Nombre de personnes demeurant dans la maison au-dessus de quatorze ans, et au-dessous de dix-huit ans (Number of persons living in the house from 14 years of age and under 18 years)

Column 8. Hommes (Men)

  • De 18 ans et au-dessous de 25 ans (From 18 years of age and under 25 years)
    • Non-mariés (Not married)
    • Mariés (Married)
  • De 25 et au-dessous de 40 ans (From 25 and under 40 years of age)
    • Non-mariés (Not married)
    • Mariés (Married)
  • De 40 et au-dessous de 60 ans (From 40 and under 60 years of age)
    • Non-mariés (Not married)
    • Mariés (Married)
  • De 60 ans et au-dessus (From 60 years of age and over)
    • Non-mariés (Not married)
    • Mariés (Married)

Column 9. Femmes (Women)

  • Au-dessous de 14 ans (Under 14 years of age)
  • De 14 et au-dessous de 45 ans (From 14 and under 45 years of age)
    • Non-mariés (Not married)
    • Mariés (Married)
  • De 45 ans et au-dessus (From 45 years of age and over)
    • Non-mariés (Not married)
    • Mariés (Married)

Column 10. Remarques générales et noms de la personne ou des personnes qui ont personnellement fait l’énumération et retour de chaque place, et entre les mains de qui, dans chaque place, il a été déposé une copie de ces retours. (General remarks and names of the person or persons who actually took the enumeration and returns in each place, and in whose hands a copy of the returns were left, in each place.)