Instructions to Enumerators

Bureau of Agriculture and Statistics

Quebec, November, 1860


The Census Commissioner for your County having appointed you one of the Enumerators for taking the Census, I am directed by the Board of Registration and Statistics to convey to you, through him, the following instructions:

In the first place, you will make yourself thoroughly acquainted with the limits of you Enumeration District, and draw up an account thereof, describing its boundaries, roads, &c., and general character, and if competent, draw a sketch thereof on the front of your book. On receiving your Blanks, you will, before commencing to take the Census, endeavour perfectly to understand each column, and if any difficulty arise, the Census Commissioner will advise you.

On the second Monday in January, which will be the 14th day of the month, you will proceed to you labour, having previously left the schedules with each family, if in town or city. – You will write at the head of the sheets given to you, a description of the boundaries of your District.

1st. – In the first column you will enter the Name of every person who sojourned in each house on the night of Sunday the 13th of January, as well as strangers as members of the family; and also those members of the family who are temporarily absent, but whose usual residence it is.

2nd. – In the second column enter the Trade, Profession, or calling, of each person. Where a Son works for the benefit of his Father – if the Father be a Farmer, enter the Son or Sons as Laborers – if a mechanic or Tradesman, enter the Son as the same, unless he follows a different trade.

3rd. – In the third column give the Country in which each person was born, (not the particular Town or City) and distinguish between Lower Canada and Upper Canada, and Prussia and the German States.

4th. – Requires no comment.

5th. – In the fifth column give the Religion; carefully distinguishing the class of Presbyterians or Methodists, where such there are – thus, if Presbyterians in connection with the old Kirk, or Church of Scotland, mark them C. of S.; if with the Free Church, or Presbyterian Church of Canada, mark them F. C.; and if United Presbyterians, mark them U.P. The Methodists also you will mark with W. for Wesleyan; E. for Episcopal; and N.C. for New Connexion; and if none of these, then mark them “other” Methodists. There are no sects other than these two requiring special distinguishing marks and the Primitive Methodists should be marked letter P.

6th. – The sixth column is only intended to note the Residence of any Strangers that may have been in the house on Sunday night, the 13th January. If their residences cannot be found out mark it “unknown,” in this column.

Columns 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 need no explanation.

13th. – In this column mark a figure (1) after every Colored person’s name, i.e., Negro or Negress. This was much neglected last Census and the number of colored persons was not ascertained. If Mulatto, marked M after his or her name – thus, (1) M.; and if Indians, mark “Ind.”

Nos. 14, 15, 16, 17. – These four columns should include all the residents in the house, whether members of family, Clerks, Servants, or Apprentices – but not causal travellers or visitors, as they are noted in the 5th column.

Nos. 18 and 19. – In these columns note the members of the family temporarily Absent.

These six columns from 14 to 19, both included, should, when added up, agree with columns 8 and 9 together – You are requested to take car that they do agree.

Nos. 20, 21 and 22. – Partial blindness need not be noted. Be careful to distinguish between Lunatics and Idiots. Lunatics are persons whose faculties are impaired; Idiots are such as never possessed vigorous faculties at any time.

23 and 24. – The columns are intended to include all Children generally attending School through the year, although casually or occasionally absent.

25, 26, 27, 28. – Require no comment.

Nos. 29, 30, 31. – These are to note the Age and cause of Death where deaths have occurred in the family, within the year 1860; and you will be very particular in endeavoring to arrive at the truth in every case both as to the age and cause of death, if such information can be obtained, as these show the healthfulness of the country, or otherwise.

32, 33, 34, 35 &36 require no comment.

37 to 45. These columns are intended to apply only to Live Stock of Persons resident in Cities, Towns, Villages, &c., and who are not Farmers. The Stock held by the latter will be returned in the Agricultural Census.

The succeeding columns are easily understood, but in the last it is desirable to include all Churches and places of Worship, the extent of their accomodation and value.

Care must also be taken to note in the columns left for such purpose, Shops, Stores, Inns, Taverns, Schools &c., also Factories of all kinds, Mills, Ship Yards, Woollen Factories, Lathes, &c., &c., &c., and note whether wrought by steam or water or wind power. You will also endeavour to procure accurate information as to the average annual produce of the Factories whether in Lumber, Flour, Leather, or Cloth, &c., &c., and also the value of Property invested, if possible to be obtained; and the number of Hands employed in each Factory: distinguishing the numbers of Male and Female, in fact all the information with regard to Manufactures which you can obtain. The last Census was very deficient in this respect. You will fill one sheet before commencing another, and put an equal number of names on each sheet, except, of course, the last, which there may not be names to fill.


In taking the Agricultural Census which is to contain only the names of heads of families occupying lands, whether male of female, you will take care that opposite each person’s name (in column 4) the total number of Acres occupied within the limits of your Enumeration District, by him or her, is legibly set down in good figures and that columns 5 and 9, when added, correspond with column 4, and Columns 6, 7 & 8 should agree with 5.

The other columns are easily understood.

In column 50 it has been thought desirable to designate the value of Working Horses separate from other animals, as they are an important element in the Agricultural policy of the Country.

Column 54 should include the Value of all the live stock mentioned in columns from 46 to 53 inclusive. They form a very important item in the wealth of the Country, and will be a criterion of the Comparative state of Agriculture in each Township and County, and also in Canada as compared with other Countries.

In columns 62 & 63, you will set down the Number and Value of pleasure Carriages, and pleasure Sleighs, Cutters, &c. kept by each person. Where two or three are kept by the same person, the value of all may be set down in one sum in Dollars.

Column 68 is left for any Remarks you may think right to make, as to cause of Deficiency in any particular Crops, &c. &c. &c.

You will endeavour to impress upon the people in your Enumeration District, that the information here sought has no reference whatever to taxation, and that Accuracy in their returns is of the highest importance, in order to ascertain the state of the resources of the Country and encourage the introduction and investment of Capital in the Colony, where the Statistics, truthfully taken, warrant the investment.

William Hutton,


Extract form letter from Wm Hutton Esqn Secretary Bureau of Agriculture and Statistics and Patent Office dated Quebec Dec 10th, 1860.

With regard to Indians you will endeavour from every source in you power to ascertain their number and also the value of the Furs sold by them distinguishing the different Furs; and as far as you can the Venison sold by them; also the Furs and Venison sold by other than Indians.

With regard to shanty men you will “take” all you can find in your district distinguishing if possible those shanty men who have permanent homes, and who are merely temporarily in the Bush, who have no regular homes.

The Former will probably be entered elsewhere as absentees. The others should be no where noted unless by you or your Enumerator.

It is important the whole number of hands employed at Lumber Work manufacturing Timber and you will also be particular in answering Queries with regard to skills, and if any Job be caught please note them carefully in the Columns.

Richard Carney Esq                                        (Illegible) yours with Respect

Cunis Cour                                                     Signed William Hutton



William Hutton's original letter appears on 1861 census microfilm C1091 between Algoma and Nipissing.
Transcribed as above 2008-11-29 by Éric Gendron of Verner Ont

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