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Archives research collection Canada. National Archives of Canada
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British Columbia portion of 1881 census

GR-0469 consists of microfilm copies of the British Columbia portions of the 1881 Dominion of Canada census. The 1881 census was the first decennial census to include the Province of British Columbia. The census was carried out under the authority of the federal Census Act of 1879 [42 Vic., c.21]. It was administered by the Department of Agriculture and by fourteen Chief Census Officers who were appointed by cabinet. Joseph William McKay (1829-1900), the distinguished explorer, Hudson’s Bay Company officer, legislator, and Indian Agent, was the Chief Census Officer for British Columbia.

For the purposes of enumeration, British Columbia was divided into five census districts:, Cariboo, New Westminster, Vancouver, Victoria and Yale. The province was divided further into twenty six sub districts. Generally speaking, the census districts corresponded to federal electoral districts, while the sub districts corresponded to polling divisions within the districts.

The 1881 census was a de jure survey and 4 April 1881 was chosen as the target date of enumeration. That is, although the process of enumeration extended over many months, enumerators were instructed to record details of the population as they would have been on April 4th.

The census comprised eight schedules pertaining to population, property, agricultural production, manufacturing, fisheries and shipbuilding, etc. Of the schedules, only Schedule 1 (Nominal Return of the Living) survived in manuscript form.

The records contain a wealth of demographic and genealogical information. The Nominal Returns show the names of individuals and record details re: a person's residence, sex, age, place of birth, nationality, religion, occupation, marital status, literacy, and infirmities. Researchers should note that individuals were not listed alphabetically on the census schedules; rather, they were recorded consecutively as they were met by enumerators. Because of this method of enumeration, it is sometimes difficult to locate a particular person or family within a census sub district.

Having identified a particular sub district listed in the finding aid, researchers should search the appropriate reel (B00389 or B00390) for copies of the Nominal Returns for that area. Note: letters identifies sub-districts, and in some instances, sub districts were divided into two or three localities.

Canada. Census Office

British Columbia portions of the 1891 census

The series consists of microfilmed copies of the British Columbia portions of the 1891 census, created by the Census Office of Canada.

The records are arranged by the five federal census districts: Cariboo, New Westminster, Vancouver, Victoria and Yale and then by sub-district within each district.

Canada. Census Office

Canada. Dept. Of Marine And Fisheries.

Transaction Registers for ships registered at Victoria 1867-1908 and Vancouver 1891-1898 and 1917-1945. The reels also contain Registers for various Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick ports 1841-1950. Among details to be found are where and when ship was built; owners; builders; number of decks, masts, details of rigging etc.; length, breadth, depth; tonnage; details of engines; changes of ownership and final fate of ship (i.e. reason for being taken off Registry). Some Victoria volumes are indexed.

Reel B08475 (NAC reel C-1214, Vol. 147) Victoria 1897-1908
Reel B08476 (NAC reel C-3184) Quebec, Ontario, Victoria
Reel B08477 (NAC reel C-3185) Weymouth, Annapolis, Victoria
Reel B08478 (NAC reel C-3188)

Canada. Department of Marine and Fisheries

Canada. Dept. Of Marine And Fisheries.

Transaction registers for ships registered at the Port of New Westminster, 1880-1889 (reel B09868), and 1889-1913 (reel B09869). The reels also contain Registers for various ports in Ontario, Quebec, the Maritimes, and for Aklavik in the N.W.T. Among details to be found are where and when the ship was built, owners, builders, number of decks, masts, details of rigging, etc., length, breadth, tonnage, details of engines, transactions relating to ownership and reason for being taken off registry. The Registers record transactions up to ca. 1950. (National Archives of Canada, RG 12, A 1, vols. 364 and 445).

Received from the National Archives of Canada under the 1990-1991 Diffusion Programme.

Ships - Registration and transfer - British Columbia

Canada. Department of Marine and Fisheries

Compilation of early BC films from the National Archives of Canada

The item consists of two video copies of 10 early BC travelogues and miscellaneous films, originally made between 1899 and 1936. The contents include:
The song that reached his heart: a story of the lumber regions of Western Canada (1910)
Victoria, a Kinogram travelogue (1924)
A trip over the Rockies and Selkirk mountains (1910)
Canada's Pacific gateway (1928-1929)
Panoramic view between Palliser and Field, B.C. (1901)
Panoramic view of the Canadian Pacific R.R. near near Leauchoil, B.C. (1901)
Down western slope (1899)
Victoria: the sunshine city (1936)
Yoho (193-)
A trip over the Rockies and Selkirk Mountains (1910). This is a duplicate copy of the third title in V1988:37.

The video reference copies, arranged in a different order, also include:
Through the Norway of North America
Panoramic view of Kicking Horse Canyon

Finding aid for the 1871 Canadian census

This series consists of a photocopy of the finding aid for 1871 Canadian census, created by the National Archives of Canada. The BC Archives does not hold a copy of the census records for 1871. A microfilm copy is available at Library and Archives Canada.

Canada. National Archives of Canada

Immigration Branch border entry lists

Border entry lists, 1908-1918, of the Immigration Branch. This unit contains those reels which have British Columbia entry ports on them although other Canadian entry ports do appear.

Canada. Immigration Branch

Immigration Branch ship's passenger lists

This series contains Ships' Passenger Lists of the Immigration Branch of the Department of the Interior. These records (part of the National Archives' Record Group 76) are passenger lists for various ships arranged chronologically by date of arrival for the ports of Vancouver and Victoria 1905-1919. Also included in this series are lists of ship arrivals at Vancouver and Victoria 1900-mid 1908, prepared by the National Archives-of Canada, and "Reports of Monthly Steamship Arrivals" for the ports of Vancouver, Victoria and adjacent Pacific ports 1905-1922.

Canada. Immigration Branch

Manitoba census returns

Returns from Manitoba census, 1870; returns from Red River census, 1831-1847; returns from Red River census, 1849, 1832-1833; returns from Manitoba census, 1856.

Canada. Census Office

Strikes and lock-out files

This series contains strikes and lockouts files (National Archives of Canada, RG 27/D2, vols. 294-437). Since 1907, the Dept. of Labour has collected information on each strike and lockout In Canada and created a file on each dispute. The files contain departmental forms returned by the employer and union involved in each dispute, listing the causes of the dispute, the number of workers affected, and its duration. Also included are newspaper clippings and correspondence pertinent to the dispute. For a fuller description, see National Archives of Canada. Government Archives Division. Records of the Dept. of Labour (RG 27), pp. 48-49 (copy in Inventory no. 19).

Canada. Department of Labour