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Chinese-Canadian Genealogy

Resources for Canadians of Chinese origin who wish to learn more about their personal connection to Chinese-Canadian history.

Chinese Communities in the 1891 Census

This series of Film Notes has been designed by Vancouver Public Library staff as a guide for researchers wishing to quickly locate individuals of Chinese origin in 1891 census records. It is not an alphabetical name index or list, but allows for quick identification of census pages on which Chinese individuals appear.

The Film Notes currently cover census records relating to B.C.'s Cariboo and New Westminster Districts and the Territories, an area with five census districts (covering modern Saskatchewan, Nunavut, Northwest Territories, and Yukon).

"Communities" is a very general term in the context of this project. Chinese people often lived together in work camps, hostels and Chinatowns. But others were scattered among households in which they were the only Chinese residents (often domestic servants). The Film Notes attempt to reflect all Chinese noted in the census records. Every effort has been made to compile a comprehensive and accurate listing, but due to the quality of both filming and penmanship, there may be omissions. As in all census records, it is also possible that some households and individuals were missed entirely and never originally recorded.

Unless otherwise indicated, people have been identified as Chinese if either their own or at least one of their parents' birthplace was recorded as China in the census . The Film Notes are based on records of all such individuals, even when the names indicate that they were not ethnoculturally Chinese.

1891 census records for the B.C. and the Territories are on 6 microfilm reels, and are arranged by census district and sub-district. Visit the British Columbia and Territories tabs above to view the Film Notes.

The Film Notes in this section have been compiled to help researchers locate Chinese people more efficiently in 1891 Canadian census records . For further details, see the introductionto these Film Notes.

In 1891, the vast majority of Chinese people in Canada resided in B.C. B.C. census records for 1891 appear on Library and Archives Canada microfilm reels T-6290, T-6291, and T-6292. These microfilm reels are available at the Vancouver Public Library and at other repositories across Canada.

British Columbia was divided into five census districts. The Film Notes cover two districts: Cariboo (complete) and New Westminster (partial). Follow the links below to view the Notes for these two districts.

1 - Cariboo
2 - New Westminster

This series of Film Notes has been compiled to help researchers locate Chinese people more efficiently in 1891 Canadian census records . For further details, see the introductionto this section.

In 1891, the Territories comprised the area now occupied by Alberta, Saskatchewan, Nunavut, the Northwest Territories, and Yukon. In the census of that year, very few people of Chinese origin were recorded in the Territories.

1891 Territorial census records appear on Library and Archives Canada census microfilm reels T-6425, T-6426, and T-6427. These microfilm reels are available at the Vancouver Public Library and at other repositories across Canada.

The Territories were divided into five census districts. No Chinese were enumerated in District 200 - Saskatchewan, and the films for District 201 - Unorganized Territories have not been reviewed. Follow the links below to view Film Notes for the other three districts:

197 - Alberta 
198 - Assiniboia East
199 - Assiniboia West

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