Documents & Records
1911 Census of Canada
The 1911 census was held on June 1, 1911.
According to a electronic index (available at the Vancouver Public Library; see below), 25,060 people reported their birthplace as China in the 1911 Canadian census. Although a few may have been individuals of non-Chinese ethnic origin who happened to have been born in China, most were of Chinese ethnicity. The total number reported above does not, however, indicate individuals born in Canada to parents of Chinese origin.
Chinese-born Canadian residents in the 1911 census were distributed across Canada as follows:
British Columbia 17,477 Alberta 1713 Saskatchewan 947 Manitoba 844 Ontario 2637 Quebec 1229 New Brunswick 83 Nova Scotia 124 Prince Edward Island 6
The database indicates no Chinese-born in the Territories. There is no figure for Newfoundland, since Newfoundland was not at this time part of Canada.
Personal information about each enumerated individual was recorded under the following column headings in the 1911 federal census returns:
- Name of Each Person in Family, Household, or Institution
- Place of Habitation
- Relationship to head of family or household
- Single, Married, Widowed, Divorced or Legally Separated
- Month of birth
- Year of birth
- Age at last birthday
- Country or Place of Birth (if Canada specify province or territory)
- Year of Immigration to Canada, if an Immigrant
- Year of Naturalization, if Formerly an Alien
- Racial or Tribal Origin
- Chief Occupation or Trade
- Employment Other Than at Chief Occupation or Trade, if any
- Working on Own Account
Finding the Records
At the Vancouver Public Library
A full name index for the Census of Canada, 1911 is available on the Ancestry Library Edition electronic database. Links to digitized images of original records are provided. Free access to Ancestry Library Edition is available at any location of the Vancouver Public Library. Remote access from home is not available.
The Vancouver Public Library collection includes a microfilm copy of 1911 census records:
Fifth census of Canada, 1911, 135 microfilm reels (1911)
Ref. 929.3 ORC39e
The census collection is located in Fine Arts and History on Level 6 at the Central Library.
On the microfilm reels, records are arranged by census district and subdistricts. In 1911 B.C. was divided into 7 census districts:
11 New Westminster
13 Victoria City
14 Yale and Cariboo
Although Ancestry Library Edition (see above) is the most efficient way of searching the 1911 Canadian census, there are several options for those who are unable to visit the Vancouver Public Library or wish to research from home:
A complete set of digitized images from the original 1911 census is available in the Library and Archives Canada Census of Canada, 1911 database. There is no name index; the database can only be browsed geographically.
Index to the 1911 Census of Canada (Automated Genealogy) is a volunteer project aimed at transcribing and providing free access to the entire 1911 Canadian census. As of February 1, 2006 almost half of the census had been indexed. Surname searches can be done by province. Special care needs to be taken when searching for Chinese individuals, as the transcribers appear not to have applied consistent standards when transcribing the unfamiliar names. For example, there are 4 entries for the Surname Yu in Ontario, but there are also entries for the surnames Yew, You, and Yueu.