While preparing for a presentation I rediscovered agricultural census records. Not only is there one for 1861 but I was reminded an agricultural census record exists for 1851 too. The 1871 census, as well as the nominal census that lists the household members, there is a schedule for
1. return of deaths in 1870
2. return of public institutions, real and personal property
3. return of cultivated lands
4. livestock, animal products, homemade fabrics and fur,
5. return of industrial establishments
6. return of forest products
7. return of shipping and fishing
8. return of mineral products
You won’t find personal information on these other schedules but they are packed with information on how your family lived. My 3 great grandfather, William Jerry, came to Canada from Norfolk, England between 1834 and 1837. He lived in Pickering Township, Ontario County, but between 1861 and 1871 moved to St. Vincent Township, Grey County, Ontario.
The information on the other census schedules reveals how he lived his life. The 1871 census schedules tell me he owned 2 oxen, 1 milk cow, one horned cow, and 8 sheep. I wondered what he did with all those sheep and discovered he also had 24 pounds of wool; his wife made wool. The milk cow provided milk and 70 pounds of butter. He also had 50 bushels of peas, and 80 bushels of turnips, as well as wheat, barley, and oats. He had 20 cords of wood. This tells me he, his wife, and children worked really hard. Can you imagine picking 50 bushels of peas or chopping 20 cords of wood? That’s a lot of work. My ancestor couldn’t go to the grocery store instead he worked hard to be able to survive.
This is a picture of William’s son Robert in 1903. Robert and his wife Harriet (sitting beside each other in the centre of the picture) moved to Crozier, Rainy River District, Ontario.
You can find digitized images of the 1851, 1861, and 1871 agricultural and other census records at Library and Archives Canada. Just look under the Schedules heading. The 1861 agricultural census is indexed at Ancestry but when you search you must put “Agricultural” in the keyword box.
Library and Archives Canada; Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; Census Returns For 1861; Roll: C-1059; Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1861 Census of Canada [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2009.
1871 Canada Census; Grey North, St Vincent, Division 1, page 86; line 12; database online; Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa, Ontario.