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Nominal Census Returns

These census records are called Nominal Returns meaning that family information was collected i.e., full names of all family members with ages, gender, occupations, ethnic origin, marital status and other details like the relationship to the family head i.e., wife, daughter, son, etc.  The first nominal census was taken in the colony of New Brunswick in 1851.  There have been further enumerations at least every ten years ever since.  Confederation ended the New Brunswick censuses and from 1871 onwards, the federal government has enumerated New Brunswick as part of the nation-wide censuses of Canada. 

The nominal census records are available on microfilm for each of the 15 New Brunswick counties by Parish for the years 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901 and 1911 at the PANB and other New Brunswick public repositories. 

See detailed listings of Parish areas and boundaries in each County at the PANB County guide website.

Much Census information is now online and in hard copy format with many of the original returns compiled, indexed and arranged alphabetically by surname

1851 Census 

This was the first census to record people's names. 

The personal questions were: Dwelling, Name, Sex, Relationship, Age, Race, Rank or Occupation, Date of entering the Colony, Sick or Infirm, Remarks. 

However, this census did not list all residents in some communities especially in the more remote Parish areas.

  Enumerators used the word "native" in the race column to identify an individual who was born in New Brunswick.  In this context, the word "native" does not indicate a First Nation person. 

Records for Gloucester and Kent Counties did not survive and for some parishes in Queens, Saint John and York Counties. 

See AtomatedGenealogy.com

1861 Census 

This census includes the religious affiliation of the family members, Agricultural Schedules that tell the number of acres under cultivation, the crops planted, number of livestock and other details. 

Enumerators used the word "native" in the race column to identify an individual who was born in New Brunswick.  In this context, the word "native" does not indicate a First Nation person. 

See CanadaGenWeb.org

1871 Census

This census contains return of the living, deaths in the last 12 months, amount of cultivated land, livestock, animal products, number and type of industrial operations, forest products returns, shipping and fisheries and mineral products return. 

Literacy and health details are noted. 

See CanadaGenWeb.org

1881 Census

This census contains the name, marital status, gender, ethnic origin, age, birth place and occupation  of each individual enumerated; names of those who died in the last 12 moinths.

See FamilySearch.org

1891 Census

This census contains all family details like the earlier returns and includes the parents' place of birth. 

Only a few of the 1891 Census returns are available for research online. 

See CanadaGenWeb.org

1901 and 1911 Censuses

The 1901 and 1911 census records give the full birth dates of each family member. 

For fully indexed versions, see AutomatedGenealogy.com

For more information on the censuses of New Brunswick see

Library and Archives Canada   (general info)

New Brunswick GenWeb Census Records (general info; reel numbers; NB transcriptions)

Canadian Genealogical Projects Registry (Canada-wide transcriptions)

Information Collected by Canadian Census by Marlene Simmons