1852 Specific Documentation


For the period from 1841 to Confederation in 1867 the British territories in what are now Ontario and Quebec were administered under a single legislature as the united Province of Canada. Prior to 1841 this area was administered under separate legislatures as Upper Canada and Lower Canada, and these two territories were referred to as Canada West and Canada East in the united Province of Canada. After Confederation, Upper Canada/Canada West became the Province of Ontario and Lower Canada/Canada East became the Province of Quebec.

A census of the Province of Canada was planned for 1851 but delays pushed it back into early 1852. The 1852 Census includes information spread over four pages (labeled a,b,c,d in the page listings). We are transcribing the information recorded on the first of these four pages which includes Name, Occupation, Place of Birth, Religion, Residence if Out of Limits, Age and Sex. There is useful information on the following pages, including marital status, which can be consulted by viewing the digitized images once the entry is found using the transcribed information from the first page.


General guidelines and frequently asked questions are covered on the TranscriptionGuidelinesFAQ page.

How do I select a page to transcribe?

From the 1852 Home page, select the desired province, then select the district you are interested in transcribing. Click on 'Pages' and select any page showing "0" in the Lines column.

As a courtesy, where one transcriber has already started transcribing an area, it would be usually be appreciated if you start transcribing in another subdistrict. Many of the transcribers may have already worked on the same district in the 1901 and 1911 census projects and have a special research interest in an area and knowledge of the families in the district.

Please note that many subdistricts contain a page from the agricultural schedules, most commonly on the final page of the subdistrict, please do not transcribe these pages.

Sign in and then click on the “transcribe” link for the selected page. This will display the census page image of the selected page and the data input form in a split screen format. The census page image will be displayed in the upper part in Adobe PDF format which requires the Adobe's freeware Acrobat reader. You should set up Adobe Acrobat Reader to display pages within your browser not in a separate window. This will allow you to view the image of the original and the input form in a split screen format.

Extra information recorded by the enumerator

In the 1852 census, you will find that marital status shown on the accompanying schedule was informally recorded on the page you are transcribing in the 'Residence if out of Limits' column just left of 'Age'. Do Not record this information.

Using the drop down lists in the 1852 input form

A new feature for 1852 transcribers allows the addition of values to the drop down list for Occupation, Birth and Religion. You can add the new value to the beginning or the end of the drop down list. Please note that additions to drop down boxes only persist for the length of the transcription session. Each time you sign on you need to add any values again. If it is a value that seems to be highly recurrent, please suggest that it be added to the permanent list by posting to 1852 forum on the message boards.

Please note that when using the 1852 input form the drop down lists are purely an input convenience. Below each drop down box is a text field which contains the value that will be stored in the database. When a value is selected in the drop down list the text field is set to that value. This means that you can usually set the value in the text box by just typing the first letter. If the value you want to set does not appear in the drop down box type the letter O which selects Other (A for Autre when using French drop down lists) and then press the tab key. This will leave the cursor in the text box with the word Other selected so that you can type in the new value.

If you are transcribing a page that was enumerated in French you will want French values in the drop down lists. To change the language of the drop down lists, click on the desired language link below the input form where it says: "Original page enumerated in: English French".

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