While the 1940 U.S. Census is being released in the United States 72 years after it was taken, Canada is gearing up for the release of the 1921 census next year. Canadian legislation dictates that 92 calendar years must pass since the taking of a census before those records can be opened for public use and transferred to Library and Archives Canada. One can only wonder why there is this 20 year difference in access to census information???
According to Library and Archives Canada:
“Census returns after 1916 are in the custody of Statistics Canada, not Library and Archives Canada. The 1921 Census was taken on June 1st, which means that it will be in the custody of Library and Archives Canada on June 1, 2013. Our intention is to make it available to researchers online, in the same format as previous censuses, as soon as possible after that date.”
It is not the mandate of Library and Archives Canada to provide a name index to any census. They have to be searched by geographic area. On thediscoverblog.com which is, at the moment, the Library and Archives Canada Blog, you will find the following information:
“Census returns were enumerated geographically (according to a person’s residence), not by an individual’s name. The information for each sub-district was recorded in the order in which the enumerator visited each household. Many genealogical societies and individuals transcribe and index census returns by name and make them accessible. Our census indexes page provides you with helpful links to these indexes. Starting in 1851, a census for all of Canada was held every ten years, with the addition of a census specifically for the Prairie Provinces in 1906 and 1916.”
You can also ask questions and receive answers about the 1921 census at the above link.