Complete the 2021 Canadian census for future generations of family historians

In the year 2113, genealogists will receive access to the 2021 Canada census, provided the law allowing access 92 years after a census is collected doesn’t change. Let’s hope by then people are still interested in researching their family history — or perhaps technology will do it for them.

In early May, Canadians will receive instructions in their mailbox on how to complete this year’s census. They can decide whether to complete the questionnaire on paper, over the phone, or online.

There are two kinds of census questionnaires.

The first is the short-form questionnaire, which 75 percent of people receive. It collects basic information, such as age, marital status and language.

The second kind is the long-form census, and it’s usually the one genealogists want to receive. It gathers information on social and economic situations and the dwellings they occupy.

Unfortunately, there will be no place on either form to provide the full names of parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents and when and where they were born.

If you changed your name when you married, you may want to find a way to include your maiden name on the form to help future generations of genealogists. That may end the need for presentations on “Finding Your Female Ancestors.”

Discover how the 2021 census compares to the first census conducted in Canada back in 1666. On the same web page, there are three links to using the census for family history research and the life of an 1877 enumerator.

Genealogists probably won’t need any coaxing to complete their form. For others, the threat of a fine up to $500 may be enough to encourage others to do so.

Statistics Canada expects more than 15 million households to participate.

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