Recensement Canadien de 1871

Project-Specific Indexing Instructions

Number of Records per Image:

The data entry area is set at 40 records per image. However, an enumerator may not have recorded information on all forty lines. Each record line on an image must be accounted for. Therefore, if there is no data to index on a line, the record must be marked as blank. To do this:

  • On the tool bar, click Edit.
  • Select Mark Field/Record.
  • Select Mark Record Blank.


  • Press Ctrl+Shift+B.
Upon completion of each image, a message will appear asking if you want to add one or more records to this image. Click No.

Click on the link below if more help is needed with adding and deleting lines.

How to Index Names:

  • Given Name: The given name is written last.
  • Surname: The Surname is usually written only once for the first member of the family. However, it needs to be repeated for each family member.

How to Index Places:

  • When a place has been misspelled, spell it correctly.
  • When a place has been abbreviated and you can determine what the abbreviation stands for, type the complete name instead of the abbreviation.
  • Use the lookup lists for assistance. If you are not sure what the locality should be, type the name of the place as it was written on the census.

How to use the Ruler:

Because of the possibility of two pages per image, the system cannot handle the highlights. You will need to use the ruler instead.
  • To turn on the ruler:
    1. Click View
    2. Click Show Ruler

How to Index a Fraction in the Age Column:

  • When a fraction is given for the age, such as: 3/12, change the fraction into months, such as 3m.
  • Type the age with these explanations following the numbers: a for years and m for months.
  • You do not need to separate combinations of years and months with commas or spaces.

Corrected or Crossed-Out Information: 

  • When information is crossed out and then replaced, type the new data into the appropriate fields.
  • When the information is crossed out, not replaced, and can be read, type the crossed-out information.
  • When the information is crossed out, not replaced, and cannot be read, mark the field unreadable by pressing Ctrl+U.
  • When every entry on a record cannot be read, mark the entire record unreadable by pressing Ctrl+Shift+U.


  • If a required field (a field marked with an asterisk) contains a descriptive word, such as unknown or inconnu, press Ctrl+B to mark the field as blank.
  • If a field that is not required contains a descriptive word, such as unknown or inconnu, press Tab to skip this field.  

Unnecessary Punctuation:

  • Do not type periods, commas, parentheses or semicolons after initials, abbreviations, or between multiple levels of localities for any of the fields.

Ditto Marks:

  • Ditto marks or similar signs of repetition may be found in several fields. If a field contains any of these signs, type the actual information from the above field. 

Lookup Lists:

  • A lookup list is a collection of common names, places, races, and other information that may be used to help decipher a specific field. All fields that have a corresponding lookup list will have a down arrow at the right side of the column.
  • Click the  Down Arrow.
  • Select Lookup for the appropriate list for that field to appear.
  • The lookup lists do not include every possibility. If the clerk wrote something that is not in the list, type what was written on the record.

Red Wavy Line:

  • The red wavy line does not mean that you made a mistake. It appears because the word you typed is not in the lookup list. This is okay.