The 1842 census for the townships of Elgin County are found under the London District on microfilm through the following locations:
National Archives & Library of Canada (microfilm # C1345)
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Family History Library (microfilm # 281227)
Elgin County Archives (microfilm # 211)
These indexes compiled by Elgin OGS do not represent a complete transcription of each item of information contained in the 1842 census. A total of 85 questions were asked for each householder (see list below). A good portion of the questions have genealogical importance, while many are of an agricultural nature.
The researcher is advised to consult the microfilm to obtain the rest of the information contained in the census return.
The 1842 census enumerated the name of the head of household only. Statistics on other members of the family were gathered throughout the 85 questions. The information transcribed in these indexes includes: name, occupation, and in two cases, lot and concession and number of persons in family. It is interesting to note that the lot and concession was not actually one of the questions asked. But, the enumerator for the township of Bayham wrote this information in the margin. This has been extracted for the index.
Also, the enumerator for the township of Dorchester incorrectly entered number of persons in family in the column where the question actually read “number of persons in family temporarily absent”. This information has been extracted for the index.
The microfilmed copy of the 1842 census contains no page numbers or line numbers, as later census returns do. Therefore, a page and line number have been assigned to assist the researcher in finding the original entry. Numbers were assigned only for the pages containing names. There are several pages of statistics between each page of names. To determine the line number assigned by the transcriber, simply start at the top of the page and count!
IMPORTANT - For many of the townships, there is an overlap where several of the names at the bottom of a page also appear at the top of the next page. Both entries were recorded to facilitate the counting of line. This accounts for double entries of the same name in the index.
The handwriting and quality of microfilming for some pages resulted in some names being next to undecipherable. As a result, many names in this index may have been misinterpreted. In some cases, and undecipherable name has been indexed as “unknown”.
No attempt was made to correct obvious spelling errors in names. For example, in Southwold Township, “Isaac Bollby” appears on the same page as several members of the “Bowlby” family. Also, in Aldborough township, a “Thomas and John Foord” appear. In all probability the surname should be “Ford”. The researcher is advised to check the index carefully and not rely on a search engine.
Note that in 1842 the township of Dorchester had not yet been divided into North and South Dorchester. Therefore, a portion of the inhabitants listed in this index for Elgin County were actually living in what was later North Dorchester Township, Middlesex County.
The dates that the census returns were “sworn true” and the names of the enumerators: