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The 1842 Census of Elgin County

1842 Census images now Free Online at the FamilySearch.org site


Library and Archives Canada - 1842 Census Canada West

Updated 18 Feb 2015

1842 Censuses Indexes - 

Images of the 1842 census (searchable by name) are now online at www.familysearch.org

Questions Asked on the 1842 Census - 

1842 Aldborough Township - Family Search images for Aldborough

1842 Bayham Township - Family Search images for Bayham

1842 Dunwich Township - Family Search images for Dunwich

1842 Dorchester Township - Family Search images for North and South Dorchester

1842 Malahide Township - Compiled by Bruce C. Johnson Jr. - Family Search images for Malahide

1842 Southwold Township - Family Search images for Southwold

1842 Yarmouth Township - Family Search images for Yarmouth

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:

Aldborough: April 8, 1842 Donald Campbell

Bayham: July 12, 1842 Jeremiah Moore

Dunwich: April 11, 1842 James Lumley

Dorchester: June 21, 1842 Harry Edwards

Southwold: April 14, 1842 Amos Barnes

Yarmouth: April 8, 1842 John Lannin

Note that names and other details from the 1842 Malahide Township census have been previously transcribed by Bruce C Johnson Jr.

Questions Asked on the 1842 Census - 

Following is a list of the information gathered for the 1842 census:

Name of Head of Family


Non Proprietor

Entitled to Vote

Trade or Profession

Number of Persons in Family (male/female) Temporarily Absent

Number of Natives of (belonging to each family): England, Ireland, Scotland, Canada French Origin, Canada English Origin, Europe or otherwise, U.S.A.

Number of Years Person in Province (not natives)

Number of Aliens not naturalized

Family:           Males and Females 5 years and under
Males and Females between 5 and 14 years

Males: ages 14 - 18; 18 - 21; 21- 30; 30-60; 60 and older

Females: ages 14 - 45; 45 and older

Deaf & Dumb: males, females

Blind: males, females

Idiots: males, females

Lunatics: males, females

Religion: (a list of about denominations)

Coloured: males, females

Male farm servants

Male servants

Other female servants

Acres of land occupied

Acres of improved land occupied

Additional Agricultural Data - see full data requested at:  http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/census/1842-canada-west/Pages/about-census.aspx

Links to other Elgin County census indexes and images

1852 Elgin Census indexes and images at Automated Genealogy (free)

1861 Elgin Census - Index at FamilySearch.org (free)

1871 Census indexes for head of houshold  at the Library and Archives of Canada (free)

1881 Elgin Census (east and west) Indexes at Family Search (free)

1891 Elgin Census - Index at FamilySearch.org (free)

1901 Elgin Census (east) indexes and images at Automated Genealogy (free)

1901 Elgin Census (west) indexes and images at Automated Genealogy (free)

1911 Elgin Census (east) Indexes images at Automated Genealogy (free)

1911 Elgin Census (west) Indexes and images at Automated Genealogy (free)

1921 Elgin Census - Indexes and images at Library and Archives Canada


Ancestry.ca has also has indexes and images for the 1852-1921 censuses. (subscription required)