01 October 2013

Tuesday's Tip: That Sweet Trick with the Enumeration Map

My husband is one of my greatest allies when it comes to doing genealogy. He is an amazing researcher with a very clear vision of what he needs to do to overcome a problem. He comes up with solutions many times that I didn't even know existed. A good example is how he found Muriel Ince Michaels on the 1921 Canadian census.

I had the copy of the 1911 census where her family is living in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Lester Ince and Ethel Pinheiro are living with Ethel's parents, Charles Pinheiro and Rose Dallas. Note how it says Charles is from Barbados.


Lester Ince and Ethel Pinheiro on the 1911 Halifax, NS Canadian Census

I had been filling in all sorts of gaps around this family using Nova Scotia Historical and Vital Statistics, and had the marriage record for Lester and Ethel. Because of that record, I was able to get the proper spelling of her maiden name. With that name in tow, a list of records pop out.

I find the records for their children: Ernest, Garnet, and Lester. I find out that Lester dies of bronchitis. I'm able to look through the Canadian census records again, this time for Charles and Rose. Their 1891 entry appears:

Charles Pinheiro and family on the 1891 Halifax, NS Canadian census

But I'm not satisfied. I need the confirmation that Muriel actually belongs to this family. Because she's born in 1913, I know she'll appear on the 1921 Canadian census. When my husband comes home and finds me sitting on the couch typing furiously on the computer, he doesn't have to ask what I'm doing. He already knows.

When I brief him that I'm still working on the Canadian lines of my research, he offers to search through the census for me to find the page I want. I have no doubt of his abilities. I've seen him work.

I leave him to go and do the dishes. By the time I come back, he's announcing, "I found it."


Ethel Pinheiro Ince appears without her husband on the 1921 Halifax, NS Canadian Census, with two more children

My eyes dart to find their name. Two more children's names appear... Muriel and William!




I look at him in pure awe. He's used to it. He gives me this look which can only be described as I'm Sort of a Big Deal.

"How did you do that?" I demanded to know. He showed me this:


1910 Halifax, Nova Scotia enumeration district map

This map shows all of the census enumeration districts for the city of Halifax. On the 1911 census my ancestors are living on Gerrish Lane in Ward 5. If you look at the top of the 1911 census, it says Ward 5.

So, when he went to Ancestry.ca and started looking through the census records, he went to the city of Halifax, scrolled directly to Ward 5, and started looking. He got about 4 pages in to one of the first sections he looked at before he found them.

So, to anyone trying trying to work up the mental capacity to dig through the 1921 census, there is an easier way. 

Pay attention to the enumeration information on the census records you already have. Look up a map if you want to see it in front of you. Narrow your search down to a section of the census and look through it that way. Take a lesson from my husband and save yourself a lot of unnecessary work. It will leave you feeling much better in the end.