The first complete index for the 1851 Census for all of Canada will be available for searching on October 24, 2006. This database will enable genealogists to search the 1851 Census of Canada by name, in addition to searching by location, with superior searching and viewing capabilities. This is the first time a comprehensive index has been made available, making it possible to track down ancestors who have been impossible to find until now without searching through reels of microfilm.
The 1851 Census offers information about the residents of Canada East (Quebec), Canada West (Ontario), New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. This was the first census taken after the rush of immigrants from the Irish famine. There are no census returns that old for Ireland; so, if you are looking for Irish famine arrivals in Canada, this census will be the first census to show them.
In this project, 1,487,802 names have been indexed. Since the population of Canada was just over 2 million, there is a good chance your ancestors' names will be found. Many of the 1851 census records were lost, so you will find numerous gaps.
You will need a subscription to Ancestry.com or to Ancestry.ca in order to search for ancestors by name and to view the images.
More information may be found at http://allcensusrecords.com/canada/census-news.shtml.