New citation references 1921 Canada census

I have recently researched in the indexed 1921 Canada census at and note that film numbers are not part of the citations. Instead, RG 31 and a folder number are cited. I have seen this in four citations so far.

If this is the case, the new citation reference details for the 1921 Canada census might need to be included in a future reprinting of EE.

Submitted byEEon Sat, 11/02/2013 - 18:43


Thank you for your suggestion. When film numbers are not cited by an online provider such as Ancestry, it may (or may not) be because film numbers do not exist. Two basic issues are involved here. Fortunately in both cases, they are relatively easy matters for us to deal with. 

  1. Some film is made for preservation purposes rather than being issued as a publication; that preservation film may or may not be numbered by the repository that created it;
  2. We cite what we use.

EE 3.17–3.19 cover the basics of Issue 1. You may also have noticed that 9.46 offers examples of records  from the same repository that holds the originals of the census you consulted online: the Library and Archives Canada. In the examples at 9.46, the citations identify a specific roll number because LAC has numbered those film series. However, LAC holds other preservation film collections that do not carry an accession number. 

Archival variances in the numbering (or not numbering) of their film collections are also complicated by the fact that online providers such as Ancestry may have made their images from the film or, increasingly today, may have digitally imaged the originals. If our provider made images directly from the original documents, then the provider would be correct in citing the record group (RG) name and number from that archives as Ancestry has done here. The provider would be expected to cite the film number only if that is what the provider used.

As users, how can we be certain that we cite each situation correctly? Always, as you have, we study whatever the provider gives us-—both the digital image and the source identification or background discussion. Then, we resort to No. 2 above: We cite what we use. In this case, the material to which you have linked would call for a citation to Ancestry's database, as opposed to the census itself, followed by "citing ________." The blank would then be filled in with the essentials you draw from Ancestry's lengthy source identification.

Submitted byrenlenson Wed, 09/21/2022 - 00:47

Hello EE,

I would appreciate your feedback on citing a 1921 census found on Findmypast. I'm citing the image and transcription, both of which I purchased from Findmypast. I have followed the EE 6.51 example for a 1901 census found on Findmypast which has been extremely helpful. 

EE 6.51 example

Source List Entry

1901 census. Wales. Montmouthshire. “Census, Land & Substitutes.” Database with images. DC Thomson. Findmypast 2015.

First Reference Note

1. 1901 census of Wales, Monmouthshire, Bedwelty, p. 5 (stamped), Moses Frame; image, “Census, Land & Substitutes,” DC Thompson, Findmypast ( accessed 1 April 2015); citing [The National Archives] “Series RG13, piece 4943, folio 5, p. 1.”

Below is my attempt for the attached census image and Findmypast transcription.

Source List Entry

1921 census. England. Essex. " Census, Land & Substitutes." Database with images. DC Thomson. Findmypast. : 2022.

First Reference Note

1921 census of England, Essex, Leyton, schedule 127, Lilly Christian Clark; image, "Census, Land & Substitutes," DC Thomson, Findmypast ( : accessed 18 September 2022); citing [The National Archives] "Series RG15, piece 08615."

The 1921 census form does not have a stamped page number, I have therefore included the schedule number. 

The Findmypast transcription does not indicate a folio or page number such as with the 1901 example. They only list the series number and piece.

Thank you,

Renee ( new to citing )






Upload a document

Submitted byEEon Fri, 09/23/2022 - 11:11

Renee, thanks for uploading the images. You've followed well the format at 6.51. What I normally do for a query is to go to back to the site being used and ensure that everything about the site was exactly the same as it was when I crafted the example or when I re-checked it before the last revision. In this case, I cannot without a subscription to FindMyPast—and FMP is not on this year's long list of subscription sites for research problems I'm currently working on.

I cannot tell, for example, whether FindMyPast has changed its architectural structure in a way that requires a special path. I cannot tell whether the collection title "Census, Land & Substitutes," which it used when the last edition of EE went to press, is still used or whether (like Ancestry, for example) users can go straight to the census without a collection title. I do note two things on the transcription you provided:

  • The details that are given users from which to craft a citation do not include a "collection" title.
  • Those details do have a line citing Category: "Census, Land, and Surveys."

These are points you may wish to verify for yourself.