In early 1872, probably in February or March, Father P.S. Vallée, curé of the St.Bruno parish, undertook a census of his parish. From the records, it's not clear why this census was undertaken; other neighboring parishes did not enumerate their parishioners, as far as I know.
St.Bruno's was one of the earliest parishes in the upper St.John River valley; only St.Basile's is older. Established in 1838, St.Bruno covered most of the eastern reaches of the Madawaska settlement. Eventually other parishes were formed, and by 1872 St.Bruno seemed to be limited to the immediate area around Van Buren. Checking against the census records, it also included some families who were living in New Brunswick.
There are 2,049 persons listed in the census. In some cases, the same person is listed twice, once in their parents' household, and once in a household where they are employed (in these cases I have noted this in the Remarks column), so the number of individuals actually counted is a bit lower than that number. The census was written down in the regular parish register, and covers 66 pages. In the transcription I have used the stamped page numbers from the original register (listed as the "Stamped page number"). The census was on pages 488 through 495, and then pp.500-557. I've checked the names and numbers and believe that there was no census information written on pages 496-499. Below I include a list of the locations identified in the census, with the page numbers on which they occur.
The St.Bruno parish census is an excellent source of information on the inhabitants of St.Bruno parish. For each person, the census included the names of their parents and whether they were still living or deceased at the time of the census, and it used women's maiden names. It also included each person's age; how many years they had been married; if widowed, the name of the deceased spouse and how many years the person had been a widow/er. Also included is the name of the parish of birth (or baptism) of the person; their occupation; and other information. Also included is whether the person had made their first communion or not.
The census was written in French, and the transcription thus reproduces the French. I have translated information in the "Remarks" column into English; the English translation is in parentheses and italics. The occupations are not translated, but I have provided a listing of translations of the occupations and other information that appears in the "occupation" column. I've also included a listing of the parishes and places mentioned in the "Birth place" column, and their location.
The information in the census is not always correct. In several cases where I've identified mistakes, I've included the information in the "Remarks" column at the end of each row, in black text on light-green background. In addition, for example in checking against the Ste.Luce baptismal records, I have found that in this case, persons identified as having been born in "Ste Luce" were not necessarily baptized there. I assume this is true for other parishes as well, though I have not gone through the census to verify this. As far as I can tell, this location was identified by the person him or herself. In a few cases the letter "C" was written after the parish; my hunch is that this means they either made their first communion or confirmation at that parish.
In some cases, the census taker indicated a person's relationship to someone else in the census, rather than the name of their parents. Thus, on page 555, Charlemagne Sirois is identified as "frère de Jean," or brother of Jean. Going up a few lines we see Jean Sirois, with parents listed. I have not included the parents' names next to Charlemagne in the transcription, though I have included it in the detail page linked to the database search results page. But it is generally pretty easy to find the person identified.
In the last column of the transcription are comments that were listed in the original under "Remarks." In that column I have also included my own comments, information that is not from the original. In this case when the comments are my own, they are backgrounded in light greenish-blue.
This transcription was done from the microfilm copy of the original church register. The microfilm is from the Institut Drouin's collection of microfilmed church records.
A note on page and column headings
At the top of each page is information about that page:
Stamped page number is the number stamped at the upper left or right hand corner of each page. These are numbers in the parish register, in which the census was entered.
Localité, or location: the places covered in that section of the census. These are not names of towns but rather are local names, concessions, local roads, etc.
Sheet no., is the number, from 1 to 66, of a particular page within only the census. This number is not from the original census
Line is not in the original census, but numbers I've added to help with organization and to make finding individuals easier.
No. is the number listed next to each household. They were numbered in order. The first section, "Section de Violet" was numbered from 1 onward. The numbering restarted with 1 on page 500, with the Section des Lignes du Grand Sault.
Noms/Names: The names of each individual.
Age: The age of the individual. Some newborns are listed as one-half (½) or one-fourth (¼).
Ma.: The number of years couples had been married.
Lieu de naissance/Birthplace: The parish in which the person was born. (See the list of parishes.)
C: A number 1 in this column indicated that the person had made their first communion. A zero (0) means they had not.
E: A number 1 in this column indicated the person had not yet made their first communion. A zero means that they had.
Père/Father and Mère/Mother: The name of the person's father and mother. This is left blank if the person is still living in the household of his/her parents. Sometimes in the remarks it is indicated that one of the parents had died and the other parent remarried, in this case I have included the name of the deceased parent in this columk.
Dec.: If there is a cross (+) in this column, it means the person is deceased at the time of the census.
Occupation: The occupation of the person. (See the list of occupations with English translations.)
Remarques/Remarks: other information included in the census, often about relations to other people.
Autres commentaires (hors du document original)/Other comments (not in original document): This is information that I have included to correct or clarify information in the census. These comments are on a light green background, and are not from the original census.
Below is a list of the locations identified in the census, first in the original French, then in English translation. I have included the page numbers on which they occur. Information on their current-day locations.
Online searchable databases:
In addition to the online name index, you can search the 1872 census database, using either the Simple Search Form or Advanced Search Form:
The simple search form allows you to search the 1872 census by last name of people enumerated, of their father and of their mother.
In the simple search you can specify which terms must be in all records, terms that cannot be in records, etc. using the common operators: + - * "" (more information about boolean search mode).
Simple Search Results: Clicking on the "Search" button will produce a table of names, ordered alphabetically by name of the enumerated person, that fit your search criteria. At the end of each row is a link, "Details." Clicking on that link will bring you to a page with all information for that particular record. In the detail page there is also a link (the page number) that will bring you to the page of the online transcription on which that person appears.
The Advanced Search Form allows you to search by the following fields:
- Names. You can search by first name and/or last name of enumerated person and his/her parents.
- A note on the spelling of names. I have transcribed the last names from the census exactly as they are spelled in the original. This spelling was not always consistent, so you should be aware of a few facts when searching:
- Names ending in -et are sometimes spelled with -ette. When searching for "Violet(te)" for example, you may want to search using "starts with" and "violet"
- Some names are written in two different variants. For example, Thibodeau is sometimes written Tibodeau; Theriault is sometimes written Terriault. Try both spellings.
- Search criteria. You can search by exact spelling (exact); by the first few letters of the name (starts with); or by a few letters in the name (contains). Given the inconsistent spelling it's worth trying a few different versions of each.
- Age. You can also search by age, in the form of "between" two ages. If you want to search only one particular age, you must enter that number in both boxes. For infants under the age of one, enter "0" (in the census, some children's ages are given as ½ and ¼; there are a few whose ages are listed in terms of days, some in terms of months. All of them can be found by using "0").
- Sex. I have included a "sex" field, though in the record itself there is no explicit mention of whether the child is a son or daughter. The only indication of the sex of the child is the first name. Because many of the French names used at that time are not familiar to anglophones today, I've included this field, which is also searchable. In one case, where the child had not yet been baptized or named, the sex is indeterminate and that field is left blank.
- Birth place. This can be searched using "is exactly", "starts with" or "contains". See "A note on parishes" for a complete list of parishes, the spellings used in the census, and their locations.
- Advanced Search Results: Clicking on the "Search" button brings you to the advanced search results page. Here you'll see all records that fit your search criteria. The column headings are self-explanatory.
- Details page. For all of the information from each record, click on the "details" link at the end of each line.
- Transcription. Clicking on the linked page number will bring you to the actual online transcription of that page of the census, where you can see the individual in the context of his/her household and neighbors.
Part 1, pp.488-491
Part 2, pp.492-495
Part 3, pp.500-503
Part 4, pp.504-507
Part 5, pp.508-511
Part 6, pp.512-515
Part 7, pp.516-519
Part 8, pp.520-523
Part 9, pp.524-527
Part 10, pp.528-531
Part 11, pp.532-535
Part 12, pp.536-539
Part 13, pp.540-543
Part 14, pp.544-547
Part 15, pp.548-551
Part 16, pp.552-557
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Last revised 28 Apr 2007
©2007, C. Gagnon