OntarioGenWeb's Census Project
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Without the members of our Census Team this website would not be possible! It is from the hard work of these volunteers that we are able to offer free online census transcripts. Join this hard-working team and contribute to the genealogical community!

Our goal is to transcribe Ontario census records and make them available online for FREE. With your help we can reach this goal. Anyone anywhere can volunteer. Ontario census records are available WORLDWIDE.

”Students!”Volunteer as part of our Census Team to earn some of your community service volunteer hours.

Transcriber:
A "transcriber" copies (by hand or by typing) an original census record word for word using one of the
template formats provided.

Proofreader:
A "proofreader" checks a transcription against the original census record, correcting errors on the transcript where found.

Inputter:
An "inputter" types a handwritten transcript into the computer (we rarely have need for an inputter). A mailing address is required for this volunteer position as the transcriber will have to send you the transcript via post.

Copiers:
A "copier" copies a census from microfilm for another volunteer to transcribe. Several libraries and research centres now have the ability for genealogists to
save microfilm images to CD or e-mail. If your research centre has this ability PLEASE consider volunteering to copy at least one census area.
We need copiers for 1861, 1871 and early (pre-1851) census years only.

VOLUNTEER REQUIREMENTS:

  • A few hours to spare at your leisure (you set your own schedule)
  • Ability to read & decipher handwriting
  • Access to census microfilm if volunteering to do an early (before 1851) census.
  • Access to the Library & Archives Canada website if volunteering to do the 1851/2, 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901 or 1911 census.

    THREE EASY STEPS TO VOLUNTEERING

    1. Decide what contribution you'd like to make (see sidebar on the right)

  • Transcribe a census
  • Proofread a census
  • Input a census
  • Copy a census

    2. Read the HANDBOOK giving instructions on how to complete the task you chose

  • Transcriber's Handbook
  • Proofreader's Handbook
  • Inputter's Instructions
  • Copier's Instructions

    3. Sign up! (Clicking on each link will bring you to the census records that require the type of volunteer specified. No listings means no volunteers are needed for that specific task)

  • Transcribe a census
  • Proofread a census
  • Input a census
  • Copy a census

    If you 'Sign Up' and don't get a response from the Volunteer Coordinator within 7 days, please check your spam or junk folder. If a reply is not found there please contact the Volunteer Coordinator.



    Need more info before signing up? Check out our Volunteer FAQ:

    I don’t live in Ontario, can I volunteer?
    Yes!

    What do we expect from a volunteer?
    There is no time limit, but we expect a volunteer to complete what they have volunteered for in an expedient manner. More information regarding what is expected with regards to each task can be found in the handbooks or instructions.

    How much time do I have to commit?
    How much time do you want to commit? A specific time commitment isn’t required. If you can only spare an hour or two a week, great! An hour or two a month, great! Our focus is on results, not on the amount of time spent achieving those results. Every little bit each volunteer contributes is greatly appreciated regardless of how much time was involved. Every little bit completed is one more step towards our goal of providing you as many free Ontario census transcripts as possible.

    Is it easy?
    It can be. It really depends on which census you choose and how much of a challenge you enjoy. Some are very easy and quick to do. Others can be challenging and take months to complete. Either way each one is a huge accomplishment and appreciated by the genealogical community!

    What should I do, if I signed up, but can not fulfil my obligation?
    It is very important that volunteers are sure, before they volunteer because once someone signs up to transcribe or proofread a census it becomes unavailable for anyone else to volunteer to do. As soon as you know you are unable to fulfill your obligation contact the Volunteer Coordinator so we can release the census for someone else.

    Do you provide copies of the Census?
    No, but there are exceptions. If a copy of a census has been provided by a
    Copy Volunteer, this copy will be provided to the transcriber and/or proofreader and listed as a Volunteer From Home census. If a census does not have this designation, we do not provide copies.

    Where/How do I obtain the census to transcribe/proofread?
    If a census is not designated as “Volunteer From Home” you will have to obtain the census from microfilm by visiting your local library or LDS Family History centre (Ontario census records are available worldwide!).

    For more questions about volunteering, please read our handbooks


  • Inputter's Instructions
    An "inputter" types a handwritten transcript into the computer (we rarely have need for an inputter). A mailing address is required for this volunteer position as the transcriber will have to send you the transcript via post.

    1. Sign up to input a census that has been transcribed to paper.
    2. Provide a mailing address to the volunteer coordinator
    3. Await arrival of the transcript via “snail mail”
    4. Once the transcript arrives type it into the computer using the template for that census year.
    5. Send the finished computerized transcript via e-mail to the volunteer coordinator. Once receipt has been confirmed you can keep your copy of the handwritten transcript, or recycle it.


    Copier's Instructions
    A "copier" copies a census from microfilm for another volunteer to transcribe. Several libraries and research centres now have the ability for genealogists to
    save microfilm images to CD or e-mail. If your research centre has this ability PLEASE consider volunteering to copy at least one census area.
    We need copiers for 1861, 1871 and early (pre-1851) census years only.

    Unfortunately we CANNOT reimburse the copier for any costs involved in copying or postage. But we will credit each photocopier for their contribution by posting their name on the finished transcript.

    1. Sign up to copy a census (those listed as “Transcriber Needed” from the signup link also need copier volunteers, fill out the form and in the comments box specify that you would like to COPY ONLY. Or just contact the Volunteer Co-Ordinator with the county, year & area you would like to copy).
    2. Await confirmation that the census you’ve signed up for still needs a copier (we try to keep the website up-to-date but don’t always succeed!)
    3. Head to your local library or LDS Family History Centre and start copying the census from microfilm. Please DO NOT copy a transcript (this would be illegal). Copy only microfilm images.
    4. Send the copy of the census to the Volunteer Coordinator.


    ”Volunteer
    On occasion there are volunteer positions available that you can do entirely from home... BUT, if you’d be willing to leave home and visit a library (in Canada) or an LDS Family History Centre (worldwide) we would appreciate your assistance in that capacity. The census records we’re currently concentrating on are available only on microfilm and in order to get these census years transcribed we need volunteers who are willing to
    transcribe from microfilm, or willing to copy a census for another volunteer to transcribe.

    View of list of current 'at home' opportunities


    ©OntarioGenWeb’s Census Project 1999-
    Established 1 March 1999. Founders: Sherri Pettit, Suzanne Schaller, Joan Hapeman-Somers and K.St-Louis