My great-grandparents came to Canada from Romania. They travelled by boat (arrived Halifax Jan 1924) and then took the train to Saskatchewan to become farmers.

They stayed with a cousin around the Viscount area and then later settled in Bruno, Sask.

I looked for all of my relatives' names and could not find them on the 1926 census.


What are some reasons why they would not show up there?

The passenger list is here for one ancestor:

Canada, Ocean Arrivals (Form 30A), 1919-1924

The story about staying with a cousin in Viscount is a family story.

John (Joan, Johann etc) Heber 1896

Mary Yost (Maria Jost) 1898

Mary Heber 1921

Elizabeth Heber 1923

Cousin Anton Tittle(Tuttle, Tettle) Viscount

  • 1
    Could you add to your question a list of the source material you have which establishes the timeline for when they were in Saskatchewan? In other words, is the passenger list you referred to the only source you have so far? If you know that they stayed with the cousin in the Viscount area from a story which has been passed down in the family, it helps to say that so we know where the information comes from.
    – Jan Murphy
    Commented Mar 26, 2019 at 7:13
  • Thanks! I've edited your shared document to label the link, so people can see at a glance which collection the arrival information came from.
    – Jan Murphy
    Commented Mar 26, 2019 at 14:57
  • You might try just searching for "Elizabeth", born 1923. FamilySearch has a differently-built index for the 1926 census. You might try searching there, too. Commented Jun 2, 2023 at 3:47

5 Answers 5

  • They were somewhere else
  • They didn't get enumerated for some reason.
  • The enumerator spelled their names "oddly" (i.e, not in the way you expected)

Have you looked through the images yourself? (rather than relying on the all-to-fallible index)? Even today, Bruno is only about 500 people.

  • That would have been my answer: go through every single scan online. Every page. Remember, sometimes families were added at the end of the ED. Some pages are damaged and some pages are badly transcribed for other reasons.
    – Cyn
    Commented Mar 25, 2019 at 4:37
  • No luck so far. Commented Mar 25, 2019 at 11:21

It is very difficult to determine if your ancestors are in fact missing from the 1926 Census, or if you just haven't been able to find them.

Note specifically the fields that the 1926 Prairie Province Census allows you to search:

enter image description here

This is actually one of the richer searches you'll find for any set of records anywhere.


  1. Surname: Try searching all possible spellings. Look at your other records and think how they may be misinterpreted. Take advantage of the wildcard ability.

  2. Given Names: Generally, leave this blank (or use wildcards), or try just a given name and no surname.

  3. The Age is one way you can really narrow down people. Do you know the age your gg-parents would have been in 1926? Even if you think you do, try one and two years older and younger as well.

  4. Province: In your case, always specify Saskatchewan.

You should also look for the Uncle they were joining. It looks from your Passenger Declaration to be "Anton Gittel" or something similar. He was in Viscount, Saskatchewan.

Look through the Districts and Sub-districts list to find Viscount and you'll find it in District 19 - Humboldt, Sub-districts 27, 28 and 29.

enter image description here

Use the district number in the custom search to look for the uncle and his family and maybe your grandparents as well.

Bruno is also in District 19 - Humboldt, but Sub-districts 55 and 56.

enter image description here

You should be able to find death records, cemetery burial information and/or other information that might give you additional clues as to why you can't find them in the 1926 Census. Dave Obee has an excellent guide for Canadian Genealogy that includes Saskatchewan resources.

  • No luck so far. I tried the suggestions. Commented Mar 27, 2019 at 11:51

Louis is a well known genealogist for the Canadian prairies and I agree with his suggestions, as the spelling of the name varies from resource to resource especially for Eastern Europeans. Also, do some contextual research into the town of Viscount; an under-used resource are the local community history books which highlight the family histories of families, as well as Henderson's directories. Peel's Prairie Provinces will be helpful to you: http://peel.library.ualberta.ca/collections.html and look into the Eastern European Genealogical Society: https://eegsociety.org/Home.aspx

I've highlighted other resources in my Saskatchewan article: http://ukcdngenealogy.blogspot.com/2018/06/finding-your-ancestors-in-saskatchewan.html

Good luck!


If your relatives arrived in Canada on a boat in 1924, firstly there are no passenger lists but passenger cards. That is how I found my grandpa. He arrived in 1924 and there is a card for him by no list. I could not find him on the 1926 census - I think there is a major issue with name indexing. But looked through the census district by district til I gave up.


The family name HEBER might have been written down and/or transcribed as WEBER, HEBERT, HERBERT, or other variations.

As lkessler's answer shows, the search at BAC-LAC allows you to specify not only the province but also the district and sub-district, as well as some information about the individual.

With people coming from non-English-speaking countries, it is often helpful to use wildcards and, paradoxically, as little information as you can to try to cast as broad a net as possible to catch the person, while limiting the results to a set that is manageable to step through.

Following lkessler's advice, I selected Province = Saskatchewan, District = 19, but I did not select a sub-district. Entering just Given Name(s) = Mary yields 1465 results, too many to step through. Entering Surname = Heber yields 0 results, so I backed off to just Surname = H*, which yielded 107 results. This is few enough to step through, but still there are multiple possibilities to check. One refinement to the search is to add Mary's age, which was somewhere between 27 and 29, so let's say 28. That brings the number of results down to 2, the first of which is:

Census Year: 1926
Item Number: 783765
Surname: Hebert
Given Name(s): Mary
Age: 28
Province: Saskatchewan
District Name: Humboldt
Sub-District Description: Townships 34 and 35 in range
25, west of the second meridian. Plunkett village.

This looks extremely promising, and clicking through to the image shows an ethnic Hungarian family of John (30), Mary (28), Mary (5), and Elizabeth (3) HEBERT, who immigrated in 1923. They are shown lodging with Jacob and Katie Gorski, not a Tittle family.

1926 census of Canada, Saskatchewan, Humboldt District

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