Identifying Households for Historical Censuses to Generate Longitudinal Data




Zarti, Shada

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University of Guelph


The availability of historical censuses and advances in automatic record linking techniques provide social scientists and historians with research opportunities based on longitudinal data. Automatically linking the same individuals and households in multiple sources creates longitudinal data more quickly and with less effort. The most common way to do this is to link individual records (pairwise linkage). More recently, a strategy of linking groups of records has been used. Unfortunately, in some historical censuses, household identi ers (HID) were not recorded at the time of the enumeration or not transcribed into the digital collections. In this thesis, we link four Canadian historical censuses (1871, 1881, 1891, and 1901) using both pairwise and group-linkage methods. We develop and implement a method to identify HID in the 1891 and 1901 censuses automatically. Then, we use this new information to generate longitudinal data that follows 159,872 Canadians over three decades from 1871 to 1901.



Record Linkage, Historical census, households