Census records for Prince Edward Island cover the period from 1728 to 1901, albeit somewhat sporadically. There is a one hundred year closure period on federal census records for reasons of privacy, although this has been reduced in practice to 90 years. Almost every census is missing returns for some Lots and the type of information supplied by each successive census varies considerably.
The 1752 census taken by the Sieur de la Rocque gave careful detail regarding names and ages of heads of household, spouses and children. It included information about how long the land had been held and in what manner, an inventory of the stock held by the individual family, and personal observations.
The 1798 census, on the other hand, lists only the name of the head of household and the numbers of males and females within specific age categories. This pattern is repeated in the census records of 1841, 1848 and 1861, although these records also give place of birth, religion, years and manner of holding land, as well as considerable agricultural details about crops and livestock. Please note that the 1848 census is available for Charlottetown and Lot 31 only.
Census records from 1881, 1891, and 1901 are nominal. Rather than head of household, they list the names, sex, and ages of each person living in the household, whether immediate family member or other. Containing considerably less land and agricultural information, they give more detail regarding place of birth, education, and family relationships.