Census Returns for England & Wales

 

Click on year to see details recorded on the census returns 1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891 1901

The householder was to complete their individual household schedules recording who was in their household during the period Sunday night to Monday morning. On the morning after census night, the enumerators collected the schedules. If these were not completed properly, the enumerator was supposed to ask for extra details at the doorstep, although there is considerable evidence that this was not done uniformly. If the householder was unable to fill in the schedule, perhaps because he or she was illiterate, the enumerator was to fill it in for them. In 1871, the majority of some Welsh-speaking parishes in Anglesey were filled in by the enumerators.

 

These individual household schedules were then transcribed into the census enumerators’ books, together with statistical information, and it from these books that copies of census returns can be obtained.

A considerable number of people were not in normal households on census night and special arrangements had to be made for their enumeration. These included the inmates of institutions, the crews of vessels afloat, the Army, itinerants and travellers, and night workers. Click  here  to see details of how these people were enumerated.

Click here for Abbreviations, Definition of Terms, and Some Points to Remember when reviewing Census Returns.

 

 

1841 Sunday 6 June (PRO Class Reference HO107)

      Column 1

        Place, i.e. address

Column 2

        Houses; separate columns for uninhabited or being built and inhabited

Column 3

        Names

Column 4

        Age; separate columns for males and females

Column 5

        Profession, trade, employment or of independant means

Column 6

      Where born; whether born in same county (Y or N), whether born in Scotland, Ireland, or foreign parts (S, I or F)

Note – the 1841 census is the first useful genealogical census for England & Wales. You will see that no relationships are given – except occasionally in column 5 where you may see Farmer’s Wife or similar – and all ages 15 and above should have been rounded down to the nearest 5 year multiple, i.e. ages shown as 15 may be 15-19, ages shown as 20 may be 20-24, etc. Another point to consider for ages is that people often said that they “were in their 60th year” meaning that they had passed their 59th birthday. If a person gave information meaning they were in their 60th year, they will be shown as being 60, whereas strictly keeping to the rules, they should be recorded as 55.

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1851 Sunday 30 March (PRO Class Reference HO107)

      Column 1

        No. of schedule, numbered from 1 consecutively per book

Column 2

        Name of street, place or road, and name or number of house

Column 3

        Name and surname

Column 4

        Relationship to head of house

Column 5

        Condition; marital status

Column 6

        Age; separate columns for males and females

Column 7

        Rank, profession or occupation

Column 8

        Where born; county/place

Column 9

      Whether blind, deaf-and-dumb

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1861 Sunday 7 April (PRO Class Reference RG9)

      Column 1

        No. of schedule, numbered from 1 consecutively per book

Column 2

        Name of street, place or road, and name or number of house

Column 3

        Houses; separate columns for inhabited and uninhabited or being built (entered as ‘U’ or ‘B’)

Column 4

        Name and surname

Column 5

        Relationship to head of family

Column 6

        Condition; marital status

Column 7

        Age; separate columns for males and females

Column 8

        Rank, profession or occupation

Column 9

        Where born; county/place

Column 10

      Whether blind, deaf-and-dumb

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1871 Sunday 2 April (PRO Class Reference RG10)

      Column 1

        No. of schedule, numbered from 1 consecutively per book

Column 2

        Name of street, place or road, and name or number of house

Column 3

        Houses; separate columns for inhabited and uninhabited or being built

Column 4

        Name and surname

Column 5

        Relationship to head of family

Column 6

        Condition; marital status

Column 7

        Age; separate columns for males and females

Column 8

        Rank, profession or occupation

Column 9

        Where born; county/place

Column 10

      Whether 1 Deaf & dumb, 2 Blind, 3 Imbecile or idiot, 4 Lunatic

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1881 Sunday 3 April (PRO Class Reference RG11)

      Column 1

        No. of schedule, numbered from 1 consecutively per book

Column 2

        Name of street, place or road, and name or number of house

Column 3

        Houses; separate columns for inhabited and uninhabited or being built (entered as ‘U’ or ‘B’)

Column 4

        Name and surname

Column 5

        Relationship to head of family

Column 6

        Condition; marital status

Column 7

        Age last birthday; separate columns for males and females

Column 8

        Rank, profession or occupation

Column 9

        Where born; county/place

Column 10

      Whether 1 Deaf & dumb, 2 Blind, 3 Imbecile or idiot, 4 Lunatic

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1891 Sunday 5 April (PRO Class Reference RG12)

      Column 1

        No. of schedule, numbered from 1 consecutively per book

Column 2

        Name of street, place or road, and name or number of house

Column 3

        Houses; separate columns for inhabited and uninhabited or being built (entered as ‘U’ or ‘B’)

Column 4

        Number of rooms occupied if less than five

Column 5

        Name and surname

Column 6

        Relationship to head of family

Column 7

        Condition; marital status

Column 8

        Age last birthday; separate columns for males and females

Column 9

        Rank, profession or occupation

Column 10

        Employer; ‘X’ inserted

Column 11

        Employed; ‘X’ inserted

Column 12

        Neither employer nor employed; ‘X’ inserted

Column 13

        Where born; county/place

Column 14

      Whether 1 Deaf & dumb, 2 Blind, 3 Lunatic, Imbecile or Idiot

In Wales and Monmouthshire only, the 1891 household schedules and enumeration books had an extra column for ‘Language Spoken’ which required either ‘English’, ‘Welsh’ or ‘Both’ to be entered.

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1901 Sunday 31 March (PRO Class Reference RG13)

 

      Column 1

        No. of schedule, numbered from 1 consecutively per book

Column 2

        Name of street, place or road, and name or number of house

Column 3

        Houses; separate columns for inhabited, in occupation, not in occupation, being built

Column 4

        Number of rooms occupied if less than five

Column 5

        Name and surname

Column 6

        Relationship to head of family

Column 7

        Condition; marital status

Column 8

        Age last birthday; separate columns for males and females

Column 9

        Rank, profession or occupation

Column 10

        Employer, worker, or on own account; answer to be written

Column 11

        If working at home; answer to be written

Column 12

        Where born; county/place

Column 13

      Whether 1 Deaf & dumb, 2 Blind, 3 Lunatic, 4 Imbecile, feeble-minded

In Wales and Monmouthshire only, the 1901 household schedules and enumeration books had an extra column for ‘Language Spoken’ which required either ‘English’, ‘Welsh’ or ‘Both’ to be entered.

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