census information


Enumeration forms were distributed to all households a couple of days before census night and the complete forms were collected the next day. All responses were to reflect the individual's status as of the night that the census was taken for all individuals who had spent the night in the house. People who were travelling or living abroad were enumerated at the location where they spent the night on census night. All of the details from the individual forms were later sorted and copied into enumerators' books, which are the records we can view images of today. The original householders schedules from 1841 to 1901 were destroyed.

If the head of the house was illiterate or had any problems completing the form the enumerator would complete as much as necessary.

The clerks who compiled and reviewed the census data made a variety of marks on the returns. Unfortunately, many of these tally marks were written over personal information and some fields, such as ages, can be difficult to read as a result. More useful marks include a single slash between households within a building and a double slash separating households in separate buildings.
 

1841 census
The 1841 Census for England was taken on the night of 6 June 1841. The following information was requested:
  • Name of street, place, road, etc.
  • House number or name
  • Name of each person that had spent the night in that household
  • Age*
  • Sex (indicated by which column the age is recorded in)
  • Profession or occupation
  • Where born**

*The ages of people over 15 years old were usually rounded down to the nearest 5 years. Therefore, someone who was actually 24 years would have their age listed as 20, and someone who was actually 27 years old would have their age listed as 25.

**The "Where Born" column only asked two questions - 1) whether born in same county, and 2) whether born in Scotland, Ireland, or Foreign Parts. Possible answers and abbreviations to question #1 include: Yes (Y), No, (N), or Not Known (NK). For question #2, the following abbreviations were used: Scotland (S), Ireland (I), and Foreign Parts (F).
 

1851 census 
The 1851 Census for England was taken on the night of 30 March 1851. The following information was requested:
  • Name of street, place, road, etc.
  • House number or name
  • Name of each person that had spent the night in that household
  • Relationship of person enumerated to the head of the family
  • Person's marital status
  • Age at last birthday (sex is indicated by which column the age is recorded in)
  • Person's rank, profession, or occupation
  • Person's place of birth (if outside of England or Wales, only the country may be given)
    Whether blind, deaf, or idiot
1861 census
The 1861 Census for England was taken on the night of 7 April 1861. The following information was requested:
  • Name of road, street, etc
  • House number or name
  • Whether or not the house was inhabited
  • Name of each person that had spent the night in that household
  • Relationship of person enumerated to the head of the family
  • Person's marital status
  • Age at last birthday (sex is indicated by which column the age is recorded in)
  • Person's occupation
  • Person's place of birth
  • Whether blind, deaf, or idiot
1871 census
The 1871 census for England was taken on the night of 2 April 1871.
  • The information requested on the census included:
  • Address (name of the street, avenue, or road; house number)
  • Occupant (name of each person who spent the night in the house; their birthplace and relationship to head of family)
  • Residence (whether home was inhabited; number of rooms occupied)
  • Personal (sex, age, marital status)
  • Occupation (whether employer, employee, or neither)
  • Health (whether blind, deaf, dumb, imbecile, idiot, or lunatic)
1881 census
The 1881 British Isles Census was taken on the night of 3 April 1881. The following information was requested:
  • Name of street, avenue road, etc.
  • House number or name
  • Whether or not the house was inhabited
  • Number of rooms occupied if less than five
  • Name of each person that had spent the night in that household
  • Relationship of person enumerated to the head of the family
  • Each person's marital status
  • Age at last birthday (sex is indicated by which column the age is recorded in)
  • Each person's occupation
  • Person's place of birth
  • Whether deaf and dumb, blind, imbecile or idiot, or lunatic.
1891 census
The 1891 Census for England was taken on the night of 5 April 1891. The following information was requested:
  • Name of street, avenue, road, etc.
  • House number or name
  • Whether or not the house was inhabited
  • Number of rooms occupied if less than five
  • Name of each person that had spent the night in that household
  • Relationship of person enumerated to the head of the family
  • Each person's marital status
  • Age last birthday (sex is indicated by which column the age is recorded in)
  • Each person's occupation
  • Whether they are employer or employee or neither
  • Person's place of birth
  • Whether deaf, dumb, blind or lunatic
1901 census
The 1901 Census for England was taken on the night of 31 March 1901. The following information was requested:
  • Name of street, avenue, road, etc.
  • House number or name
  • Whether or not the house was inhabited
  • Number of rooms occupied if less than 5
  • Name of each person that had spent the night in that household
  • Relationship of person enumerated to the head of the family
  • Each person's marital status
  • Age at last birthday (sex is indicated by which column the age is recorded in)
  • Each person's occupation
  • Whether they are employer or employee or neither
  • Person's place of birth
  • Whether deaf, dumb, blind or lunatic
1911 census

The 1911 Census for England was taken on the night of 2 April 1911. The following information was requested:

  • Name and surname

  • Relationship to head of family

  • Age (with separate columns for male and female)

  • Marital condition

  • Number of years married (married women only)

  • Children born to present marriage, still living, who have died (married women only)

  • Personal occupation

  • Industry/service with which worker is connected

  • Employment status

  • Birthplace

  • Nationality (if born abroad)

  • Any infirmity one of deaf, dumb, blind, lunatic, imbecile or feeble minded. The age at which the "infirmity came on" was    also required. This information is considered personally sensitive and was not made available until 2012.

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