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 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
 

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 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
Whether they are employer or employee or neither
Person's place of birth
Whether deaf, dumb, blind, or lunatic
 

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