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census information for England & Wales inc 1911

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Joy Report 16 May 2005 23:50

Prior to 1841, the census was taken on the following dates:
10 Mar 1801
27 May 1811
28 May 1821
30 May 1831.

In the main, the census counts were solely of numbers of males and numbers of females, sometimes heads of household. However, some people, such as a schoolmaster in Buckinghamshire, had the foresight to take it upon themselves to record a count of people that included their names and their relationships, and occasionally their occupations..

It is worth googling for whichever census that might be of interest to you and the area, just in case there may be such a thing online. Or you could contact a local family history society, or records office, to make enquiries to ascertain whether or not a specific census is still in existence. Not many have survived over the years.

This is worth reading
for information about the early census.

Also is well worth reading.


Joy Report 16 May 2005 23:50

... The following is from the GENUKI website. .... with updates later ...

Please see, and explore:

There has been a census every ten years since 1801, excluding 1941. However, only those that date from 1841 are of real value to the family historian. The administration of the early census returns 1801-1831 was the responsibility of the Overseers of the Poor and the clergy.

Most of these early returns were unfortunately destroyed, although in some isolated instances they have been preserved. The census returns for 1841 were the first to be kept and, as far as the general public is concerned, the information is released after a hundred years. For example, the public were given access to the 1891 census returns in January 1992.

The 1841 census was different from the previous censuses in two important respects. Firstly, the administration passed into the hands of the Registrar General and the Superintendant Registrars, who were responsible for the registration of births, marriages and deaths. Many recent reforms, including the 1836 General Registration Act, which had culminated in the introduction of civil registration had resulted in a new layer of central and local government.

When the 1841 census was being prepared, it was seen as a logical step that it should also supervise the census. Consequently, civil registration and census taking became inter-related; any change in local boundaries or districts affected them both.

Secondly, the emphasis changed from questions concerned with population size, and the numbers engaged in certain occupations and the condition of the housing stock, to a much more detailed analysis of individuals and families, and the communities in which they lived.

The information recorded on individuals has tended to increase with each census. The information collected in each census is detailed on this GenDocs page.

Guy Etchells has assembled a collection of the official instructions given to enumerators for each census.

In 1851, in addition to the census of population a census was taken of places of worship. Although this was purely voluntary, most places of Worship made returns. This Ecclesiastical Census of 1851 is described by The National Archives in their online leaflet Domestic Records Information 85.

The census was taken on the following dates:
10 Mar 1801 No longer exists, with a few exceptions
27 May 1811 No longer exists, with a few exceptions
28 May 1821 No longer exists, with a few exceptions
30 May 1831 No longer exists, with a few exceptions
6 June 1841 Now available to the public
30 March 1851 Now available to the public
7 April 1861 Now available to the public
2 April 1871 Now available to the public
3 April 1881 Now available to the public
5 April 1891 Now available to the public
31 March 1901 Now available to the public

2 April 1911 The TNA's release plans
Re. the FOI decision, December 2006 see the Society of Genealogists and Your Family Tree pages.

19 June 1921 Expected to be released by TNA in January 2022
26 April 1931 Destroyed during WW2
29 September 1939 WW2 National Registration
8 April 1951
23 April 1961
25 April 1971
5 April 1981
21 April 1991
29 April 2001

Census returns are held at:
For England and Wales only
"Family Records Centre"
1 Myddelton Street

District Libraries, County Record Offices and FHS research rooms
normally have copies of the returns for their own area

LDS have copies of the census microfilms. These usually need to be ordered unless you are visiting a branch of the LDS in the same area as the returns in which you are interested.

It is advisable before making a trip to a library or record office, to check the exact whereabouts of specific census returns in order to avoid a wasted visit. Also some libraries may have a limited number of viewers and a booking may be necessary.


Michele Report 1 Jun 2005 18:49

Many thanks for info, have printed off for further use/info. Michele


Just Report 5 Jun 2005 19:39

Thank you Joy, Have also printed off for future reference. Best Regards Josie


Carter Report 29 Jun 2005 08:14



Granny Report 15 Jul 2005 19:45


Sal in Sydney

Sal in Sydney Report 15 Oct 2005 11:10

Thank you for that...............


TonyOz Report 9 Nov 2005 14:00



Germaine Report 31 Dec 2005 15:07



David Report 31 Dec 2005 15:11

Thank you. David


Sheila Report 6 Jan 2006 18:41

Thankyou,this will be very helpful Sheila


Dea Report 20 Jan 2006 21:59

nudged for...Chris. Dea x

Jess Bow Bag

Jess Bow Bag Report 8 Feb 2006 14:30



*****me***** Report 19 Feb 2006 11:30

thanks Joy, that's really handy to keep hold of, i have copied, pasted and printed. chris.


Yvonne Report 27 Feb 2006 02:54

nudge to save


Cheshiremaid Report 7 Mar 2006 13:26

Thanks Joy... Linda


Diane Report 8 Mar 2006 09:09

Thanks for that Joy, Diane.


David Report 1 Apr 2006 11:22

I have been told by our local library that the census returns before 1841 were only a count ot the people and did not list names. Also that the ages on the 1851 were rionded up or down to the nearest 10 years. David


Merry Report 12 Apr 2006 12:57

Nudge! Merry


Jennie Report 14 Aug 2006 20:07

Nudge Jen