Although a lot of people now access the census on the web, and never on microfilm, census sources continue to be extremely useful

11. The National Archives recommendations for censuses

Search machines on web sites differ, plus they also can alter with time, nevertheless the original National Archives recommendations never change. From a different site, or from some other source if you have a full reference, you can use it to find a page on or on, even if you have obtained it. This is certainly especially helpful whenever an individual can be located employing a true title search on a single web web site, not on another, because of variations in transcription.

You might find census sources quoted in books and articles, and you may should also learn how to make use of them if you should be consulting our online and hard-copy road indexes (see part 4.2).

A census guide has three primary elements; a division (page) rule, a string quantity, and a bit quantity. The division and show codes for every census 12 months are:

  • 1841 and 1851: HO 107
  • 1861: RG 9
  • 1871: RG 10
  • 1881: RG 11
  • 1891: RG 12
  • 1901: RG 13
  • 1911: RG 14

A piece may contain a huge selection of pages, so additional information is needed to discover the right destination within a piece. The census returns for most years follow a solitary structure, but you can find somewhat various plans for 1841 and 1911.

Census returns from 1851 to 1901

The additional refererence is really a folio quantity and (optionally) a full page quantity.

Each piece contains a few enumeration books with numbered pages. Later on, folio figures had been stamped on top right corner of each page that is right-hand beginning at the beginning of the piece and continuing through most of the enumeration publications. Each folio represents the page where it appears and the following page since folio numbers appear only on alternate pages. Consequently a string, piece and folio guide lets you find the proper couple of pages but a typical page quantity are put into the guide to recognize a solitary web page, if needed, like in this example through the 1891 census:

The nationwide Archives guide with this web web web page, through the 1891 census, is RG 12/1822, Folio 156, web web Page 5.

Both and provide a exact reference search center for every census 12 months.

The 1841 census

Each piece in 1841 is further divided in to books, therefore a complete reference requires to add a novel quantity following the piece quantity, for instance HO 107/1298/8. Each guide then contains its series that is own of figures.

The 1911 census

For the very first time the household schedules had been held, in place of being copied into enumeration publications. Each piece represents an enumeration region, and rather than folio figures, each home includes an unique routine quantity into the top right-hand corner, to make certain that a guide is going to be into the format RG 14/26288 Sch 227.

Organizations and vessels would not have schedule figures, rather the information ended up being recorded straight into unique enumeration books with numbered pages, like in past census years.

12. Censuses for Scotland and Ireland

Scotland, 1841-1911

Search and see the census returns for Scotland from 1841 to 1911 at Scotlandspeople (Ј).

Census returns for Scotland are very nearly identical in structure to those for England and Wales, with the exception of 1911, whenever likewise detailed information had been gathered but ended up being copied into enumeration books as with past years, so might there be no home schedules or enumerators’ summary books.

Indexes towards the Scottish censuses 1841-1901 will also be available on (Ј) and (Ј). Neither of those indexes has links to images that are digitised.

Unfortunately, few 19th-century census that is irish have actually survived; many had been lost if the Public Record Office had been damaged when you look at the fire in the Four Courts in Dublin 1922. Just the 1901 and 1911 censuses survived, along side an extremely tiny quantity of earlier in the day comes back. View digitised and indexed images for the Census of Ireland 1901/1911 and Census fragments and substitutes, 1821-51 (including north Ireland) on the National Archives of Ireland internet site.

13. Uk colonies and protectorates

Censuses had been also drawn in numerous Uk colonies on exactly the same times such as the uk. Surviving records of those will ordinarily be located when you look at the national nation of beginning, and never when you look at the National Archives. The exceptions that are only this are:

  • Census of settlers and convicts in brand New Southern Wales and Tasmania 1828 in HO 10/21-27. These papers may be installed totally free as Digital microfilm. a version that is name-indexed also online at ( Ј )
  • Census of Surinam 1811 in CO 278/15-25. A number of the documents have been in English, nevertheless the bulk have been in Dutch
  • Census (of this population that is white) of Barbados 1715 in CO 28/16
  • Census of Sierra Leone: ‘population and liberated Africans’ 1831 in CO 267/111
  • Census of Heligoland 1881 in CO 122/37

14. Other useful online resources

Access census street indexes inside our online Archive. As with every content into the British Government online Archive, these are archived pages which can be not any longer modified or updated.

Find out about the fire that destroyed the 1931 Census for England and Wales, Channel Islands and Isle of guy. the Your Archives pages now held in britain Government online Archive.

Browse Vision of Britain for reports predicated on information from censuses as much as 1971, or seek out census data associated with a district or town

Consult The on line Historical Population Reports for online use of the complete population reports for Britain and Ireland from 1801 to 1937 and substantial back ground information, including samples of papers.

15. Further reading

Use our library catalogue to locate a suggested guide list. The books are typical for sale in The National Archives’ guide library. It’s also possible to manage to locate them in a regional collection.

Look at the nationwide Archives’ bookshop for a selection of magazines relating to census documents.

Search our blog sites for articles regarding the census.

Watch the video Census records: an introduction, by Audrey Collins.