Genealogical and historical information and links for anyone researching their ancestors in England and the British Isles

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Contents of the 1841 census Contents of the 1851-81 censuses Contents of the 1891
Contents of the 1901
Contents of the 1911

The first ever national census in England and Wales was taken in 1801 but it wasn't until 1841 that the individual names of people living at addresses were entered and so it is this census which is the first of interest to genealogists.
A census has - with the exception of 1941 - been taken every decade since.

Due to privacy laws the census can only be made available to the public 100 years after it was taken. The most recent census open to scrutiny is now the 1911 census which became available in January 2009, three years earlier than originally scheduled. Some pieces of more personal data are being held back until 2012.

The National Archives have made the censuses from 1841 through until 1911 available and they can now be accessed for a fee from their website.

In addition
a free transcription of the 1881 census can also be seen on the internet at the International Genealogical Index website.

The local record office for each county hold each census for their particular area and local libraries may also hold copies for their area.

As with all transcriptions the original source should always be checked for accuracy. The original itself is prone to mistakes as often information was entered wrongly or incompletely by the compilers or the people themselves gave false information.

Otherwise the census is a rich resource for genealogists listing all occupants living at an address, their occupations and their relationship to one another. Exact ages and places of birth (except in 1841) are also given enabling a search of the baptism/birth records for a specific location and year.

Information Genealogy in England