1911Census.org.uk

Welcome to the 1911Census.org.uk site ...information about the 1911 census, how to access the census online, how to make the most from your searches, what is available and not available, and much, much, more.


More pages and information

Home Page and 1911 Census

Accessing the 1911 Census

1911 Census Districts

1911 Census Schedules

Census Dates

Other 1911 Censuses

Scotland 1911 Census

Ireland 1911 Census

Other censuses for England & Wales

1939 National Identity Card

1931 Census

1921 Census

1901 Census

1891 Census

1881 Census

1871 Census

1861 Census

1851 Census

1841 Census

1831 Census

1821 Census

1811 Census

1801 Census

Family History Magazines

Who Do You Think You Are magazine

Your Family Tree magazine

Links to other sites

Births, Marriages and Deaths from 1837

UK Newspaper Archives

UK Electoral Registers

School Records

More Family History Links

The National Archives

FreeCen - free 19th century UK census returns

Census forms for 1971, 1981, 1991, 2001 and 2011

Feedback address

The 1821 Census

The third census of Great Britain (that is England, Scotland and Wales) was taken on Monday 28th May 1821. The returns gave a population of 14.4 million people, an increase of 1.8 million over 1811.

Basic facts about the 1821 census

Taken on 28th May 1821.

Details recorded for each parish, township, or place were:

  • Number of inhabited houses, occupied by how many families
  • Number of houses being built
  • Number of uninhabited houses
  • How many persons, how many male, how many female
  • How many households are chiefly employed in agriculture; how many in trade, manufactures, or handicraft; and how many in neither
  • The number of persons broken down into age ranges, male and female

Details of individuals and their names were not recorded in the official Census returns.

This census was the first to try and measure the age range of the population in age range bands of 5 years up to 20 years, otherwise in 10 year bands. Approximately 50% of the population was under 20 (in contrast to about 25% today)

The instructions to the enumerators on gathering this age range information was very carefully phrased ... "if you are of Opinion ... the Ages of the several Individuals can be obtained in a Manner satisfactory to yourself, and not inconvenient to the Parties".

The act laid down "QUESTIONS addressed to the OVERSEERS in England; and to the SCHOOLMASTERS in Scotland; Who are respectively required to take an Account of the Resident Population, by proceeding from House to House on the Twenty-eighth Day of May One thousand eight hundred and twenty-one, and on the Days immediately subsequent thereto, if one Day shall not be sufficient; ...."

They were asked to obtain the following information for the Parish, Township, or Place:

1st -HOW many Inhabited Houses are there in your Parish, Township, or Place; and by how many Families are they occupied-

2d -HOW many Houses are now building, and therefore not yet inhabited-

3d HOW many other Houses are Inhabited-

4th -WHAT Number of Families in your Parish, Township, or Place, are chiefly employed in and maintained by Agriculture, or by Trade, Manufacture, or handicraft; and how many Families are ot comprized in either of the Two preceding Classes- N. B.-The total Number of Families in Answer to this Question, must correspond with the Number of Families in Answer to the 1st Question; and if any Doubts shall arise as to the Class in which any Family or Families ought to be comprized, such Doubt it is to be stated as a Remark (under Question 7th,) not omitting therein to specify in which Class such Family or Families may have been comprized in your Answer to the 4th Question.

5th -HOW many Persons (including Children of whatever Age) are there actually found within the Limits of your Parish, Township, or Place, at the Time of taking this Account, distinguishing Males and Females, and exclusive of Men actually serving in His Majesty's Regular Forces, in the old Militia, or in any embodied Local Militia, and exclusive of Seamen either" in His Majesty's Service, or belonging to Registered Vessels-

6th -REFERRING to the Number of Persons in one thousand eight hundred and eleven; To what cause do you attribute any remarkable Difference in the Number at present-

7th -IF you are of Opinion that in making the preceding Enquiries (or at any Time before returning this Schedule,) the Ages of the several Individuals can be obtained in a Manner satisfactory to yourself, and not inconvenient to the Parties, be pleased to state (or cause to be stated) the Number of those who are under 5 Years of Age, of those between 5 and 10 Years of Age, between 10 and 15, between 15 and 20, between 20 and 30, between 30 and 40, between 40 and 50, between 50 and 60, between 60 and 70, between 70 and 80, between 80 and 90, between 90 and 100, and 160, and upwards of 100, distinguishing Males from Females;-

And are there any other Matters which you may think it necessary to remark in Explanation of your Answer to this or any of the preceding Questions;-And in what Manner and to what Place of Residence and Post Office Town are Letters intended for you usually directed-

Accessing the 1821 Census

The results for each area had to be returned on a form attached to the schedule of the act, in other words just the numbers for each of the questions. It was left to those compiling the information as to how they did so and some drew up lists of names from which they produced the numbers required. In some areas printers produced printed forms for this purpose and in London and elsewhere printed schedules were left for householders to fill in themselves.

In some places, the 1821 census is descibed as "no longer exists" or "has been destroyed" but this is a misconception. The official census was simply a count under various headings for each parish, township, or place so in terms of information on individuals or households, it never did exist.

It is the "unofficial" documents produced by those doing the count that have survived in certain areas and can been found in local authority libraries and archives. Some have also been transcribed by local Family History societies.

A comprehensive guide to available pre-1841 returns has been published by Richard Wall, Matthew Woollard and Beatrice Moring of Essex University.

This guide estimates that 231 lists detailing households, 32 lists detailing individuals plus 8 others for 1821 have survived. The household lists typically included the name of the head of the household but not any of the members of that household.

But remember, the chance of finding one of your ancestor's names in the lists that have survived for the 1821 census is about one in five hundred.

Some of the areas listed in the guide where records are known to exist detailing individuals for the 1821 census include:

Some of the areas listed in the guide where records are known to exist detailing households for the 1821 census include:

More information

Histpop - The Online Historical Population Reports Website.

Vision of Britain Census Reports.


We always welcome any comments, suggestions or corrections - you can contact us at the feedback email address on the left