The 1841 Census

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The 1841 Census

The 1841 census was taken on the night of Sunday 6th June 1841 and is the first census that is of real value to all family historians as it was the first to ask detailed questions about individuals.

Basic facts about the 1841 census

Taken on the night of Sunday/Monday 6th/7th June 1841.

Details recorded for each person were:

  • Name and surname
  • Age (rounded down)
  • Sex
  • Occupation
  • Whether born in the county
  • Whether born outside England&Wales

The following information was recorded in the schedules about each dwelling and person residing there on the night of the census:

  • the address - house numbers were rarely given, and in rural areas often only the name of the village or hamlet
  • whether the dwelling was "uninhabited or building" or "inhabited"
  • name of each person residing at the dwelling on the night of the census
  • age and sex - the age should have been rounded down to the nearest five years for those aged 15 or over but in some cases the actual age was recorded. The sex was indicated by the column that the age was recorded in
  • profession, trade, employment or of independent means
  • if they were born in the county in which they were enumerated (Y or N)
  • if they were born in Scotland (S), Ireland (I) or Foreign Parts (F)

Accessing the 1841 Census

Ancestry have a complete index of the 1841 Census for England, Wales, Scotland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. To access the Ancestry records you need to take out a subscription but a 14 day free trial is usually available.

Findmypast also have a complete transcription of the 1841 census for England, Wales, Scotland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, accessed either via an annual subscription or on a pay-per-view basis or currently you can take advantage of a 14 day free trial.

The Genealogist site has transcripts for all of England and Wales. They can either be viewed by taking out a subscription or as pay-per-view.

Free access to the 1841 Census

As with all the censuses from 1841 to 1901, many local record offices have reels or fiches for their areas.

FreeCEN have good coverage for some counties, 100% for all but a few in Scotland and also 100% coverage for Cornwall, Devon, Gloucestershire, Nottinghamshire, Somerset, Warwickshire and Wiltshire. As the name says, this site is free.

You can also access the Ancestry 1841 census records for free on site at The National Archives in Kew. Many libraries also have Ancestry and/or findmypast available for free from within the library.

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