The 1891 Census

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The 1891 Census

The 1891 Census was taken on the night of Sunday 5th April 1891.

Basic facts about the 1891 census

Taken on the night of Sunday/Monday 5th/6th April 1891.

Details recorded for each person were:

  • Name and surname
  • Relationship to head of family
  • Marital status
  • Age
  • Sex
  • Occupation
  • Whether employer, employed or neither
  • Where born
  • Whether infirm

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

  • the address
  • whether the dwelling was "inhabited" or "uninhabited or building"
  • the number of rooms occupied, if less than five
  • name and surname of each person residing at the dwelling on the night of the census
  • relationship of each person to the head of the family
  • each person's marital status ("condition as to marriage")
  • age at last birthday and sex
  • profession, or occupation
  • whether someone was an employer, employed or neither
  • where born, parish and county (or if born outside of England or Wales, just the country)
  • whether they were "blind", or "deaf and dumb" or "lunatic, imbecile or idiot"
  • in Wales, the language spoken

The information collected was the same as in 1881 with the addition of questions about the number of rooms occupied, whether someone was an employer, employed or neither, and in Wales the language spoken.

Accessing the 1891 Census

Ancestry have a complete index of the 1891 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 has a complete transcription of the 1891 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 1891 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 English and Welsh counties, notably 100% coverage for Bedfordshire, Cornwall, Devon and Warwickshire plus very good coverage for Caernarvonshire, Cumberland, Denbighshire, Flintshire, Hampshire, Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Nottinghamshire, Suffolk and Sussex.

You can also access the Ancestry 1891 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