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1881 England Census

Source Information

  • Title 1881 England Census 
    DATE 1871 
    GDOC https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0B9E9raKg6SUVaVg3VjJHX1Z5Zms/edit 
    TYPE Census 
    Source ID S216 
    Text 1871 England Census
    Original Images
    This database contains images of original records.

    Sample Forms
    Download blank Census forms
    You can fill out the form with information on your ancestor, or just use it to better read the column headings.

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    View a sampling of handwriting examples
    The examples should help you read the text on the original images more easily.

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    Exact matches only
    First Name

    Last Name

    County or island

    Civil Parish or Township


    Relationship to Head

    Birth Year

    County or island

    Parish or place
    Family Members
    Father's Given Name(s)
    Mother's Given Name(s)
    Spouse's Given Name(s)


    Page #

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    Source Information:
    Ancestry.com. 1871 England Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2004. Original data: Census Returns of England and Wales, 1871. Kew, Surrey, England: The National Archives of the UK (TNA): Public Record Office (PRO), 1871. Data imaged from the National Archives, London, England. The National Archives gives no warranty as to the accuracy, completeness or fitness for the purpose of the information provided. Images may be used only for purposes of research, private study or education. Applications for any other use should be made to the National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 4DU. Infringement of the above condition may result in legal action.
    About 1871 England Census
    This database is an index to individuals enumerated in the 1871 Census for England. The census contains detailed information on each individual who spent the night in each household including name, relationship to the head of the family, marital status, age at last birthday, gender, occupation, and birthplace. Additional information about the dwelling and property was collected. Each name in this index is linked to actual images of the 1871 England Census.

    For more information about this database, click here.

    The 1871 United Kingdom Census included enumerations for England, Wales, the Isle of Man, and the Channel islands. The 1871 England census contains information about a household’s occupants including birthplaces, occupations, and health.

    The 1871 United Kingdom Census Records Today
    Search Tips
    Interesting Facts
    Related Information

    The 1871 census for England was taken on the night of 2 April 1871. Enumeration forms were distributed to all households a few days before the census night and the household members were required to complete the forms themselves. The next day, the enumerators collected the completed forms. All of the details from the individual forms were later sorted and copied into enumerators’ books.

    The information requested on the census included:

    * Address (name of the street, avenue, or road; house number)
    * Occupant (name of each person who spent the night in the house; their birthplace and relationship to head of family)
    * Residence (whether home was inhabited; number of rooms occupied)
    * Personal (sex, age, marital status)
    * Occupation (whether employer, employee, or neither)
    * Health (whether blind, deaf, dumb, imbecile, idiot, or lunatic)

    View a sample UK census image

    The 1871 United Kingdom Census Records Today
    The original census schedules that were completed by household members were destroyed. However, the enumerators’ books were kept and in 1970 the records were microfilmed. The microfilm copies of the books for England, Wales, the Isle of Man, and the Channel islands are available at the Family Records Centre in London.

    Search Tips

    * The clerks who compiled and reviewed the census data made a variety of marks on the records. Unfortunately, many of these tally marks were written over personal information and some fields, such as ages, can be difficult to read. On the other hand, some of these marks can be useful because they designate separate households. In a small parish, a double slash (//) might indicate a new household and a single slash (/) might indicate a non-related person living in the house (such as a servant or lodger). In larger parishes, a double slash (//) might indicate separate buildings and a single slash (/) might indicate separate households within the same building.

    * The census records were grouped by county and then subdivided by civil parish groups. Many times, but not always, the civil parish name is the same name as the local ecclesiastical parish. Because boundaries change over time, your ancestor may be recorded in an unexpected parish. It is important to search the parishes surrounding the area where you believe that your ancestors lived.

    Interesting Facts

    * If the head of the household was illiterate, or had trouble completing the enumeration form, the enumerator (census taker) would complete as much information as possible.
    * You can view a description of each enumeration district as it was written by the enumerator.


    What do the abbreviations in the 1871 census mean?
    Abbreviations were used as shown:

    * WI = wife
    * DA = daughter
    * GD = granddaughter
    * GS = grandson
    * HD = head
    * Lgr = lodger
    * M = married
    * U = unmarried
    * NP = nephew
    * NC = niece
    * SCH = scholar
    * Sis = sister
    * SO = son
    * SV or Ser = servant
    * SL or SOLW = son-in-law (this could mean stepson, or something different than the modern day usage)
    * AG LAB = agricultural laborer
    * FRMR = farmer

    This abbreviation information was taken from this website:
    Sennen On Line Parish Clerk

    Why is some of the information crossed out on the original census page?
    Errors were sometimes crossed out by an enumerator, or information was sometimes crossed out by a Registrar or Superintendent Registrar if he thought that the enumerator had completed the relevant item incorrectly. In some cases, the marks are actually tally marks because information such as occupation was used for statistical purposes.

    Known problems with the 1871 Census
    The following is a list of parishes where either part or all of the parish is missing.

    Piece County Parishes and Hamlets
    3278 Leicestershire St Margaret, Leicester
    4213 Lancashire Preston
    4729 Yorkshire Eastoft and Haldenby
    5444 Glamorgan Llangyfelach, Penderry, and Llandilotalybont
    5590 Breconshire Talgarth, Grwyne-fawr, and Grwyne-fechan

    Related Information
    For more 1871 census search tips, see this article:
    First Look at the 1871 Census by Sherry Irvine, CGRS, FSA (Scot)

    To read how one person used the 1871 census listings to research their family, see this article:
    England and Wales: Getting More from Online Censuses by Sherry Irvine, CGRS, FSA (Scot) 
    Linked to OVENS, Euphemia
    WELLS, Samuel