Welcome to UKICensus - The site that gives you information on the
UK and Ireland Censuses and much more. Find out fascinating details from the 1901census to the new 1841 census together with family history articles and records such as surname sites, gedcom, chat & forum sites, genealogy magazines and genealogy shopping and services sites. Simply click and search.
Search the censuses (some for free) by name, and refine your search using further fields. Download images and information from a census entry for a small free, from a free trial or by subscribing to a range of websites such as Ancestry.co.uk. Follow the links listed below to the appropriate external co-branded websites, hosted under a partnership arrangement.
A census of the population of England and Wales has been taken every ten years since 1801 with the exception of 1941. The 1841 census was the first to list the names of every individual. To ensure the confidentiality of the information provided, census returns are closed for 100 years, so the 1901 census is the latest that is currently available.
Where to see the census returns
You can access the census returns through many places including Ancestry.co.uk, The Family Records Center (FRC) and The National Archives (TNA) who all provide access to digitised images of all census returns from 1851 to 1901 for England, Wales, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. The returns for 1841 are being digitised and indexed, and will be made available in due course - so keep checking back.
Most local and county record offices hold microfilm or microfiche copies of the census returns for their own areas and census returns can also be viewed at Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints’ Family History Centres. You should always contact any record office or library you intend to visit to ensure that they have the records you want to see.
The dates of the censuses are as follows:
1801 - 10 March
1811 - 27 May
1821 - 28 May
1831 - 29 May
1841 - 6 June
1851 - 30 March
1861 - 7 April
1871 - 2 April
1881 - 3 April
1891 - 5 April
1901 - 31 March
Arrangement of the census returns
The census returns record details of people present in England and Wales on the date of each census. From 1841, the census returns for England and Wales were compiled using the same system of registration districts and sub-districts that was used for the registration of births, marriages and deaths. This means that there is a direct link between the two most important 19th-century sources for family historians.
Each registrar’s sub-district was divided into a number of enumeration districts, each of which was the responsibility of an enumerator. The enumerator delivered a form known as a schedule to each household a few days before census night, and collected the completed schedules the day after. The schedules were then sorted, and the details copied into the census enumerators’ books. It is these books which have survived and which can be seen today on microform, or in some cases digitally online. The original householders’ schedules were later destroyed. Special schedules were provided for vessels and institutions.
The 1841 census was the first to ask detailed questions about individuals. The following information was recorded about each person:
• forename and surname
• age (rounded down to the nearest five for those aged 15 or over)
• whether they were born in the county in which they were enumerated (Y or N)
• whether they were born in Scotland (S), Ireland (I) or Foreign Parts (F)
An address was also shown for each household but house numbers were rarely given, and in rural areas you will often find only the name of the village or hamlet.
From 1851 to 1901 the format of the census returns and the range of questions asked remained largely the same. The following details can be found for each individual
:• forename, middle names (often just initials) and surname
• relationship to the head of the household (usually the oldest male)
• marital status
• age (at last birthday)
• occupation (i.e. their source of income)
• county and parish of birth (if born in England or Wales)
• country of birth (if born outside England and Wales)
• whether they suffered from certain medical disabilities
• language spoken (in Wales, from 1891; on the Isle of Man, from 1901)
The full address is given and, progressively with each census, more information about the dwelling itself.
For more detailed information, databases and articles on each of the individual census returns click the menu above.