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English & Welsh Resources for Family Historians: Census Records

The State Library of South Australia has a large number of resources that may assist you in tracing your English or Welsh ancestry. This guide also contains websites of interest, contact details for relevant organisations and tips & tricks.

Introduction

Since 1801 a Census for England and Wales (separately for Scotland) has been taken every ten years, except in 1941 due to the Second World War.

The 1841 Census was the first to list everyone in the country, although some lists of names for the earlier censuses are held for specific places.

The census records available between 1841 and 1911 are an invaluable source of information for the family historian. 

Census records list all those residing at each address on Census night, including head of the household, spouse, children, other family members such as grandparents, servants or farm labourers, boarders, and any visitors.  Information generally includes:

  • name
  • status in the household
  • age
  • occupation
  • address
  • birth parish
  • relation to head of household

In later census records you will find questions that ask about literacy, health (physical and mental) and place of birth.

Pre 1841 Census information can be found at the National Archives (UK) website and in the book Pre-1841 Censuses and population listings in the British Isles by Colin R. Chaplin (1991).

Useful websites

Free CEN – Freely searchable UK Census data for 1841-1891 compiled by volunteers at Free UK Genealogy

UK census information available at the State Library

Below is a listing of all UK census information available at the State Library.  Some of the information is in hard copy or on microfiche.  The rest is available for viewing within the State Library via our subscription to Ancestory.com Library Edition.
SUBJECTTITLEYEARSFORMAT
Census 1831 census County Londonderry.
Family Hist. Fiche IRE/Cens/1
1831 microform
Census 1831 census, St Clement, Hastings.
Family History Coll. 304.6094225 E34
1831 paper
Census 1831 census: Uckfield, Sussex.
Family History Coll. 304.6094225 W34
1831 paper
Census Gibson, J. S. W.Census returns, 1841-1881, on microfilm : a directory to local holdings in Great Britain, Channel Islands; Isle of Man.
Family History Coll. 929.341 G449.5
1841-1881 paper
Census 1851 Census of England & Wales. (all counties)
Ancestry Library database
1851 computer file
Census 1851 British census (Devon, Norfolk, and Warwick only)
Ancestry Library database
1851 computer file
Census The 1851 census of Cornwall
Ancestry Library database
1851 computer file
Census 1851 census surname index. 39 v.: map.
Family History Coll. 929.42 E34
1851 paper
Census 1861 Census of England & Wales (all counties)
Ancestry Library database
1861 computer file
Census 1861 Bedfordshire census
Ancestry Library database
1861 computer file
Census 1861 Cambridgeshire census
Ancestry Library database
1861 computer file
Census 1861 Cornwall census
Ancestry Library database
1861 computer file
Census 1861 Derbyshire census
Ancestry Library database
1861 computer file
Census 1861 Devon census
Ancestry Library database
1861 computer file
Census 1861 Dorset census
Ancestry Library database
1861 computer file
Census 1861 Durham census
Ancestry Library database
1861 computer file
Census 1861 Essex census
Ancestry Library database
1861 computer file
Census 1861 Gloucestershire census
Ancestry Library database
1861 computer file
Census 1861 Hampshire census
Ancestry Library database
1861 computer file
Census 1861 Kent census
Ancestry Library database
1861 computer file
Census 1861 Leicestershire census
Ancestry Library database
1861 computer file
Census 1861 Lincolnshire census
Ancestry Library database
1861 computer file
1861 1861 London census
Ancestry Library database
1861 computer file
Census 1861 Middlesex census
Ancestry Library database
1861 computer file
Census 1861 Norfolk census
Ancestry Library database
1861 computer file
Census 1861 Nottinghamshire census
Ancestry Library database
1861 computer file
Census 1861 Oxfordshire census
Ancestry Library database
1861 computer file
Census 1861 Pembrokeshire census
Ancestry Library database
1861 computer file
Census 1861 Somerset census
Ancestry Library database
1861 computer file
Census 1861 Staffordshire census
Ancestry Library database
1861 computer file
Census 1861 Suffolk census
Ancestry Library database
1861 computer file
Census 1861 Sussex census
Ancestry Library database
1861 computer file
Census 1861 Worcestershire census
Ancestry Library database
1861 computer file
Census 1871 Census of England & Wales (all counties)
Ancestry Library database
1871 computer file
Census 1881Census of England & Wales
Ancestry Library database
1881 computer file
Census 1881 British census and national index [computer file]: England, Scotland, Wales, Channel Islands, Isle of Man, and Royal Navy.
Ancestry Library database
1881 computer file
Census 1891 Census of England & Wales
Ancestry Library database
1891 computer file
Census 1891 London Census
Ancestry Library database
1891 computer file
Census 1901 Census of England & Wales
Ancestry Library Edition database
1901 computer file