England and Wales Census, 1891 (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page
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Access the records: England and Wales Census, 1891 .
The 1891 census taken on the night of 5 April 1891 gave the total population as 33,015,701.
FamilySearch records indicate that the collection contains 31,782,845 records. Please note that this census is in the process of being indexed.
Census schedules consist of large sheets with preprinted rows and columns. The schedules are arranged by county and then divided by civil parish, while some are further subdivided into smaller enumeration districts, each district being an area that could be enumerated in a day. For reference purposes, the National Archives assigned a piece number to each enumeration district and stamped a folio number in the upper right corner of each right-side page. The number refers to entries on both sides of the page (both the recto and verso of the folio).
The Registrar General created the national censuses. Enumerators went door to door collecting the data in census books. Censuses taken between 1851 and 1931 were conducted on a single day, sometime between March 31 and April 8. The census takers listed only those who spent the night in each household, so individuals who were traveling or at school were listed where they spent the night. Almost all the residents of England are included in the census. Noncitizens were also included.
The original schedules are well preserved and housed at the Public Records Office in Kew. Microfilm copies are located at the Family History Library, at the Family Records Centre in England, and at county record offices and some libraries. An attempt is now being made to preserve the records by transcribing and publishing them. Some of these preservation efforts are being published in book form, while others are being posted on the Internet.
The British government has taken censuses every 10 years since 1801, except for 1941. This census covers those living in England and Wales on 5 April 1891.
Citation for This Collection
The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Records collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records.
- "England and Wales Census, 1891." Index. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing Great Britain Census Office. England and Wales Census, 1891. National Archives, Surrey, England.
These census records usually contain the following information:
- Town, district, parish and county where census was taken
- Given name and surname of each household member
- Relationship to head of household
- Age of each person on last birthday
- Marital status and occupation of each household member
- Birth place for each member
- Any physical impairments
- May also list the birth country for people born outside of England
How to Use the Records
To begin your search in the census, it would be helpful if you knew the person's name and the time period when he or she lived.
Search the Collection
Fill in the requested information in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the ancestors in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination.
Tips to Keep in Mind
Other things to consider when finding and using census information are:
- You may have to read around marks made by the clerks who compiled the census data. These marks sometimes obscure the information.
- Accept the ages with caution.
- Given names may not be the same as a name recorded in church or vital records.
- The information may be incorrect.
- Names may be spelled phonetically (or as they sounded to the census taker).
- Place-names may be misspelled.
- Individuals missing from a family may be listed elsewhere in the census.
Using the Information
All members of a family living in the same household will be listed together. When you find your family in one census, search earlier or later censuses to find additional family members and to verify details.
General Information About These Records
Census records are a good source to use as you search for your relatives. Use census records to help you find the age of your ancestor, as well as birthplace, occupation, and address. The records can also help you define relationships between individuals.
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Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.
A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.
Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection
“England and Wales Census 1891," images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/: accessed 21 March 2012), Albert Johnson 23; citing Kew, England and Wales Public Records office at Kew, England and wales census, 1891. Images from FHL Microfilm. family History Library, Salt Lake city, Utah
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