1851 UK Census

The 1851 UK census was the first which identified all individuals in a household, along with their relationship to the head of each household.

People were to be listed as of the night of March 30, 1851. All persons were to be recorded in the actual place where they spent the night, regardless of where they actually lived - a "snap-shot" in time of the people of the UK.

UK Flag and Outline Map

The 1851 census covered England, Wales, Scotland, the Isle of Man, and the Channel Islands.





The questions asked on this census were as follows:

  • Name of Street, Place or Road, and Name or Number of House
  • Name and Surname of each Person who abode in the house on 30th of March, 1851
  • Relation to head of family
  • Condition [that is, single, married, widowed]
  • Age of
    • Males
    • Females
  • Rank, Profession, or Occupation
  • Where born
  • Whether blind, or deaf and dumb

This census gives a bit more information than the 1841 UK census, in that most people indicated the name of the village or town where they were born, plus the county.

Keep in mind, however, that many people would list the largest town or commercial center close to where they actually were born, rather than the little village itself.

This is similar to what we do today when someone asks where we are from. We often think that no-one would recognize the name of our little town, and therefore, we name the nearest place that would be fairly well known.

This census record also provides the relationship to the head of the household (although often, I have found, a member of the extended family - a cousin, niece, nephew, uncle or aunt, for example - would be listed simply as a 'boarder', rather than as a relative). If you do a bit of digging, you may very well find that that boarder had a blood relationship to someone in the household.






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