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Since 1801 there has been a census every 10 years except for 1941 1841 is the earliest census that has survived in its entirety: few of the 1801, 1811, 1821 and 1831 censuses have survived the ravishes of time
1841 was the first time that the head of each household was given a form to fill in on behalf of everyone in the dwelling on a set day
1841 Census taken 07/06/1841 Population 15,914,000
In the 1841 Census a policy of rounding down ages was in place
As such people aged:
15-19 were recorded as 15
20-24 were recorded as 20
25-29 were recorded as 25
30-34 were recorded as 30
35-39 were recorded as 35
1851 Census taken 30/03/1851 population 17,992,768
Queen Victoria, the reigning monarch, opens the Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations at the Crystal Palace. It runs from 1 May until 18 October. In October, the Reuters news service is founded.
The first international chess tournament is held in London on 26 May. American gambler, gunfighter and freind of famous lawman Wyatt Earp, John Henry ‘Doc’ Holliday is born on 14 August.
1861 Ceneus taken 07/04/1861 Population 20,066,000
Daily weather forecasts began on 1 January.
The First horse-drawn trams appeared on the streets of London. The opening of the Post Office Savings Bank saw within its first year 180,000 investors, who between them deposited nearly £2,000,000.
1871 Census taken 02/04/1871 Population 22,723,000
German Empire created – Wilhelm I of Germany is first Emperor of Germany. Paris Commune established, later crushed by Third Republic. Royal Albert Hall opened.
1881 Census taken 03/04/1881 Population 25,974,000
Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell form the Oriental Telephone Company. The Savoy Theatre opens
Alexander Fleming born
1891 Census taken 05/04/1891 Population 28,999,725
New Scotland Yard becomes the headquarters of the Metropolitan Police Radio patented by Thomas Edison
Building of the Trans-Siberian Railway is started
1901 Census taken 31/04/1901 Population 32,527,843
Queen Victoria dies at Osborne House and is succeeded by her son who becomes Edward VII.
The formation of the Commonwealth of Australia. Its colonies are: New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia. Britain's first cinema opens in Islington, London.
1911 Census taken 02/04/1911 Population ab 36,000,000
The count included all individual households, plus institutions such as prisons, workhouses, naval vessels and merchant vessels, and it also attempted to make an approximate count of the homeless.
Frustrated with the government’s refusal to grant women the vote, a large number of women boycotted the 1911 census by refusing to be counted.
The exact number of women who boycotted the census is not known, though some people have estimated that it may be as many as several thousand.
1939 Register The 1939 Register, taken on 29 September 1939, provides a snapshot of the civilian population of England and Wales just after the outbreak of the Second World War. Details of around 40 million people were recorded.
The information was to produce Identity Cards and, once rationing was introduced in January 1940, to facilitate the issuing of ration books. Information in the Register was also used to administer conscription and division of labour, and to monitor and control the movement of the population caused by military mobilisation and mass evacuation.
Census - Don’t believe everything you read
As with any family history records, original census returns are not free from mistakes; you should therefore keep an open mind when using the data and not believe everything you read.