England and Wales Census, 1851 (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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England and Wales Census, 1851
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
England and Wales
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Record Description
Record Type Census
Collection years 1851
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
The National Archives


What is in This Collection?

This collection includes records for 1851. The United Kingdom Census of 1851 recorded the people residing in every household on the night of Sunday, March 30, 1851, and was the second of the UK censuses to include details of household members. However, this census added considerably to the fields recorded in the earlier 1841 UK Census, providing additional details of ages, relationships and origins, making the 1851 census a rich source of information.

The schedules are arranged by county and then divided by civil parish, 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. The original schedules are well preserved and housed at the Public Records Office in Kew.

Image Visibility

Whenever possible, FamilySearch makes images available for all users. However rights to view images on our website are granted by the record custodians. This collection is available at the Family History Library, FamilySearch Centers, and to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. These images may be viewable to users who have contributed to the FamilySearch Indexing effort. Learn how to be a part of FamilySearch indexing here.

The images are also available to all viewers for a fee at Findmypast.

For additional information about image restrictions, please see the Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections page.

To Browse This Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for England and Wales Census, 1851.

What Can These Records Tell Me?

Census records usually contain the following information:

  • Date, place, district, parish and county where census was taken
  • Given names and surnames for members in each household
  • Age, gender and birthplace for each household member
  • Marital status and occupation for each household member
  • Occupation
  • Relationship to the head of the household

Collection Content

Sample of an indexed record

John Smith England and Wales, Census, 1851
Name John Smith
Event Type Census
Event Date 1851
Event Place Maulden, Bedfordshire, England
Registration District Ampthill
Gender Male
Age 18
Marital Status Unmarried
Occupation Labourer At Home
Relationship to Head of Household Son
Birth Year (Estimated) 1833
Birthplace Maulden, Bedfordshire
Page Number 16
Registration Number HO107
Piece/Folio 1754 / 297
Affiliate Record Type Household

How Do I Search This Collection?

Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:

  • Name of the person you are looking for
  • Approximate place of residence

Search the Index

Search by name by visiting the Collection Page.
  1. Fill in the search boxes on the Collection Page with the information you have
  2. Click Search to show possible matches

How Do I Analyze the Results?

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.

What Do I Do Next?

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?

  • Look at an image of the original record. The original may contain information that was not recorded in the index
  • Use the information to find additional family members in other censuses
  • Use the information to find other records such as birth, marriage, christening, and death records
  • Birth places can tell you former residences and can help to establish a migration pattern for the family

I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking for, What Now?

  • If your ancestor does not have a common name, collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This can help you find possible relatives
  • If you cannot locate your ancestor in the locality in which you believe they lived, then try searching records of a nearby locality
  • Check for other names. They might have been listed under a middle name, a nickname, or an abbreviation of their given name
  • Standard spelling of names typically did not exist during the periods our ancestors lived in. Try searching based on how the name may have been pronounced

Record Finder

Citing This Collection

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation
"England and Wales Census, 1851." Database with images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : 3 August 2016. From "1851 England, Scotland and Wales census." Database with images. findmypast. http://www.findmypast.com : n.d. Citing PRO HO 107. The National Archives of the UK, Kew, Surrey.
Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation is found below the record.
Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.

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How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.


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