England and Wales Census, 1881 (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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England and Wales Census 1881
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
England and Wales
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Flag of England
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Record Description
Record Type Census
Collection years 1881
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
The National Archives


What is in This Collection?

This collection includes records for 1881. The British government has taken censuses every 10 years since 1801, except for 1941. This census covers those living in England and Wales on 3 April 1881.

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 Registrar General created censuses for various reasons, including population studies, accessing military readiness, compiling lists of eligible voters, and tracking relief to the poor.

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, 1881.

What Can These Records Tell Me?

The following information may be found in these records:

Census

  • Town, civil parish and church parish where census was taken
  • Given names and surnames of each household member
  • Relationship to head of household
  • Age, gender, marital status and occupation of each household member
  • Birthplace of each household member
  • Physical impairments

Collection Content

Sample of indexed information:

John Smith England and Wales Census, 1881
Name John Smith
Event Type Census
Event Date 1881
Event Place Paddington, London,Middlesex, England
Registration District Kensington
Residence Note Hyde Park Gar
Gender Male
Age 53
Marital Status (Original) Married
Occupation Butler (Dom)
Relationship to Head of Household Servant
Birth Year (Estimated) 1828
Birthplace Linton, Cambridgeshire, England
Page Number 1
Registration Number RG11
Piece/Folio 15/4
Affiliate Record Type Household

How Do I Search This Collection?

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
  • If you have identified the names of the parents or the name of the spouse in the census of your ancestor, search for a marriage record for the couple
  • Use the ages listed to determine an approximate birth date and 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. An individual 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

Research Helps

The following articles will help you in your research for your family in England.

The following articles will help you in your research for your family in Wales.

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, 1881." Database with images. FamilySearch. https://FamilySearch.org : 30 July 2018. From "1881 England, Scotland and Wales Census." Database and images. findmypast. https://www.findmypast.com : n.d. Citing PRO RG 11. The National Archives, 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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