England and Wales Census, 1891 (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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England and Wales Census, 1891
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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 1891
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
The National Archives


What is in This Collection?

The 1891 census taken on the night of 5 April 1891 gave the total population as 33,015,701.

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. 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.

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.

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, 1891.

What Can These Records Tell Me?

The 1891 Census forms asks for the following information:

  • Name
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Marital status
  • Relationship to the Head of Household
  • Occupation
  • Birthplace
  • Physical limitations
  • Address
  • (The index shows an estimated year of birth based on the age given)

Collection Content

Sample of an indexed record:

John Smith England and Wales Census, 1891
Name John Smith
Event Type Census
Event Date 1891
County London
Parish Paddington
Ecclesiastical Parish ST MARY
Registration District Paddington
Residence Note Paddington Basin North Side
Gender Male
Age 53
Marital Status Single
Occupation Captain
Relationship to Head of Household Crew
Birth Year (Estimated) 1838
Birthplace Wiltshire, England
Page Number 46
Registration Number RG12
Piece/Folio 3/ 57

How Do I Search the Collection?

Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:

  • The name of the person you are looking for
  • The location 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
  • You may have to read around marks made by the clerks who compiled the census data. These marks sometimes obscure the information
  • Use the information to find additional family members in other censuses
  • 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, 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
  • Individuals missing from a family may be listed elsewhere in the census

Record Finder

Known Issues with This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to support@familysearch.org. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.


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, 1891." Database with images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : 28 September 2016. From "1891 England, Scotland and Wales census." Database with images. findmypast. http://www.findmypast.com : n.d. Citing PRO RG 12. 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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