1841 England & Wales Census

15,791,794 records
The England & Wales Census of 1841 was taken on the night of 6 June 1841 and was the first modern census of England and Wales and the earliest census that has survived in its entirety. Only local fragments of the 1801, 1811, 1821 and 1831 censuses survived once the statistical information was collected. For each household member the census recorded name, gender, age rounded to 5 years, relationship to the head of the family, place of birth and place of residence.

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, and so on.

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. This system still forms the basis of the method used today.

What can you find in the 1841 census?
Census returns can help you determine who your ancestors were, and can also tell you:
- Where your ancestors were living
- Who they were living with
- What their occupations were
- If they had any servants
- Who their neighbors were
- If they had any brothers and sisters
- What their ages were at the time of the census

The fields which have been transcribed for the 1841 census are:
- First name
- Last name
- Sex
- Birth county
- Age
- Address
- City
- Parish
- County

Relation to head of household was not recorded in this census. However, MyHeritage has developed technology to imply the relations based on surname, gender, age and position in the household. Though not perfect, the implied relations are often correct.

Why this collection is so valuable
Census records are valuable since they can tell you where a person lived at a certain place and time. Censuses were conducted by the federal government and will offer a variety of information, depending on year. Census records can answer questions like where your ancestors were living at the time the census was taken, who they were living with, what their occupations were, who their neighbors were, if they had any brothers and sisters, what their ages were at the time of the census and if they had any disabilities.

Searching the census
The golden rule of family history is to check the original historical record, or 'primary source', wherever possible. We have provided clear images of the original census enumeration books for you to view once you've found the right family in the indexes. When using census returns you should first search the transcriptions to help locate your ancestor in the census, and then view the original images to validate your findings. It will also help you see the household in the context of surrounding households. This is particularly important as transcribing an entire census is a huge and difficult task, and whilst we have used the expertise of our transcribers and the experience of key representatives from the genealogy community to help us translate the records, it is inevitable that there will be some errors.

Next steps
With the information you gain from these census records, you will have the information you need to search for vital records in the locality where you found your ancestor. Also, the fact that census returns are taken every ten years also allows you to track the movements of our ancestors through time as they perhaps move house, get married, have children or even change occupations.

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