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Census talk

January 13, 202212:55 pmLeave a Comment

When: Saturday 5 February 2pm Where: Shropshire Archives reading room Cost: Free but please book a space by emailing [email protected] Archivist Sarah Davis will give a short talk on the history of the census with a demonstration of how to search census returns online. Shropshire Archives is fortunate to have some rare census returns for […]

1921 census

January 7, 202212:45 pmLeave a Comment

The 1921 census has now been released!    It available on and is a fantastic resource for family and social history as well as for tracing the history of your house. Digitising the returns of over 8.5 million households and other public and private institutions was a huge task undertaken by FindMyPast and the National […]

The Census Enumerator

March 20, 202111:50 amLeave a Comment

This year most households will be filling in the census online. In the past, the responsibility for collecting information fell to enumerators. Between 1801 and 1831, overseers of the poor and parish clergy had provided statistics on the number of households in their parishes and baptisms, marriages and burials recorded in parish registers.  They followed […]

Unexpected birth places

March 18, 202112:30 pmLeave a Comment

A native of Moldavia in Church Stretton The census shows to us the unexpected by revealing the birthplace of all residents. One unusual example is the Zrinyi family resident in Church Stretton in the later 19th and early 20th centuries. Arthur Edward Demetre de Stourdza Zrinyi was born in Iasi in Moldavia, now part of […]

The ‘surplus woman’

March 9, 20219:01 amLeave a Comment

Archivist, Sara Downs considers the single woman question, emigration and the 1851 census… The data from the 1851 census highlighted that there were approximately 500,000 more women than men and there were two and half million unmarried women. Single women had always existed in the population, but for the first time the census provided statistical data to confirm […]

Census month

March 2, 202110:02 amMarch 5, 2021 9:13 amLeave a Comment

As the next census takes place on Sunday 21 March 2021, we are bringing together research tips and information about historic census returns. The census returns are a fantastic resource. You can learn more about individuals as part of your family history, check former inhabitants of your house or build up a picture of the […]

More early census returns

November 24, 202010:07 amFebruary 25, 2021 4:19 pmLeave a Comment

During the latest lockdown we’ve added more census indexes and images to our website. The indexes were created by our wonderful volunteers. We hope this opens up access, allowing you to find that elusive ancestors or conduct a statistical analysis of the population. Wellington census, 1821 You can now browse and search for names in […]

Pre 1841 census returns

September 4, 20208:59 amFebruary 25, 2021 4:20 pmLeave a Comment

Indexes and images of some of the pre-1841 census returns are now available to view on our website for free. Background Generally, the 1841 census was the first national census to include names of all individuals. Counts of the population were taken since 1801. In a very few cases, the unofficial records compiled locally to […]

Research tips – census returns

April 15, 202011:02 amFebruary 25, 2021 4:21 pmLeave a Comment

We hope that you have been able to continue with your family history research, even though the good weather has probably tempted you into your garden over the past few weeks.  We are still dealing with enquiries remotely, and it looks like plenty of people are using their time at home to look into both […]