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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 the comprehensive census of residents of Wellington in 1821. You can also view high resolution images of the pages for free.

Wellington census, 1821 P291/V/1/1 page 4

This huge (171 pages) census was indexed as part of our remote volunteer project. Our volunteer Sue reveals that the ages given in the census are remarkably accurate, which she confirmed when double checking names against entries in parish registers to confirm spellings. This often isn’t the case in the later national census returns – for example in the 1841 census ages of adults were rounded down to the nearest 5.

Sue has also noted that more than 50 per cent of wives were older than their husbands. It’s also interesting that the better off residents lived amongst the much poorer residents of Wellington at this time.

The entries are quite faint so the index is invaluable. This extract shows Thomas Scarrott aged 40 a chair bottomer (presumably making chair seats from canes).

Browse the census here: Welllington All Saints, 1821 – P291/V/1/1

Shrewsbury Holy Cross census, 1821

A much smaller, but no less interesting, census is for the parish of Holy Cross in Shrewsbury.

This census gives the name of head of house, whether that house is inhabited and by how many families, with the numbers of males and of females, the employment (trade, agriculture or other) of the head, and observations.

Holy Cross Census P250/B/52 page 18

There’s also a summary of male and female baptisms and burials, 1811- 1820, and some notes on ‘state of education’ stating that of those ‘not educating’, three were ‘chimney sweeper boys’

Browse the census here: Shrewsbury Holy Cross, 1821 – P250/B/52

Shrewsbury St Mary’s

For St Mary’s a pre-printed book was used for compiling the census returns. Unfortunately this means that there is less detail for ages and occupations. However the writing is nice and clear.

Shrewsbury St Mary’s census, 1821 P257/B/30/1/3

Browse the census here: Shrewsbury St Mary’s, 1821 P257/B/30/1

Find out more

Read more about the other pre-1841 census returns and tips on how to search them in our pre-1841 blog post.

Get involved

If you’d like to help with our indexing projects please get in touch by emailing [email protected]

Our latest project focuses on the Salop Fire Insurance records.

Written by sarahd

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