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Shropshire Archives is open in a phased way from 21 April 2021.

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.


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 create the headcounts have survived. These can be really useful where they contain information about individuals and Shropshire is lucky to have a few examples.

You can read more about this history and context of the pre 1841 census returns in the latest Shropshire Family History Society Journal (June 2020).

Census returns for St Chad’s 1821 P253/V/1/1/21

The census returns

The following census returns now viewable on our website:

More will be coming soon, including a long and detailed census for Wellington, 1821 – so do watch this space.

  • Shrewsbury, St Julian 1831 – is already searchable on FindMyPast

How to find them

To view the digitised images, you can:

  • follow the links above
  • then use the ‘browse this collection’ tab.
  • click on the + to open up the pages.
  • click on the title of one of these to bring up the transcript and the digital image.

Alternatively you can simply search our online catalogue for a name. If you want to search within a particular census, for example the Wrockwardine census of 1831, then you can combine the reference and the name in the search box eg: P316/L/17/1* jones

The images are searchable thanks to the efforts of a small team of brilliant volunteers working remotely with images and spreadsheets. If you’d like to be involved with transcribing and indexing records from home, let us know by emailing [email protected]

Written by sarahd

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