Census records

The 1801 census

Although a bill proposing an annual census of the population had been introduced in Parliament in 1753, the Census Act was not passed until 1800, leading to the first census on 10th March 1801. Before 1841, census returns were sent to the Home Office where they were used to compile population statistics and then destroyed. However, some parishes kept a copy of the return, or the census enumerator made notes on each household while compiling the figures, and some of these early census records have survived, as is the case for Doddiscombsleigh in 1811.

The 1811 Doddiscombsleigh census

The 1811 census for Doddiscombsleigh contains the names of the inhabitants of the parish by household, beginning with the rector, Mr Thomas Hole. All the entries are written in a little notebook made from several pieces of paper folded in half and stitched along the fold. The heading on the first page and the rector's name are written in the same hand, while the rest is written by somebody else. The enumerator started at the rectory, visited all the families to the north of the village, then the village itself, before continuing to the south of the village, ending up at Spanish Lake close to the rectory where he started. Ages and relationships to the head of the household are not given, but the total number of males and females are written in the margins. Out of a total population of 181 males and 145 females there are COLDRIDGEs at just two addresses.

Later censuses

The 1841 census gives, for each address, the occupation of the head of household together with the name, age and county of birth of the occupants. Ages are exact for children up to 15, but adult ages are rounded down to the nearest 5 years, hence are not very accurate. From 1851 the census also tells us where people were born, together with their age and their relationship to the head of household.

England & Wales census dates and references

1841 - 6th June 1841 - HO107

1851 - 30th March 1851 - HO107

1861 - 7th April 1861 - RG9

1871 - 2nd April 1871 - RG10

1881 - 3rd April 1881 - RG11

1891 - 5th April 1891 - RG12

1901 - 31st March 1901 - RG13

1911 - 2nd April 1911 - RG14

Canadian federal census dates

1851 - 12th January 1852 (delays led to the late enumeration of the 1851 Census)

1861 - 14th January 1861

1871 - 2nd April 1871

1881 - 4th April 1881

1891 - 6th April 1891

1901 - 31st March 1901

1906 - 24th June 1906 (only NW Provinces: Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba)

1911 - 1st June 1911

1916 - 1st June 1916 (only NW Provinces: Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba)

1921 - 1st June 1921