02 March 2021
Find your UK ancestor on the 1841 census with our guide to the dates the census was taken and what information it contains.
The census is an essential building block for your family tree, allowing you to see a snapshot of your ancestor and their family members at ten-yearly intervals.
The census returns of 1841-1911 for England, Wales and Scotland are available online and can give you a unique insight into your ancestors’ lives every 10 years. You can read more about how and where to search the census in our UK census guide.
The 1841 census
Although older censuses exist for England, Scotland and Wales, the 1841 census was the first one to list the name of every individual, resulting in a population count of 18,553,124 for England & Wales, and 2,620,184 for Scotland.
On the night of the census, 6 June 1841, each household in England and Wales was given a census form to complete, with the information listed in the section below. Sadly these forms no longer exist but we do have the census enumerator's books which contain the information copied from each census form and it is this information that forms the 1841 census records available to us today.
Some records from the 1841 Scotland censuses are missing and you can see these listed on the National Records of Scotland website.
What information does the UK 1841 census contain?
- First name
- Age (rounded down to nearest 5 years if over 15 for Eng, Wales & Channel Islands)
- Sex (England, Wales, Channel Islands)
- Whether born in county where enumerated
- Whether born in Scotland, Ireland or 'foreign parts' (England, Wales & Channel islands), or born in Scotland, England, Ireland or 'foreign parts' (Scotland)
No full 1841 census survives for Ireland but you can search the existing records at National Archives Ireland.