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Explore England's Past

Census Returns

A page from the Codford St Mary entry in the 1881 census

In 1801 a census was taken, which was probably not completely accurate. It was followed every ten years by much more careful and detailed inquiries into the population, parish by parish.

Some schedules survive in parishes for 1821 and 1831 but few have names. They provide details of the number of families, houses and people engaged in different occupations. From 1841 names are recorded and from 1851 there are also details of age, marital status, birthplace, relationships, occupation and disability, people living rough or on boats, and where houses were being built. Farmers gave details of acreage cultivated and all employers provided numbers of employees.

In 1841 details of emigration were asked for, and later censuses recorded the number of habitable rooms in dwellings and whether unoccupied houses were temporarily empty or had been abandoned. There is information about boundary changes and new parishes, boarding schools, hospitals and workhouses, and the naming, and later numbering, of town streets.

Census schedules cast light on poverty and wealth, family and household size, the growth of towns, suburbs and back courts, businesses, shops and factories, domestic service, migration, schools and hospitals, farm size and amalgamation, crafts, and travellers, lodgers and visitors.

There is also one ecclesiastical census for 1851 with detailed information on every place of worship open at the time including seating capacity and size of congregation.

Theme Items

Every ten years since 1801, except in 1941, there has been a general census of the population of England and Wales.

The growth in the population is due to the presence of the Lime and Cement Works in the parish which William Peters established in the 1850s and 18

Burham was transformed following the building of Thomas Cubitt's brick and cement works in 1852-5, later the Burham Brick, Lime & Cement Co.

Aylesford is one of the largest parishes in the group and incorporates differing areas.

With some 15,000 names the Strood and Frindsbury 1901 censuses are too unwieldy for this project in a single table.

The Strood censuses for 1841, 1861 and 1881.

The Frindsbury censuses for 1841, 1861 and 1881

The Cuxton censuses for 1841, 1861, 1881 and 1901. This parish alone of the eight in the project maintained a steady population.

The census returns for Halling: 1841, 1861, 1881, 1901

The Snodland census returns for 1841, 1861, 1881, 1901