This UK Census collection gives details on the records of all those enumerated in the 1881 Census of England and Wales. The United Kingdom Census of 1881 recorded the people residing in every household on the night of 3/4 April 1881, and was the fourth of the UK censuses to include details of household members. The Census of England, Wales, Scotland, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man collected detailed information on each individual who spent the night in an individual household.

Information in the 1881 Census records:

  • Name and surname of each person in the property
  • Relationship to head of the family
  • Marital status
  • Age at last birthday
  • Gender
  • Occupation
  • Birthplace
  • Additional information about the dwelling and property was also collected

The 1881 Census forms were distributed to all households a couple of days before census night and the completed forms were collected the following day. All forms were meant to accurately reflect each individual's status as of 3/4 April 1881 & the household they spent the night of the 3/4 April in.

People who were travelling or living abroad were recorded at the location where they spent the night. All of the details from the individual forms were later sorted and copied into The Census books, which are the original records you can view images of today.

Case Study: Lord Randolph Henry Spencer-Churchill Lord Randolph Henry Spencer-Churchill

Lord Randolph Churchill was born in 1849 and became a British statesman. He was the third son of the 7th Duke of Marlborough and the father of Winston Churchill, the future wartime Prime Minister. In a long political career, he was a Conservative MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Leader of the House of Commons and Secretary of State for India. In the 1881 Census, we find Lord Churchill living in St James Place, Westminster, with Lady Churchill and their two sons.

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