Census returns have taken place in England and Wales every ten years since 1801. They detail all those living in every household in every street in every neighbourhood throughout England and Wales. The censuses taken in 1801, 1811, 1821 and 1831 just show the numbers of residents and the names were not normally recorded.
However from the 1841 census onwards when name recording started, censuses provide a very valuable snapshot of families at a moment in time. The 1841 census has very basic information is recorded, but at the time of the latest available census in 1911, there are more details provided.
Each county was divided into Registration Districts, further divided into Enumeration Districts. Census forms with the details of everyone who slept in the house on census night, whether or not they usually lived there.
Census night varied in date and have been transcribed below:
1841 census : Sunday 6th June
1851 Census: Sunday 30th March
1861 census: Sunday 7th March
1871 census Sunday 2nd April
1881 Census: Sunday 3rd April
1891 Census: Sunday 5th April
1901 Census: Sunday 31st March
1911 Census: Sunday 2nd April