The amount of information listed varies, but the 1871 census records usually include the following information about your ancestor:

  • First name
  • Middle name
  • Last name
  • Sex
  • Birth place
  • Age
  • Place of residence
  • County
  • Relationship to head of household

    As well as searching for a person, you can also search the 1871 census by address - ideal for tracing your house history or exploring the local history of an area.

    By noting how many households there were in a building, and whether the household included servants or boarders or visitors, you can gain insight into the social circumstances of the family.
  • Discover more about the 1871 UK census

    When the 1871 census was taken on the night of 2 April 1871 the total population was recorded as 26,072,036.

    As well as the information above, in 1871 the census may have recorded additional information about the property in which your relative was living.

    As with all historical research, the golden rule of family history is to check the original record, or "primary source", wherever possible. We have provided clear images of the original census enumeration books for you to view once you've found the right family in the indexes.

    When using census returns, once you have located your ancestor in the census, you should then view the original images to validate your findings. The image of the original document will also help you see the household in the context of surrounding households as all the information will be provided in one clear place, as it was originally written down.

    The original documents would have been given to your ancestor several days before the March 30th date, and the head of household would have been asked to fill in the details for anyone who would have been residing at that address on the census date. Of course, illiteracy was high in 1851, and anyone unable to read or write would have made use of an enumerator - a literate person who would be collecting the census forms - to help fill in the details. Because of this, however, you may note mistakes that were made, such as name spellings. It should also be noted that many people were often economical with the truth when it came to their ages.

    Note: the census includes details of people resident in docked vessels and institutions such as prisons, workhouses, hospitals, and barracks, as well as individual households.

    A small number of permanent gaps exist in the 1871 census.


    3278LeicestershireSt Margaret, Leicester
    4729Yorkshireastoft and Haldenby


    5444Glamorgan Llangyfelach
    5463 Glamorgan Porteynon
    5590Breconshire Talgarth