Guernsey Census

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Online Databases[edit | edit source]

Guernsey censuses can be found on Ancestry in Channel Islands census record collections:

Introduction[edit | edit source]

A census is a statistical count and description of the population of a country taken for the purpose of accurate government representation, tax collection, and military purposes. Census records are a valuable source of genealogical information for Guernsey because they list names, relationships, ages, places of birth, and marital statuses.

A census has been taken in Guernsey every 10 years since 1821 (except in 1941); the first census listing people by name was taken in 1841. The 1841 to the 1911 censuses are available online.

Understanding the Census[edit | edit source]

With each census, pre-printed forms were used (called schedules). These schedules were handed by enumerators to the heads of household who were told to only record those actually at home on census night. Meaning, you will not find listed at home those at boarding schools or those working away from home that night. These forms were collected soon afterwards and entered into census enumerator books. While the census enumerator books survive, most of the original schedules do not.

The dates of each census were as follows:

1841 – June 6 1881 – April 3
1851 – March 30 1891 – April 5
1861 – April 7 1901 – March 31
1871 – April 2 1911 – April 2

Census Content[edit | edit source]

You will find the following information in the census:

1841[edit | edit source]

The following information was recorded:

  • Island and parish
  • Institution
  • Name of each person that had spent the night in that household
  • Age (the ages of people over 15 years old were rounded down to the nearest 5 years)
  • Sex
  • Occupation
  • Where born (asked whether born in the same county as residence and whether born in England, Scotland, Ireland, or Foreign Parts)

1851-1901[edit | edit source]

The following information was recorded:

  • Island, parish, and/or town
  • Name of street, place, road
  • House number or name
  • Name and surname of each person that had spent the night in that household
  • Relationship to the head of household
  • Marital status
  • Age (at last birthday)
  • Sex
  • Rank, profession, or occupation
  • Place of birth (if outside of England or Wales, only the country was given)
  • Only in 1851 and 1861: whether blind, deaf, or dumb
  • Only in 1861, 1871, and 1881: whether property vacant or inhabited
  • Only in 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901: whether deaf and dumb, blind, imbecile (feeble-minded) or idiot, or lunatic
  • Only in 1891 and 1901: number of rooms occupied if less than five and whether employer, employed, or neither (own account)
  • Only in 1901: inhabited or uninhabited houses, if working at home, language spoken

1911[edit | edit source]

The following information was recorded:

  • Parish and postal address
  • Name and surname of every person in household (those who stayed the night and those who arrived the next morning not enumerated elsewhere)
  • Relationship to head of household
  • Age (at last birthday)
  • Sex (age listed in months for those under one year)
  • Marital status
  • Completed years of present marriage
  • Number of children born alive in present marriage, number of children still living, and number of children who have died
  • Profession or trade
  • Industry or service
  • Whether employer, worker, or working on own account
  • Whether working at home
  • Birthplace (those born outside of the United Kingdom indicate the country of birth)
  • Nationality of those born in a foreign country
  • Infirmity (deaf, dumb, blind, lunatic, imbecile, or feeble-minded)
  • Language spoken (indicate whether able to speak English and/or Manx)

Census Surname Indexes[edit | edit source]

Some places have been index for specific census years. Click here (Channel Islands Surname Index) to see a list of the census surname indexes for local places and parishes in these islands acquired by and available at the Family History Library.

Census Transcription Errors[edit | edit source]

Because of the unfamiliar surnames found on Guernsey, some transcriptions may be incorrect. To learn more, see

Accessing the Records[edit | edit source]

Online Records[edit | edit source]

The censuses between 1841 and 1911 can all be found online.

Website Years Index or Images Additional Information
FamilySearch 1841-1911 Index and images Guernsey included in England & Wales census collections
Ancestry ($) 1841-1911 Index and images Guernsey found in Channel Islands census collections
FindMyPast ($) 1841-1911 Index and images Guernsey included in England, Wales & Scotland census collections