Scotland Census, 1851 - FamilySearch Historical Records
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Scotland Census, 1851
|This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.|
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|The National Archives, Kew, Surrey and New Register House, Edinburgh|
- 1 What is in This Collection?
- 2 What Can These Records Tell Me?
- 3 Collection Content
- 4 How Do I Search This Collection?
- 5 What Do I Do Next?
- 6 Known Issues
- 7 Citing This Collection
- 8 How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?
What is in This Collection?
The British government has taken censuses every 10 years since 1801. This guide covers censuses of Scotland enumerated on 31 March 1851.
Census schedules consist of large sheets with preprinted rows and columns. The schedules are arranged by county and then divided by civil parish. Some are further subdivided into smaller enumeration districts, each district being an area that could be enumerated in a day. The information was recorded in columns on two pages that face each other. Information is recorded in entries that cover two facing pages. For reference purposes, the National Archives assigned a piece number to each enumeration district and stamped a folio number in the upper right corner of each right-side page.
The original schedules are well preserved and housed at the Public Records Office in Kew. Microfilm copies are located at the Family History Library, at the Family Records Centre in England, and at county record offices and some libraries.
The Registrar General created the national censuses of the British population. However, the actual gathering of information was usually done by the Home Office of each county with assistance from the county sheriff. The census was completed in one day, then the census books were sent to the Registrar General’s office in London. Almost all of the residents of Scotland are included in the census.
The Registrar General created censuses for several reasons, including population studies, accessing military readiness, compiling lists of eligible voters, and tracking relief to the poor.
The information gathered by the census taker is only as reliable as the person who provided the information. While some information may not be completely accurate, it can still provide important clues in locating an ancestor. Enumerators went door to door collecting the data in census books. The census takers listed only those who spent the night in each household, so individuals who were traveling or at school were listed where they spent the night.
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What Can These Records Tell Me?
Sample of indexed information.
|Event Place||Kincardine Oneil, Aberdeenshire, Scotland|
|Address||Linn of Dee|
|Relationship to Head of Household||Head|
|Registration District||Kincardine Oneil|
|Affiliate Publication Number||2|
|Birth Year (Estimated)||1822|
How Do I Search This Collection?
Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:
- The name and age of the person you are looking for
- Names and ages of family members
Search the IndexSearch by name by visiting the Collection Details Page.
- Fill in the search boxes in the Search Collection section with the information you know
- Click Search to show possible matches
How Do I Analyze the Results?
Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.
What Do I Do Next?
I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?
- Add any new information to your records
- Use the birth year and birth place to search for birth records
- Look for the families of children in later census years
- Check each census for the period in which a person lived to verify the information in any particular census year and to find additional information
- If a spouse is listed, check their marriage record
I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?
- Given names may not be the same as a name recorded in church or vital records
- The information may be incorrect
- Names may be spelled phonetically (or as they sounded to the census taker)
- Place-names may be misspelled
- Individuals missing from a family may be listed elsewhere in the census
- Children might have taken the name of the stepfather if the mother remarried
- The family name may have been altered after emigration from Scotland
- You may have to read around marks made by the clerks who compiled the census data. These marks sometimes obscure the information
The following articles will help you in your research for your family in Scotland.
Citing This Collection
Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.
When looking at a record, the citation can be viewed by clicking the drop-down arrow next to Document Information.
How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?
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