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Middlesex Censuses

From 1851, the Registrar-General grouped together the census returns from those parts of Middlesex, Kent, and Surrey which formed the "metropolitan" area commonly called London - i.e. the built-up areas - as a separate "census county". This area was used as the basis of the area governed by the Metropolitan Board of Works and later formed with few alterations the new County of London when it was created in 1889. S&N have a map of this area . The areas covered include Paddington, Kensington, Fulham, Chelsea, St George Hanover Square, Westminster, Marylebone, Hampstead, Pancras, Islington, Hackney, St Giles, Strand, Holborn, London City, Shoreditch, Bethnal Green, Whitechapel, St George in the East, Stepney, Mile End Old Town, Poplar, St Saviour, Southwark, Lambeth, Wandsworth, Camberwell, Greenwich, Lewisham and Woolwich.

The rest of the county remained under the name of Middlesex.

Census indexes and facsimiles are being produced online and on CD at an ever increasing pace, so the following list is likely to be out of date quite rapidly. Information here is arranged by the date of the census:

General - pre-1841 - 1841 - 1851 - 1861 - 1871 - 1881 - 1891 - 1896 - 1901 - 1911

General census information

The surviving census returns are not entirely complete. The National Archives distinguishes between those returns that are 'missing', meaning that they have gone missing since being catalogued, and those that are 'wanting', meaning that they should have been present but were not at the point of cataloguing, though the terms appear to be interchanged in the cataloguing of the 1901 census. Missing parts are listed in the National Archives' Catalogue online, but wanting parts are only listed in the paper versions at the National Archives and elsewhere. Known lost returns for London and Middlesex are noted below. If any readers know of others, please let us know.

pre-1841 census returns

Very few pre-1841 census returns survive. The known London and Middlesex ones are included in Censusschedulesandlistings, 1801-1831:anintroductionandguide by RichardWall,MatthewWoollardandBeatriceMoring.

1841 census returns

Piece HO107/680 covering Paddington is missing.

1851 census returns

1861 census returns

The following are known to be lost:

The Family Record (Newsletter of the former Family Records Centre) Issue 36 for October 2006, contained the following statement about the completeness of the 1861 census records for London:

Research has shown that roughly 3% of the 1861 census returns is missing or damaged. A major project is now underway to identify and list the missing sections. The London registration districts have already been fully checked with some interesting results. Hampstead is the most complete (at 98.5%) while St George's Hanover Square is at the bottom of the list with only 34.7% surviving. We are planning to make the information available online but at present it is only accessible on request at the FRC.

As of October 2008 this project was suspended, but the results are intended to be published on Your Archives (source).

1871 census returns

1881 census returns

1891 census returns

The following are known to be lost: The Victoria Hospital for Children, Chelsea; two persons on board a British vessel in St Clement Danes Civil Parish (RG12/217); 47 persons on board 6 vessels in Ratcliff (RG12/292); 7 persons on board 2 British vessels in Willesden (RG12/1042, 1043 & 1048).

1896 census of London

A quinquennial census was held covering the London County Council area on 29 March 1896, paid for by the local authority, and with primary aim of establishing parochial populations in connection with local rates. In line with the recommendations of the Treasury Committee which had developed the proposals for the 1891 census, this was only a summary enumeration, in which name, sex and relationship to head of household of each person were recorded. The enumerators' books from this census are believed not to have survived.

The Registrar General published a summary as a Parliamentary Paper in August 1896, and the LCC published a statistical return giving the population in each ward or parish divided into males and females, the number of rated households, and the numbers of inhabited and uninhabited houses (this was LCC Official Publications Vol.27, at LMA under reference SC/PPS/063/027). There are no personal details in either publication.

1901 census returns

The following are known to be lost: part of Bloomsbury and St Giles South Registration Sub-district (RG13/238); part of St Giles North Registration Sub-district (RG13/239).

1911 census returns

The 1911 census documents differ in structure from earlier censuses, with additional questions asked and the surviving documents being household schedules rather than enumerators' books. All parts of London and Middlesex are indexed and available.


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[Created by Andrew Millard. Last updated 21 Dec 2013 by Andrew Millard.]

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