The 1901 Census

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The 1901 Census

The 1901 Census was taken on the night of Sunday 31st March 1901.

Basic facts about the 1901 census

Taken on the night of Sunday/Monday 31st March/1st April 1901.

Details recorded for each person were:

  • Name and surname
  • Relationship to head of family
  • Marital status
  • Age
  • Sex
  • Occupation
  • Whether employer, a worker or "own account"
  • Whether working at home
  • Where born
  • Whether infirm

The following information was recorded in the schedules about each dwelling and person residing there on the night of the census:

  • the address
  • whether the dwelling was "inhabited" or "uninhabited" or "building"
  • the number of rooms occupied, if less than five
  • name and surname of each person residing at the dwelling on the night of the census
  • relationship of each person to the head of the family
  • each person's marital status ("condition as to marriage")
  • age at last birthday and sex
  • profession, or occupation
  • whether someone was an employer, a worker or "own account"
  • whether working at home
  • where born, parish and county (or if born outside of England or Wales, just the country)
  • whether they were "blind", or "deaf and dumb" or "lunatic" or "imbecile, feeble minded"
  • in Wales and the Isle of Man, the language spoken

The information collected was the same as in 1891 apart from one extra detail, whether someone was working at home. Also the language spoken question was extended to include the Isle of Man as well as Wales.

The 1901 census was the first to be completely transcribed as it became available to the public (well that was the plan but the public demand overwhelmed the Qinetiq developed web site so it was about six months before it became generally available). The site has since been sold to Genes Reunited.

Accessing the 1901 Census

The original transcription of the 1901 index, now run by Genes Reunited, can be accessed here. Use of the index is free and you get useful information back from the free search about the person, their surname and forename, year of birth, place of birth and where they were in 1901. However you will have to pay to see the full transcription or the images.

Ancestry have a complete index of the 1901 Census for England, Wales, Scotland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. To access the Ancestry records you need to take out a subscription but a 14 day free trial is usually available.

Findmypast also have a complete transcription of the 1901 census for England, Wales, Scotland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, accessed either via an annual subscription or on a pay-per-view basis or currently you can take advantage of a 7 day free trial.

The Genealogist site also has transcripts for all of England and Wales. They can either be viewed by taking out a subscription or as pay-per-view.

Free access to the 1901 Census

As with all the censuses from 1841 to 1901, many local record offices have fiches for their areas.

You can also access the Genes Reunited 1901 census records for free on site at The National Archives in Kew. Many libraries also have Ancestry and/or findmypast available for free from within the library.

The 1901 Census of Ireland

In 1901, the whole of the island of Ireland was still part of the United Kingdom and therefore the census was taken on the same day as that for England, Wales and Scotland, the 31st March 1901.

The 1901 Irish census is available now for all 32 counties of the island of Ireland, for free, at the National Archives of Ireland website.

The information asked for was similar to the rest of the UK, in the case of Ireland being name, age, sex, relationship to the head of the household, occupation, marital status, county or country of birth and whether deaf, dumb, blind, idiot, imbecile or lunatic but in addition there were questions about the person's religion, the ability to read or write and the ability to speak the Irish language.

Also, unlike the census for Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland), the original forms completed by the householder have survived and it is there that you can view these online, again for free, rather than for the rest of the UK where only the enumerator's books survive where family details were transcribed by the person charged with collecting the census information.

The 32 counties are Antrim, Armagh, Carlow, Cavan, Clare, Cork, Donegal, Down, Dublin, Fermanagh, Galway, Kerry, Kildare, Kilkenny, King's County (Offaly), Leitrim, Limerick, Londonderry (Derry), Longford, Louth, Mayo, Meath, Monaghan, Queen's County (Laois), Roscommon, Sligo, Tipperary, Tyrone, Waterford, Westmeath, Wexford and Wicklow.

We always welcome any comments, suggestions or corrections - you can contact us at the feedback email address on the left