The Early British Census project is designed to help family historians discover their ancestors; offer training for students; and provide data for scholarly research, particularly for local and population studies.
The project brings the numerous disparate pre-1841 census records into one searchable database. The first stage of the project is to extract data from, and where possible gather digital images of, the 1801-1831 English censuses. Later stages will capture records from other parts of the British Isles as well as earlier periods.
There are over 1400 surviving household or individual schedules from the 1801, 1811, 1821, and 1831 censuses. Because the household and individual schedules were never submitted to a central government entity, the original returns remain in dozens of local archives across the UK. When the database is complete it will likely contain information about approximately 500,000 households.
Student researchers, under faculty supervision, consult the originals, extract parish, household, and individual data, and where possible upload the digital image. The extractions are checked by two researchers; when they cannot agree on the correct transcription, they consult with their faculty advisor and compare their extraction against existing transcripts at the Society of Genealogists.
To learn more about extant early census records, see the following sources.
- Colin R. Chapman, Pre-1841 Censuses and Population Listings in the British Isles, (Genealogical Publishing Company, 1998).
- Jeremy Gibson and Mervyn Medlycott, Local Census Listings, 1522-1930, (Genealogical Publishing Company, 1992).
- Richard Wall, Matthew Woollard, Beatrice Moring, Census Schedules and Listings, 1801-1831: An Introduction and Guide (Department of History, University of Essex, 2004, republished in 2012).
- FamilyHistory.co.uk, "Pre 1841 Census Records" https://www.familyhistory.co.uk/pre-1841-census-records/
Project supervised by Prof. Amy Harris (http://fhssfaculty.byu.edu/FacultyPage/ah22).
Current student researchers and volunteers: Nicole Hunsaker, Sarah Jorgensen, Megan Bruggerman, Leslikae Thomas, Ellie Hancock, Cassie Holland, Shannon Lambson, Amanda Reece, and Tyler Soutas.
Past Student Researchers and Volunteers: Donna Heninger, Elizabeth Harper, Christopher Devenport, Rachel Van Katwyk, Sarah Rounsville, and Amy Leavitt