Westminster from the River London Census Northumberland Avenue
Home Introduction Census CDs Census Online Case Studies London News Links

London Census Introduction

Details the London Census can provide

Census page

Click on the thumbnail
to view larger picture

Full name, exact age, relationship to head of household, sex, occupation, parish and county of birth, medical disabilities and employment status. (Exact information included varies between census years — see the London Census Facts page for more details.)

The Census is arranged by Registration District and Sub-Districts with Street Indexes for areas of high population.


Piece number
(Normally contains between 100-400 pages)

A PRO reference number referring to a number of Enumeration Districts represented by a file RG9-XXXX (XXXX = piece number).

Enumeration District
This refers to a group of streets and has a special sheet listing which streets are in the following pages.

(Reference to two pages). The original book pages were stamped with a folio number on every other page in the top right-hand corner.

London Census Enumerators’ Books

Hyde Park Corner

Hyde Park Corner


Each householder was required to complete a census schedule giving the address of the household, the names, ages, sex, occupations and places of birth of each individual residing in his or her accommodation. In 1851 householders were asked to give more precise details of the places of birth of each resident, to state their relationships to him or her, marital status and the nature of any disabilities from which they may have suffered. In 1891 householders were asked how many rooms (if less than five) their family occupied and additional occupational data was collected.

The enumerator then collected the census schedules and these were copied into census enumerators’ books. The way these are grouped may mean that a road is split over several folios with other streets in between. In this case the street indexes should list a series of folio references.

Punch Cartoon on the 1861 Census - Click to enlarge
Click cartoon to enlarge


Although the original census schedules were destroyed many years ago, the books were kept and eventually moved to the PRO archive. The books were then filmed in 1970 to prevent the increasing usage from destroying these fragile records.

You may find the odd torn or mutilated page but in general the records have survived in remarkable condition considering the heavy usage they have had.

S&N Genealogy Supplies Website - new window
The Embankment
The Pavillion at Lord's
Northumberland Avenue
Westminster from the River
Rotten Row
The Tower