Open a form to report problems or contribute information

 
1 Introduction 2 Message details 3 Upload file 4 Submitted

Help and advice for Norfolk Census

If you have found a problem on this page then please report it on the following form. We will then do our best to fix it. If you are wanting advice then the best place to ask is on the area's specific email lists. All the information that we have is in the web pages, so please do not ask us to supply something that is not there. We are not able to offer a research service.

If you wish to report a problem, or contribute information, then do use the following form to tell us about it.

We are in the process of upgrading the site to implement a content management system.

Norfolk Census

Censuses are very useful for genealogy, because they give people's names, show their families, where they lived, etc. This page provides information about what is available for Norfolk.

Some census from before 1841 survive and are listed below. Generally those taken every 10 years starting in 1841 and covering the whole of the England and Wales are the most useful. These become available to the public once a hundred years have passed. For a description of the information contained in each census from 1841 (including the Ecclesiastical Census of 1851) see the examples page. More details and articles on the census can be found on the main Genuki census pages.

Where are they?
Online indexes
Finding an address
Strays
Population and Land Area
Publications

 

Years Available

  Pre 1841
     1841
  1851
  1861
  1871
  1881
  1891
  1901
     1911
  Post 1911

These pages are for personal use only. They may not be copied, and the links within them may not be harvested for use on your own web pages. Please see the Copyright Notice.

Copyright © Mike Bristow.
April 2016


Where are they?

The following refers specifically to location of the Norfolk census.

  • In Norfolk these can be found at -
    • Local Studies Libraries such as :-
      Norfolk Heritage Centre (follow links to Leisure and Culture and then Local History and Heritage) based at the Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Library at the Forum in Norwich which has complete coverage. Their web site has links to other libraries in the county.
    • Family History Society Libraries eg. NFHS Kirby Hall
    • LDS Family History Centres eg. Eaton, Norwich.
    • Note that not all of the above have complete county coverage to 1891.
  • Elsewhere in the country
    • The National Archives (TNA) (originally called the PRO) at Kew holds copies for the whole country.
    • LDS FHC's can order ones they do not have on their shelves.
  • Individual Places
    • Some have been printed or transcriptions done and one should check the places pages.

Online indexes

Finding an address

Each census has an index using the town or parish name as the key. This directs one to the correct point on the media (film/fiche usually) on which the census is held. Those towns known to have street indexes available (please advise me of any others which are missing) are indicated under the years topic. The layout of the enumeration districts 1851 to 1891 is based on Registration districts so adjacent parishes do not always lie next to one another on the film/fiche etc.

If the Registration District(RD) is not known then a useful finding aid is Register of towns indexed by streets for the 1841-1881 census of England and Wales (LDS 6026692)

Strays

Strays are people born in a county who are elsewhere at the time of the census. Lists and some indexes are given below (for persons born in Norfolk) where known :-

  • An online list of Strays from Norfolk (mainly 1851) used to be on the site maintained by Ron Taylor (anyone know where it has moved to?). These UK Census finding aids and Indexes are worth visiting. This site will have a countrywide strays index for 1851 eventually.
  • NFHS Kirby Hall Library has some collections - see their Holdings list.
  • Edmonds, Jenifer A. and Perkins, John
        Born in Norfolk or Suffolk : a collection of 1851 census strays from Kensington & Hull
        [J.A. Edmonds, 1989]
  • Edmonds, Jenifer A.
        Born in Norfolk or Suffolk : a collection of 1851 census strays from Westminster, St George Hanover Square, Marylebone etc.
        [J.A. Edmonds]

Population and Land Area

When each census is taken other statistics are produced and the following table shows some of these. The area of the county is given in acres and this varies as land is reclaimed from or lost to the sea and county boundaries are changed.

The tables indicate a population increase of over 60% during the 50 years between 1801 and 1851. This was followed by a 30 year period until 1881 in which it remained fairly static, after which it resumed its yearly increase, except for 1931. The number of females has always been greater than the number of males.

Year Area
(Acres)
Total
Population
Males Females
  1801   Unavailable   273,371   129,842   143,529
  1811   Unavailable   291,947   138,063   153,884
  1821   Unavailable   344,368   166,892   177,476
  1831   1,292,300   390,054   189,323   200,731
  1841   1,292,300   412,664   199,101   213,563
  1851   1,354,301   442,714   215,254   227,460
  1861   1,354,301   434,798   209,005   225,793
  1871   1,356,173   438,656   210,999   227,657
  1881   1,356,173   444,749   215,266   229,483
  1891   1,315,092   468,287   225,652   242,635
  1901   1,314,612   476,553   228,429   248,124
  1911   1,315,064   499,116   241,159   257,957
  1921   1,315,064   504,293   239,697   264,596
  1931   1,315,064   504,940   243,536   261,404
  1951   1,314,332   548,062   272,060   276,002
  1961   1,314,332   561,071   274,356   286,715
  1971   1,314,186   617,616   300,595   317,021
  1981   1,326,374   694,566   337,615   356,951
  1991   1,327,505   745,613   363,038   382,575
  2001   1,327,174   796,728   387,827   408,901

 

Years available.

  • 1841:
    • Taken on the night of June 6th.
    • PRO Class Reference: HO 107/753-794
    • Indexes to Norwich(RD234) Parishes, not streets, are available (typescript at Norfolk Studies Library).
    • CDs containing the original enumerator's images (Census Registration Districts) are available from :-
    • Online versions (images, transcription and index) are also available at :-
  • 1851:
    • Taken on the night of March 30th .
    • PRO Class Reference: HO 107/1806-1832
    • The whole county has been put onto a CDROM which can be purchased (it actually contains Norfolk, Devon and Warwickshire). This transcription produced by the LDS is fully searchable.
    • A complete transcript has been done by the LDS and is available at many FHS's. Each has a different coloured band at the top of the fiche as indicated -[in brackets following] (optionally followed by LDS catalogue no.).
      This comprises 5 indexes:-
      • Alphabetical by surname, then christian name -[Pink](6115160).
      • Alphabetical by surname,then place of birth -[Green](6115161).
      • Alphabetical by surname,then by enumeration place -[Orange](6115162).
      • Numerically by Enumeration District -[Yellow](6115163).
      • Miscellaneous Notes (Unknown place of birth etc.)(6115164) /List of Institutions (Workhouses/Asylum's etc)(6115165) - [Brown]. There are NO separate Ships as per 1881.
    • Street Indexes are available for Norwich(RD234) and Kings Lynn(RD246) (typescript at Norfolk Studies Library).
    • A transcription of 2% of the 1851 census, containing 500,000 names, also exists for the whole country and the originals are with the ESRC (Economic & Social Research Council) at Essex. A CDROM and search engine called "2% UK 1851 Census viewer and mapper" have been produced commercially. The Norfolk sections (although not those living outside but born in the county ie. strays) have been made nearly obsolete by the indexed transcriptions on CD.
    • CDs containing the original enumerator's images (Census Registration Districts) are available from :-
    • Online versions (images, transcription and index) are also available at :-
  • 1861:
    • Taken on the night of April 7th.
    • PRO Class Reference: RG 9/1190-1267
    • Street Indexes are available for Norwich(RD234) and Great Yarmouth (RD228) (typescript at Norfolk Studies Library).
    • Places in Norfolk that appear in Cambridgeshire Registration Districts (page images on CD) is also due to be available in the future. [Cinderford: Archive CD Books, CD C1861NFK-S1]
    • Images, transcription and index online via the National Archives.
    • Full transcription and index online. See FreeCEN coverage and FreeCEN search.
    • CDs containing the original enumerator's images (Census Registration Districts) are available from :-
    • Online versions (images, transcription and index) are also available at :-
  • 1881:
    • Taken on the night of April 3rd.
    • PRO Class Reference: RG 11
    • The whole country has been put onto a CDROM which can be purchased. Follow the links (Order/Software/Census) here for further details on its availability and usage (including worldwide distribution centres). See next entry for same version which is online.
    • Transcription and index online via Family Search. Follow the links (Location/United Kingdom and Ireland/England and Wales Census 1881). See also previous entry if you wish to purchase this version on CDROM.
    • A complete transcript and index on fiche has been done by the FFHS, SAFHS and LDS. This comprises 5 indexes:-
      • Alphabetical by surname, then christian name -[Pink].
      • Alphabetical by surname,then place of birth -[Green].
      • Alphabetical by surname,then by enumeration place -[Orange].
      • Numerically by Enumeration District -[Yellow].
      • Miscellaneous Notes (Unknown place of birth etc.) /List of Institutions - (c.30 Workhouses/Asylum's etc) and a List of Vessels/Ships in port -[Brown].
    • Street Indexes are available for Norwich(RD225) (typescript at Norfolk Studies Library).
    • Images, transcription and index online via the National Archives.
    • Online versions (images, transcription and index) are also available at :-
  • 1891:
    • Taken on the night of April 5th.
    • PRO Class Reference: RG 12/1498-1578
    • Street Indexes are available for Norwich(RD225) (typescript at Norfolk Studies Library).
    • The National Archives transcription of the 1891 Norfolk Census went online in 2001 for a few months. This was a pilot for the national 1901 online transcription. This is currently offline at present and we are hoping it will re-appear at a later date.
    • There was a Genuki/Norfolk project to create a surname index to the Norfolk 1891 census. This is still running, despite the National Archives project (see above) and much of the county has had surnames lists produced which are online. See the Lists of Surnames from the 1891 Norfolk Census.
    • If you wish to order fiche through LDS Centres, you can search for LDS reference numbers in the Genuki 1891 Census Places page.
      It returns "County District Sub-District Place PRO_code-piece_number LDS_Film_No" eg. for ACLE it gives "Norfolk Blofield South Walsham Acle RG12-1539 6096649".
      Note this does not include every small village.
    • Images, transcription and index online via the National Archives.
    • Partial transcription and index online. See FreeCEN coverage and FreeCEN search. Some Norfolk parishes in the west of the county near Wisbech are to be found in the FreeCEN project for Cambridgeshire.
    • CDs containing the original enumerator's images (Census Registration Districts) are available from :-
    • Online versions (images, transcription and index) are also available at :-
  • Post 1911:
    • 19th June 1921 - Scheduled publication date 1st January 2022.
    • 26th April 1931 - England and Wales Census destroyed by fire in WWII.
    • 1939 Register (29th Sept) - This was not a full census but for England and Wales was a register of the civilian population - see National Archives for more details including access.
    • 1941 not taken due to war.
    • 8th April 1951 and then every ten years.

Publications

Norfolk

Ede, Janet and Virgoe, Norma
Religious Worship in Norfolk
The 1851 Census of Accomodation and Attendance at Worship
[ISBN:0951160087, Norfolk Record Society, 1998]

General

Lumas, Susan.
Making Use of the Census
[ISBN:1 873162 05 7, PRO Publications, 1992]
Lumas, Susan.
An Introduction to...The Census Returns of England and Wales
[FFHS, 1992]
Gibson, J.S.W.
Census Returns 1841-1881 on Microfilm, A Directory to Local Holdings
[FFHS, 5th ed. 1990]
Gibson, J.S. and Hampson, E.
Marriage, Census and other indexes for Family Historians
[ISBN:1872094 43 0, 4th ed. 1992]
Higgs, Edward.J.
A Clearer Sense of the Census
[ISBN:0114402191, HMSO, 1996]
Bryant Rosier, M.E.
Index to Census Registration Districts
[FFHS, 1990]

Notes

  • The CDs of Census images normally only contain indexes to the places contained on each.