Availability and use of Census Records for Shropshire Family History research
This web page provides information about online resources for census research - transcriptions, indexes, searchable databases, &c. Select a year below, or start with 'All Years' and browse the whole page.
Original census returns are held by The National Archives and are not available generally for direct research, but copies on film or fiche are available at LDS Family History Centers worldwide. Returns are available for all parishes in Shropshire in the Shropshire Archives. Copies are also held in some libraries in Shropshire, but please check availability either with their website (their "What we hold at Shropshire Archives" section), or with the Office itself prior to your journey. Places outside Shropshire may also be available where copies have been acquired to complete Shropshire holdings.
FreeCEN is an ongoing volunteer-based project to provide a 'free to view' online searchable database of the 19th century UK census returns. Volunteers are being sought to assist with transcribing - visit the FreeCen Project page to see each county's status as well as a FAQ for volunteers.
Index of names, and downloadable images of Census 1841-1901 are available from Ancestry.co.uk. Access is by Annual subscription, or Pay-per-View. A subscription includes access to other Ancestry resources.
Index of names, and downloadable images of Census 1841-1901 are also available from findmypast. Access is by Annual subscription, or PayAsYouGo. A subscription includes access to other findmypast resources.
The Shropshire FHS website advertises a series of Census Index Photocopies, mainly for 1851 but there are a few also for 1821-41, 1871 and 1891.
The 1911 census is available exclusively online from findmypast. Searching is free and payment is required to view results. Payment options are PayAsYouGo, Vouchers or Subscription. A subscription can include access to other findmypast resources.
Free search by name of the 1881 Census at Ancestry.com. Access to images is by Annual subscription, or Pay-per-View. A subscription includes access to other Ancestry resources. The index for this service is provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS); images are reproduced by courtesy of The National Archives.
The 1881 census is also available for searching free of charge at findmypast.com (formerly 1837online).
The same 1881 data is also available for searching free of charge at FamilySearch - Census Records, but without access to the digital images. It is also available for purchase on CD from various outlets.