Pre-1841 Devon Censuses and Population Listings:

A GENUKI/Devon Transcription Project

With the encouragement of the Devon County Archivist, John Draisey, this project has been set up with the aim of identifying all the extant pre-1841 Devon censuses and population listings, and making transcripts or indexes available on-line in GENUKI/Devon. The lists below summarise the progress to date and - most importantly - indicate the cenuses for which volunteer transcribers are still sought, together - where known - with the locations and reference nos. of such census documents. (Almost all are at one or other of the Devon record offices.) Would-be volunteers are invited to contact me in the first instance, with an indication of the census document(s) that they would like to transcribe, so that I can confirm that these are still unallocated, and can update my records appropriately.

The documents dating from 1801, 1811, 1821, and 1831 were typically produced in connection with the National Census - others are typically Churchwarden's Censuses. The information contained varies somewhat - however all purportedly name all the inhabitants, or at least the household heads of a given parish, in some cases adding information about ages and family relationships.

At present the information about extant censuses and population listings comes mainly from the two references cited below. Assistance is sought on checking and expanding on this information through examination of the Devon record offices' card files, since at this stage the location of some censuses is still to be confirmed, and there may be others still to find.

Volunteer transcribers who cannot access the relevant record office will need to acquire a photocopy - the cost of photocopies of this type of document is normally very modest. In the case of the Devon record offices the protocol is to contact the relevant record office, in order to request a photocopy order and copyright declaration form. In each case, it will be necessary for the volunteer to obtain the record office's permission for a transcript to be placed on-line - in some instances the documents are classed as church records, and the permission of the relevant incumbent will be needed.

Email addresses for record office enquiries:

Transcripts can be produced either using a word-processor such as MS WORD, or a spreadsheet such as EXCEL, and should be as complete and accurate as possible, with any transcriber's remarks, e.g. concerning illegible text, enclosed in square brackets. I suggest, where there is any uncertainty regarding formatting, etc., that I be sent an early sample of a transcript, so that any problems can be ironed out before much time has been spent by the transcriber.

Brian Randell

EMAIL = Brian.Randell[at]ncl.ac[dot]uk

Transcripts already in GENUKI/Devon:

Name indexes already in GENUKI/Devon:

Censuses and name listings for which volunteer transcribers are being sought:

  • Coldridge/Coleridge 1670 + (DRO)
  • Dartington 1670 (DRO 347 A-99/PF1)
  • Exeter St Paul 1803 + * (DRO ECA Miscellaneous Papers Box 5)
  • Yealmpton 1670 (PWDRO 731)

Unavailable to the project:

  • Clyst St George 1821 + * (DRO 3147A/PZ 13) - published by DFHS
  • Doddiscombleigh 1811 + * (DRO 538A/PZ2) - published by DFHS
  • Sidbury 1829 * (DRO 2096A/PZ1) - published by DFHS
  • Tavistock 1750 * (DRO L1258M/SS/P1/13) - published by DFHS
  • Topsham Labouring Census 1841 (DRO 1417A add PO1) - published by DFHS


+ Chapman, Colin R. Pre-1841 Censuses & Population Listings in the British Isles (4th ed.), 6 Holywell Road, Dursley, GL11 5RS, Lochin Publishing (1994) 82 pp. [ISBN 1-873686-07-2]

* Gibson, J.S.W. and Medlycott, M.T. Local Census Listings 1522-1930 (2nd ed.), Birmingham, Fed. of Fam. Hist. Soc. (1994) 52 pp. [ISBN 1-872094-75-9]