Pre 1841 Norfolk Censuses and other Name Lists


Censuses have been taken down the ages for many reasons, although many have been for taxation or military purposes and one should look under these and other similar topics. They started with the Domesday Book which only gives us a few names followed by others which at least give names of able bodied men, or heads of households. It should be noted that the majority of the names in the early ones are males.

The chronological list which follows will increase as information is located. When the national headcount was done on 10/Mar/1801, 27/May/1811, 28/May/1821 and 30/May/1831 (although not all had these exact dates) some villages produced more information (including names) and that which is known to survive is indicated. These items can mostly be found in the Norfolk Record Office. Please note that some of the items in the list are not true full national population censuses, but alternatives (mainly sub-sets of the population) to try and help fill the gaps. For example "Voting Lists" might help locate a person from 1700 onwards. Remember that people after appearing in some lists eg. Muster Rolls, found themselves taxed and so disappeared in others, not unlike the Poll and Council taxes.

Some namelists were produced for military purposes and these are fully listed under Norfolk Military Records.

  • 1086
    • Domesday Book for Norfolk
      [Phillimore & Co. Ltd.: Vols I,II, 1984, ISBN 0850334780(case) & 0850334799(limp)]
  • 1200+
    • Manor Court Rolls
  • c.1600
    • Ashwellthorpe, Fundenhall, Hapton and Wreningham - Heads of households and population.
  • 1600+
    • Hearth Taxes
      [Norfolk and Norwich Genealogical Society: Vol.15 Norwich Archdeaconry Hearth Tax. Mich. 1664]
      [Norfolk and Norwich Genealogical Society: Vol.20 Norfolk & Norwich Hearth Tax Assessment 1666 Lady Day. Occupiers and number of hearths from 300 parishes. Indexed.]
  • 1700+
  • 1801 - 1831
    • National head counts were done every 10 years from 1801 to 1831. Books and forms were produced by Goverment and printers to make this counting easy. The few which survived in the "Parish Chest" with other documents are listed below in the "Population Statistics" section and normally just contain numbers although some also have the enumerators name. Note that these figures for every parish in the county were published by the Government and are available in some libraries.
    • Other census taken between the years 1801 to 1840 (and beyond) have been included where a date is indicated.
    • In 1831 the Government issued printed forms called Formula No 1 and Formula No 2. Examples of these can be seen under Forncett St Peter below.
    • Clergymens Returns (National Archives ref HO71) give numbers (but no names) of births, marriages and deaths for a parish in 1831 and some previous years. See Brisley for an example of the 1821 returns which cover the years 1811 to 1820.

Censuses containing names

Place Up
Notes &
Post 1840
Alderford         1831  
Aylsham       1821    
Baconsthorpe 1768 1801 1811 1821    
Beeston (with Bittering)   1801        
Bircham, Great     1811      
Blakeney 1770          
Bodham 1768     1821    
Bradfield       1821    
Buckenham, New   1803        
Buckenham, Old     1811 1821    
Bunwell 1777          
Burston           1846
Carleton Rode 1777          
Coston         1831  
Diss       1821    
Dunston       1821    
Felbrigg 1788          
Haddiscoe       1821 1831  
Harling, West       1821    
Heacham           1842
Hethersett   1801        
Houghton next Harpley       1829 1832/4 Note 3
Illington   1801        
Ingworth   1801        
Langham       1822    
Northwold 1787          
Norwich -
St. John de Sepulchre
Norwich -
St. Peter Southgate
Ovington       1821 1831  
Rackheath     1811
Reepham with Kerdiston     1811      
Repps, South 1800          
Sedgeford       1829    
Shotesham All Saints 1736/7/9
Shotesham St Mary 1736/7/9
Shotesham St Martin 1763          
Sparham       1821    
Starston   1801        
Tacolneston         1839  
Thorpe St Andrew
(or Episcopi)
(inc. Thorpe Hamlet)
Tuddenham, East   1810        
Tuttington       1821    
Wacton     1811      
Walsham, North 1704   1811 1821    
Wells - next - the - Sea 1793          
Weston Longville   1801        
Winfarthing   1801 1811 1821    
Woodton   1801        
Wormegay       1821    
Yarmouth, Great
(Middle Ward only)

Population Statistics - Numbers of males/females/families etc.

These contain mostly numbers and an enumerators name. "Y"=online.

Place Up
1801 1811 1821 1831
Alby     Y    
Ashill         Y
Attlebridge         Y
Baconsthorpe         Y
Bale         Y
Barsham, East   Y   Y  
Beckham, West         Y
Bilney, East         Y
Bodney         Y
Bracon Ash         Y
Bradenham, East         Y
Brisley       Y  
Brumstead       Y Y
Burgh next Aylsham         Y
Burnham Westgate       Y  
Cantley   Y Y Y  
Carbrooke         Y
Colkirk         Y
Dersingham       Y  
Dunston     Y    
Elmham, North         Y
Fincham   Y Y Y Y
Forncett St. Peter         Y
Foulsham         Y
Foxley   Y Y Y Y
Gissing         Y
Heacham         Y
Hindolveston         Y
Holt         Y
Horstead   Y Y    
Hunstanton         Y
Ickburgh         Y
Illington       Y  
Kempston       Y  
Kimberley         Y
Kirby Bedon       Y  
Langford         Y
Place Up
1801 1811 1821 1831
Langham       Y Y
Letheringsett   Y Y Y  
Mattishall 1759
Y Y    
Newton, West         Y
Reedham     Y   Y
Reepham with Kerdiston 1651 Y Y Y Y
Ridlington         Y
Rockland All Saints       Y  
Roydon (near Diss)       Y Y
Salle         Y
Scarning   Y Y Y  
Shelton         Y
Shipdham         Y
Sporle-with-Palgrave   Y      
Stockton         Y
Stokesby with Herringby     Y    
Stratton Strawless         Y
Tharston   Y   Y Y
Thetford St Mary         Y
Thorpe St Andrew
(or Episcopi)
(inc. Thorpe Hamlet)
    Y Y  
Tofts, West         Y
Tuttington         Y
Wacton   Y      
Weasenham All Saints
& St Peters
      Y Y
West Acre     Y Y  
Winch, East       Y  
Wormegay         Y
Wroxham         Y
Wymondham 1747   Y Y  

The following parishes exist for the years stated but have not been transcribed :-
1821 - Sculthorpe
1831 - Guestwick
1831 - Norwich - St. Clement, St. George Colegate, St. John de Sepulchre and St. Peter Parmentergate


Chapman, Colin. R.
Pre 1841 Censuses and Population Listings in the British Isles
[Genealogical Publishing Company,5th ed., 1999, ISBN 0 806316136]


  • 1. Indexes of names are provided with many of the online transcripts.
  • 2. More "Population Statistics" are to be found in some of the Towns and Parishes pages.
  • 3. Transcript in Norfolk Family History Society Library
  • 4. Pre-1841 Census which are in the Norfolk Record Office collections but are not in Norfolk have not been transcribed. This covers part of NE Suffolk and includes :-
    • 1811 - Lowestoft - St Margaret (PD 589/92)
    • 1831 - Rushmere (PD 116/7) [5 miles South West of Lowestoft in Mutford Hundred]

Link back to main Census page

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Copyright © Mike Bristow.
June 2016