1881 British Census

Ramsdale & Ramsdall Surname Entries

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Index

Background

The first official census was taken in 1801 and thereafter every 10 years. From 1801 to 1831 censuses were purely numerical and individual names were not required. However, some numerators took it upon themselves to make up their own lists of households, and these sometimes turn up in the parish records held by County Record Offices.

The 1841 census was the first to give the names of all people in a household but, except in the case of children under 15, the age is only approximate - to the nearest 5 years below. Thus, those aged 15 to 19 are recorded as 15 years of age, 20 to 24 as 20 and so on. We are given the sex, occupation, and whether born in the same county as now residing in or not (indicated by a "Y" for "yes" or a "No" for "no"). Relationships are not given. For those born in Scotland we get an "S" and Ireland an "I", and "F" is used if born in foreign parts.

The subsequent census returns are much more more useful since they give the relationship to the head of the household, exact ages (as reported by the informant, so there are possibilities of inaccuracy here), occupation and - most important of all - where they were born. If born outside England or Wales, however, only the country is generally given.

When using the census it is important to remember that members of the family who were not sleeping at home on the night of the census are not recorded with their family. A missing person in a family group in any of the census returns could be explained by the fact that the person was in hospital, in prison or in service.

If you find a "mature" family in the census (ie where there are a number of children) it is worth exploring other entries in the area, for other relatives or older children who may have been "living in" with families where they were servants, or with tradesmen or craftsmen to whom they were apprenticed.

There is a much more realistic chance of tracing back several generations when searching censuses for a rural community, than there is an urban community. However, the next best thing is to find a common ancestral link in the urban community giving a rural birthplace. Search the immediate neighbourhood for an entry of a person(s) bearing the same surname - particularly if it's an unusual one. You may be fortunate enough to locate an older relative of your ancestor, (an aged parent, grandparent, uncle or brother), whose birthplace was a rural area whereas your immediate ancestor found on that census will probably yield no such clue to further research. Unusual occupations can occasionally indicate the same link between families.

The dates on which the first five censuses were taken are as follows: 1841 (6 June), 1851 (30 and 31 March), 1861 (7 and 8 April), 1871 (2 and 3 April), 1881 (3 and 4 April) and 1891 (5 and 6 April).



An illustration of the 1861 Census showing an enumerator taking details of a family living in a tenement in Gray's Inn, London

The Family Records Centre, Myddelton Street, London EC1R 1UW, holds microfilm copies of the census returns for England, Wales, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands for 1841, 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881 and 1891. The original books are held by the Public Record Office in London and the information is released by the Public Record Office after a hundred years. The last census to be released occurred on January 1, 1992 when the 1891 census returns were released on microfilm.

The entries for households on the census returns for 1891 fall under the following headings and are generally the same for 1851 to 1881:

There are just some minor additions on the 1901 census - the inhabited/uninhabited column asks if the house is in occupation or is being built and the employment details have been expanded and ask if the individual is working at home.

The 1881 British Census Index

Issued by the LDS, the 1881 British Census Index comprises the outcome of eleven years' effort and more than two-and-a-half million hours of volunteer labour by thousands of family historians from the Federation of Family History Societies in the UK and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The data was released county by county on microfiche during the 1990s, with a national surname index appearing in late 1998. In summer 1999 the CD-ROM version was launched, consisting of 16 regional disks and a national name index on a further 8 disks. Altogether, the dataset comprises information for over 30 million individuals.

1881 Feasibility Study

The Public Record Office has employed a systems analysis team to advise on the linking of the GSU (Genealogical Society of Utah) 1881 database to the original images of the 1881 census returns. The images of the returns are already being scanned and it is planned to have the linked service available by the end of 2002 with an amended charging mechanism to reflect the availablility of an existing database.

1881 British Census: Ramsdale Surname Extracts

All RAMSDALE and RAMSDALL surname entries in the 1881 British Census Index (England, Scotland, Wales, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Royal Navy) have been extracted and published on this web site. The 1881 Census Index contains 717 entries under the surname RAMSDALE and 41 entries under the surname RAMSDALL.

Region Counties No of Entries No of Households %age of Entries
Midlands West CHS, HEF, SAL, STS & WOR 42 14 5.77
Midlands East DBY, LEI, NTT & WAR 30 15 4.12
Lancashire LAN 348 102 49.18
Yorkshire YKS 92 40 12.64
East Anglia BDF, CAM, HUN, LIN, NFK, NTH, RUT & SFK 47 13 6.46
Greater London MDX 56 18 7.69
Greater London West BRK, HAM, IOW, OXF & SRY 16 9 2.20
Greater London East BKM, ESS, HRT, SSX & KEN 24 5 3.30
Northern Borders CUL, DUR, IOM, NBL, WES, Channel Islands, Miscellaneous & Royal Navy 39 7 5.36
Southwestern Region CON, DEV & DOR 5 3 0.69
Scotland [Highlands] ABD, ANS, ARL, BAN, BUT, CAI, CLK, DNB, FIF, INV, KRS, MOR, NAI, OKI, PER, ROC, STI, SUT, SHI 6 2 0.82
Scotland [Lowlands] AYR, BEW, ELN, MLN, ROX, SEL, PEE, LKS, WLN, RFW, DFS, KKD, WIG & Royal Navy (Scotland) 0 0 0
Wales AGY, BRE, CAE, CGN, CMN, DEN, FLN, GLA, MER, MON, MGY, PEM & RAD 12 2 1.65
Total number of entries in the 1881 census 717 230 100.00

Data Sorted by County
County Poor Law Union Actual per 100,000
CAM Wisbech 13 40
CHS Macclesfield 2 3
CHS Altrincham 2 3
CHS Nantwich 4 7
DBY Shardlow 2 4
DBY Chesterfield 24 24
DEN St Asaph 1 3
DEV East Stonehouse 2 13
DUR Darlington 25 52
DUR Stockton 4 6
DUR South Shields 10 10
ESS Colchester 7 25
GLA Cardiff 11 10
GLS Barton Regis 1 1
KEN Sevenoaks 8 29
KEN Milton 9 39
LAN Liverpool 1 0
LAN West Derby 6 2
LAN Prescot 24 20
LAN Ormskirk 1 1
LAN Wigan 115 82
LAN Warrington 5 7
LAN Leigh 91 162
LAN Bolton 25 13
LAN Barton upon Irwell 18 25
LAN Chorlton 7 3
LAN Salford 10 6
LAN Manchester 6 4
LAN Prestwich 2 2
LAN Oldham 3 2
LAN Rochdale 1 1
LAN Burnley 2 2
LAN Blackburn 11 6
LAN Chorley 12 25
LAN Preston 1 1
LAN Fylde 1 2
LAN Barrow in Furness 6 13
LIN Louth 3 9
LIN Caistor 20 30
LIN Glanford Brigg 4 10
LND Kensington 3 1
LND St George Hanover Sq 6 4
LND Marylebone 6 4
LND Islington 1 0
LND Hackney 18 10
LND St Giles 1 2
LND Strand 6 18
LND London City 1 2
LND Mile End Old Town 1 1
LND Lambeth 4 2
LND Wandsworth 10 5
MDX Hendon 2 4
MDX Edmonton 11 8
NFK Norwich 1 1
NFK Downham 5 26
NFK Thetford 1 6
NTT Mansfield 2 4
NTT Southwell 1 5
SOM Yeovil 2 7
SRY Croydon 2 2
STS Stafford 1 3
STS Wolstanton 1 1
STS Burton upon Trent 2 3
STS Lichfield 1 3
STS Cannock 13 36
STS Wolverhampton 6 4
STS West Bromwich 10 8
WAR Birmingham 1 0
YKS Bramley 9 17
YKS Leeds 2 1
YKS Barnsley 3 4
YKS Wortley 1 2
YKS Doncaster 4 7
YKS York 7 9
YKS Pocklington 2 13
YKS Howden 1 7
YKS Sculcoates 14 14
YKS Hull 8 10
YKS Thirsk 10 78
YKS Whitby 8 30
YKS Guisborough 4 9
YKS Middlesbrough 1 1
YKS Stokesley 18 150
Data Sorted by Number of Entries
County Poor Law Union Actual per 100,000
DEN St Asaph 1 3
GLS Barton Regis 1 1
LAN Liverpool 1 0
LAN Ormskirk 1 1
LAN Rochdale 1 1
LAN Preston 1 1
LAN Fylde 1 2
LND Islington 1 0
LND St Giles 1 2
LND London City 1 2
LND Mile End Old Town 1 1
NFK Norwich 1 1
NFK Thetford 1 6
NTT Southwell 1 5
STS Stafford 1 3
STS Wolstanton 1 1
STS Lichfield 1 3
WAR Birmingham 1 0
YKS Wortley 1 2
YKS Howden 1 7
YKS Middlesbrough 1 1
CHS Macclesfield 2 3
CHS Altrincham 2 3
DBY Shardlow 2 4
DEV East Stonehouse 2 13
LAN Prestwich 2 2
LAN Burnley 2 2
MDX Hendon 2 4
NTT Mansfield 2 4
SOM Yeovil 2 7
SRY Croydon 2 2
STS Burton upon Trent 2 3
YKS Leeds 2 1
YKS Pocklington 2 13
LAN Oldham 3 2
LIN Louth 3 9
LND Kensington 3 1
YKS Barnsley 3 4
CHS Nantwich 4 7
DUR Stockton 4 6
LIN Glanford Brigg 4 10
LND Lambeth 4 2
YKS Doncaster 4 7
YKS Guisborough 4 9
LAN Warrington 5 7
NFK Downham 5 26
LAN West Derby 6 2
LAN Manchester 6 4
LAN Barrow in Furness 6 13
LND St George Hanover Sq 6 4
LND Marylebone 6 4
LND Strand 6 18
STS Wolverhampton 6 4
ESS Colchester 7 25
LAN Chorlton 7 3
YKS York 7 9
KEN Sevenoaks 8 29
YKS Hull 8 10
YKS Whitby 8 30
KEN Milton 9 39
YKS Bramley 9 17
DUR South Shields 10 10
LAN Salford 10 6
LND Wandsworth 10 5
STS West Bromwich 10 8
YKS Thirsk 10 78
GLA Cardiff 11 10
LAN Blackburn 11 6
MDX Edmonton 11 8
LAN Chorley 12 25
CAM Wisbech 13 40
STS Cannock 13 36
YKS Sculcoates 14 14
LAN Barton upon Irwell 18 25
LND Hackney 18 10
YKS Stokesley 18 150
LIN Caistor 20 30
DBY Chesterfield 24 24
LAN Prescot 24 20
DUR Darlington 25 52
LAN Bolton 25 13
LAN Leigh 91 162
LAN Wigan 115 82

1881 Census by number of entries

   

1881 Census by County


Lancashire

Midlands

 

Yorkshire & Durham

Lincolnshire

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