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Census Returns for Goadby Marwood

The roots of census-taking in Britain can be traced back to the Domesday Book in 1086, but it was not until 1801 that an official census was conducted, at that time the population of England, Scotland and Wales was recorded at nine million. However, statisticians regard the 1841 census, when each head of the household was required to fill in a form on behalf of everyone living at the address on a particular day, as the first modern census.

Population Statistics from Census Returns
Population Statistics.jpg

*Taken from the 1939 National Register. The population in 1939 included child evacuees from industrial centres, and many records are still officially closed, so it is not possible to get a clear idea of the exact number of children.

**15 year olds have been excluded from the 1841 child statistic because age was rounded down to the nearest 5 years for the census, the true figure is likley to be similar to 1851 and 1861.

Ecclesiastical census 1851

The 1851 Ecclesiastical Census

The 1851 Ecclesiastical Census was a unique survey of all identified places of religious worship then in existence, including Nonconformist and Catholic chapels and Jewish synagogues as well as Church of England churches. The surviving returns from individual churches give an invaluable snapshot of religious practice in the middle of the 19th Century.  

Returns were distributed and collected alongside the normal population census, which was carried out at the same time. The Church of England returns were normally completed by the incumbent or a curate, or occasionally by churchwardens or census officials. In the case of Goadby Marwood, the return was completed by Rev Edward Manners, Rector of St Denys’s Church at the time.

Information was requested on attendances (both adults and Sunday School children) at all services on the Census Sunday, 30 March 1851, and also on average attendances if significantly different. In addition, for churches built since 1800, the form asked for the date of consecration and figures for the costs of construction, endowments and seating capacity.

The census generated considerable controversy and as a result, was never repeated. The leadership of the established church (Church of England or Presbyterian in Scotland), felt that the outcome of the census favoured the dissenters. Also, some objected to the intrusive nature of the census in regard to the endowment of the church.

Attendance at St. Denys’s Church on Sunday 30th March 1851

                                     Morning     Afternoon     Evening

General congregation            -               70               -

Sunday scholars                   -               30               -


Average number of attendants


                                      Morning     Afternoon     Evening

General congregation            30         100-120          -

Sunday scholars                    8            20-30            -

Ecclesiastical census 1851

1911 Census

The 1911 Census Return

The 1911 census was taken on the night of Sunday 2nd April and was the eighth of the UK censuses to include details of household members.  This was the first time that the original census forms were kept so it is possible to view the handwriting of the individual completing the household form.

The 1911 census gives details of where people lived, who with, their age, place of birth and occupation. Additional pieces of information included for the first time are nationality, duration of current marriage, number of children born within that marriage, number of living children and the number of any children who had died. Extra occupation information in some cases shows details of the industries in which people worked.

This additional information provides an interesting statistic with regard to child deaths. In Goadby, the total number of children born to the families recorded was 189, of which 158 were still living at the time of the census, giving an overall mortality rate of 16.4%. 

Goadby Marwood was (and still is) a very small village and the 1911 census does not identify individual properties or even streets by name. Using a variety of records, Goadby Marwood History Group has tried to identify the properties in the census but the list may not be completely accurate in this respect. Of the older properties in the village, Hillfoot Cottages and The Oaks had yet to be built.

1911 Census Transcription for Goadby Marwood

1841 Census

The 1841 Census Return

The 1841 census is considered by many to be the first modern census; it was the first to list the names of every individual in each household, which makes it the earliest useful census for many historians. However, less information was collected in 1841 than in later census years.

The information was recorded on pre-printed census schedules, which were left with a household before later being collected by the enumerators. In many cases there would have been no one in the household who could write, in which case the enumerator helped to record the information.

The information on the census forms was later transcribed by the enumerators into the official enumerator books. The original household forms were destroyed but the enumerator books were kept and eventually moved to the National Archives, and microfiche and photographed copies can be viewed at local records offices and online. In some cases, the writing is faded and difficult to read.

The individual properties within the village of Goadby Marwood were not identified in the census, but using the tithe map and schedules from the 1839 survey it is possible to identify many of the houses.

1841 Census Transcription for Goadby Marwood

The 1851 Census Returns

The 1851 census was taken on the night of 30th March and contains significant details that were not included in the 1841 census. In addition to the name, age, sex and occupation of all residents, household heads were asked to give more precise details of the places of birth of each resident, to state their relationship to him or her, marital status and the nature of any disabilities from which they may have suffered.

The census forms were collected by enumerators who transcribed the entries into enumerator books. Although the original household census forms were destroyed many years ago, the enumerator books were kept and eventually moved to the National Archives. A few of the pages are torn or illegible but in general the records have survived in very good condition.

The 1851 census for Goadby Marwood is the only one in which individual street names were recorded. The middle of the village, covering the area between The Rectory, The Hall and The Manor, was describe as ‘Centre’, and Main Street as Waltham Road. What we know today as Kemps Lane was called Sparrow Lane. The name given to what is today the upper end of Towns Lane is unfortunately not clearly legible but may have been Town's Lane, making it the only street that has retained its name. The lower end of Towns Lane, between Norman Cottages and Ingelbrook, was called Frog Lane.

1851 Census Transcription for Goadby Marwood

1851 Census
1861 Census

The 1861 Census Returns

The 1861 census was taken on the night of 7th April. The questions asked on the household forms were the same as for the 1851 census despite calls for a question on religious affiliation to be included. The 1861 census for Goadby Marwood does not identify streets although a few properties such as The Hall and The Rectory are identified by name.

The enumerator books held at the National Archives are in reasonably good condition and the microfiched and photographed copies are generally easy to read.

1861 Census Transcription for Goadby Marwood

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