The Wigtownshire Pages, Notes on the 41 and 51 Census

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1841 Census


The enumerators were given the following instructions for recording ages:

"Write the age of each person..........For infants under one year of age state the number of months. From one year to 15 state the age last birthday. For persons of 15 years of age and upwards, write as follows, instead of the exact age. For persons between the ages of -

Row 3

A lookup from a 41 Census Index booklet will include reference to row 3. This is useful later when you look for the entry on the film. The numbers do not indicated individual house numbers in the villages or farm cottages. The third column which contain two numbers side by side e.g. 2,2, is the number of the enumeration district followed by the page number.

1841 Films vs. Index Booklets

There are differences between the 1841 census booklets available for purchase, and the 1841 filmed census. The 1841 (and subsequent) census records were microfilmed by the LDS under an arrangement with the GRO, Scotland. They can be ordered, and viewed, at your nearest Family History Center. Some Genealogical Societies hold some or all of these films. The index booklets have been compiled from the information on these films.

Given that most of the information is more easily found from the index booklets, the two main reasons for looking at the films are:

There is less information in the 1841 census than the 1851. Relationship to the head of household is not included. The parish of birth is not included. In addition, as mentioned above, the ages were rounded down.

To view an image taken from the 1841, or 1851 census records, leave this site to view

1851 Census

Spelling Variants

The enumerator may spell a name differently to the minister/clerk who has recorded the same family in OPRs, or the registrar of civil registrations. Helpers will normally be aware of spelling variants for their own surnames,but not necessarily for someone else's.


The following are the headings for the 51 census.