The Census Return Layout
The form now has a horizontal, instead of a
vertical format. This is the only census that has a date and year
printed on the top of it. The date is not the day on which the
information was gathered, and so successive censuses do not carry
The first column lists the No. of Householder's Schedule. This is
not the number of the property. It is a number which relates to the
order in which the various lists and schedules were written up.
The second column lists the name of the street or house.
The third column is the same as in the previous census, with the
addition of the date and year.
The fourth column is an additional one, and is most important.
This lists the relation to the head of the family, and tells us who
is the wife, daughter, son, brother, sister, etc.
The fifth column, headed Condition is a new addition. It lists
whether the person was married or unmarried.
The Sixth column, listing Age and sex is still the same.
The seventh column, listing Rank, Profession, or Occupation is
The eighth column remains unchanged, except that the county and
the area where born are stated.
The ninth column is an additional one, listing whether a person
is blind or Deaf-and-dumb'.
This census is extremely useful when researching your family tree
as it includes the place of birth. As with all the census returns
from 1841 onwards, the age of a person is given, so it’s an easy
calculation to determine when they were born. At that time, some did
not know their correct age or year of birth, and others lied about
their age. Because of these inaccuracies, ages can vary from what’s
expected, when comparing the different returns.
In the Wolverhampton archives, there is a list of the surnames of
all people living in Wolverhampton, and the surrounding areas, in
1851. Every male and female is listed alphabetically, and with some
surnames there are a lot of entries to look through. Each has a
number by its side, which gives the number of the film, page, and
area where the person is listed.