Census of 1841

Progress of this Project

Parish Population Transcribed Checked Validated On Line
Birsay 1634 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Deerness 777 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Eday & Pharay 1011 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Evie & Rendall 1518 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Firth & Stenness 1167 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Harray 772 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Holm & Paplay 866 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Hoy 547 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Kirkwall & St Ola 3581 Yes Yes Yes Yes
North Ronaldshay 481 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Orphir 1064 Yes Yes Yes Yes
South Ronaldshay 3174 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Rousay & Egilshay 1288 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Sanday 1892 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Sandwick 1033 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Shapinshay 929 Yes Yes Yes Yes
St Andrews 921 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Stromness 2783 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Stronsay 1254 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Walls & Flotta 1613 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Westray 2128 Yes Yes Yes Yes

How the Census was Organised

The sheriff was in charge for the county and appointed a person in each parish, usually the schoolmaster, to divide their parish into enumeration districts. An enumerator was appointed for each district and issued with a pre-printed book in which he wrote the required statistics. A further person was appointed by the sheriff to check and, if necessary, ammend the figures. The enumerator, schoolmaster and sheriff all signed to vouch for the accuracy of the document, and the schoolmaster and sheriff had spaces to add their remarks. These typically summarised the change in population since the previous census and the reasons for it. The book for the last enumeration district of the parish contained a declaration signed by the parish priest vouching that a complete record had been made of the parish.

Instructions to Enumerators

EXTRACT from the ACT 3° & 4° Victoria, cap. 99, intituled
"An Act for taking an Account of the Population of Great Britain."
Penalty for refusing Information, or giving false Answers.
XX. "And the better to enable the said Commissioners, Enumerators, Schoolmasters, and other Persons employed in the Execution of this Act to make the said Inquiries and Returns, be it enacted, That the said Enumerators, Schoolmasters, and other Persons, shall be authorised to ask all such Questions as shall be directed in the Instructions to be issued by the said Commissioners, with the approval of One of Her Mayesty's Principal Secretaries of State, which shall be necessary for making the preliminary Inquiries, and for obtaining the Returns required by this Act; and every Person refusing to answer, or wilfully giving a false Answer to such Questions, or any of them, shall for every such Refusal, or wilfully false Answer, forfeit a Sum not more then Five Pounds, nor less than Forty Shillings, at the Discretion of any Justice of the Peace or Magistrate before whom Complaint thereof shall be made."
The above may be shown by the Enumerator to any person refusing to answer, or questioning his authority to require an Answer, or giving an Answer which he suspects to be false.

Respecting the manner in which Entries may be made in the Enumeration Schedule.
"Place." — In the Column headed Place, enter the name of the Parish, Village, Street, Court, &c. till such division or sub-division is finished; then write against the first house of any other Street, Court &c. the name of the place, and continue that division till all the houses therein have been enumerated.
"Houses" — Insert Houses uninhabited or building in the manner shown in the Example, writing 1U. for "one house uninhabited," and 1B. for "one house building," in the proper column opposite to the inhabited house to which each stands nearest. All Flats must be considered as houses if separately rated. At the end of the names of the inmates in each house make two lines, thus //
2. NAME and SURNAME, SEX and AGE of each Person who abode in each House on the Night of 6th June.
Insert the name of every Person who slept in each House. Leave no blank spaces between names. Always set down the names of the whole family before entering the name of any other person in a house. In the names of a family do not write the surname more than once, but write "do," after the Christian name has been entered, as in Example. At the end of the names composing a family, make a line, thus / as in Example. Never write more than one Christian name to each person. Infants having no Christian name may be entered "n.k." for "not known." Write the age of each person opposite to the name in one of the two columns headed "Males" and "Females," according to the sex. For infants under one year of age state the number of months. For pesons between the ages of -
15 and 20 write 15 35 and 40 write 35 55 and 60 write 55
20 and 25 write 20 40 and 45 write 40 60 and 65 write 60
25 and 30 write 25 45 and 50 write 45 65 and 70 write 65
30 and 35 write 30 50 and 55 write 50 70 and 75 write 70
When the person is a Peer or Peeress, the title may be writtten instead of the name. The words "Lord," "Lady," "Sir," "Rt Hon." "Hon." may be put before the names of those to whom they belong.
If as may happen in a lodging-house of inn, a person who slept there the night before, has gone away early, and the name is not known, write "n.k." where the name should have been.
Of what Profession, Trade, Employment, or whether of Independant Means. Heads of Families, Men, Widows, or Single Women, of Independant Means (from whatever source) may be inserted "Ind."
The occupation &c. of wives living with their husbands, or of sons or daughters living with their parents, and assisting them, but not apprenticed or receiving wages, need not be set down.
Alphabetical List of Abbreviations which may be used and no others, unless a large class occurs in any Enumerator's District, when, if he uses another abbreviation, it must be carefully noticed in the page left for observations of Enumerators.
Agricultural Labourer. — Ag. Lab.
To signify all Agricultural Labourers, whether in the fields, or as a Shepherd, Ploughman, Carter, Waggoner, or Farm Servant generally.
Apprentice. — Ap.
The letters Ap, which must be accompanied by the name of the trade, will signify Apprentice.
Army. — Army.
All persons of whatever rank in the Military Land Service of Her Majesty, whether Cavalry, Infantry, Artillery, Engineers, &c. must be inserted Army - add for Half-pay, H.P.; for Pensioners, P.
Calico Printer. — Cal. Prin.
Insert Ca. Prin. as the sign for all persons engaged in that trade.
Clerk. — Cl.
All persons employed as Clerk or Book-keepers, &c. may be inserted "Cl."
Factory. — (See Manufacturer.)
Hand Loom Weavers. — H.L.W.
Always add H.L.W. to each person engaged in Hand-Loom Weaving, after the words Silk, Cotton, &c. as the case may be.
Journeyman. — J.
The letter J. following the name of the trade or handicraft, will signify Journeyman.
Male Servant. — M.S.
All Male Servants may be entered M.S. This class to include, without further distiction, all Bailiffs, Game-keepers, and Domestic Servants; Butlers, Coachmen, Footmen, Grooms, Helpers, Boys, &c.
Maid Servant. — F.S. (for Female Servant.)
This class to include all females employed in houses as Housekeepers, Ladies' Maids, Nurses, &c.
Maker. — m.
The letter "m." to follow the trade of any person designated as a Maker.
Manufacturer. — Manf.
Master Manufacturers to have "Manf." following the name of the staple commodity in which they are engaged.
Merchant Seaman. — Mer.S.
Add Mer.S. as the designation of all persons then on shore engaged in Merchant Service, whether in the Coastig or Foreign Trade.
Miners. — M.
Always add the name of the Mineral in which each person is employed to the occupation in which he is engaged. - If only a general work add M., as "Coal M.," "Copper M.," "Iron M."
Navy. — Navy.
All persons, of whatever rank, engaged in the Sea Service of Her Majesty, whether in the Navy or Marines, must be inserted as Navy - adding H.P. for those on Half-pay; and P. for Pensioner.
Insert the staple commodity in which workmen are employed, as Cotton, Flax or Hemp, Silk, Woollen, Worsted, Linen, &c., along with the particular designation of the branch of the trade in which the person is engaged, as "Silk Throwster," "cotton Weaver," "Wool Carder," &c. &c.
Power Loom Weavers. — P.L.W.
Always add P.L.W. to the name of each person engaged in Power Loom Weaving, after the word Silk, Cotton, &c. as the case may be.
Shopman. — Sho.
All persons employed by retail Traders in their Shops, must have the name of the trade prefixed to this abbreviation.
Spirit Dealers. — Sp. Deal.
Add Sp. Deal. to the trade of all persons who are also engaged in vending Spirits.
"If born in Scotland, state whether in County or otherwise"
In the case of persons born in Scotland, write opposite to each name, "Yes" if born in the County, and "No" if not born in the County. British subjects born in Colonies, East Indies, or out of the United Kingdom, to be inserted in this column with "No" to their name.
"Whether Foreigner or whether born in England or Ireland."
Write in this column "E." for born in England, "I." for born in Ireland, and "F." for Foreigner. The latter mark is to be used only for those who are subjects of some Foreign State.
Enter the totals for houses, and number of each sex, under the proper columns, in each page.