Census of 1851

Progress of this Project

Parish Population Transcribed Checked Validated On Line
Birsay 1749 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Deerness 786 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Eday & Pharay 1016 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Evie & Rendall 1446 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Firth & Stenness 1327 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Harray 750 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Holm & Paplay 749 Yes Yes Yes Yes
Hoy 615 Yes Yes Yes  
Kirkwall & St Ola 3870        
North Ronaldshay 526 Yes Yes    
Orphir 1157 Yes      
South Ronaldshay 3086        
Rousay & Egilshay 1215        
Sanday 2004 Yes      
Sandwick 1100        
Shapinshay 898        
St Andrews 926        
Stromness 2755 Yes      
Stronsay -        
Walls & Flotta -        
Westray -        

How the Census was Organised

The sheriff was in charge for the county and appointed a person in each parish, usually the schoolmaster, to superintend the enumeration. An enumerator was appointed for each district and issued with a pre-printed book in which he wrote the required statistics. The enumerator, superintendant and sheriff all signed to vouch for the accuracy of the document, and the parish priest had a place to add his remarks.

Instructions to Enumerators

Respecting the manner in which Entries should be made in this Book.
The process of entering the Householder's Schedules, in this Book, should be as follows:-
The Enumerator should first insert, in the spaces at the top of the page, the name of the Parish, Quoad Sacra Parish, City of Burgh, Town or Village, to which the contents of that page will apply, drawing his pen through all the headings which are inappropriate.
He should then, in the first column write the No. of the Schedule he is about to copy, and in the second column the name of the Street, Square, &c. where the house is situate, and the No. of the house, if it has a No., or, if the house be situate in the country, any distinctive Name by which it may be known.
He should then copy from the Schedule into the other columns, all the other particulars concerning the members of the family (making use if he please of any of the contactions authorised by his Instructions;) and proceed to deal in the same manner with the next Schedule.
Under the last name in any house he should draw a line across the page as far as the fifth column. Where there is more than one Occupier in the same house, he should draw a similar line under the last name of the family of each Occupier; making the line, however, in this case, commence a little on the left hand side of the third column, as in the example on page vi. By the term "House," must be understood "a distinct building, separated from other buildings by party-walls." Flats, therefore, must not be entered as houses.
Where he has to insert an uninhabited house, or a house in building, this may be done, as in the example, by writing in the second column on the line under the last name of the last house inserted, "One house uninhabited," "Threee houses building, " as the case may be; drawing a line underneath, as in the example.
At the bottom of each page, on the line for that purpose, he must enter the total number of HOUSES in that page, separating those inhabited from those uninhabited or building. If the statement regarding any inhabited house is continued from one page to another, that house must be reckoned in the total of the page on which the first name is entered. He must also enter on the same line the total number of males and of females included in that page.
When he has completely entered all the Schedules belonging to any one Parish or Quoad Sacra Parish, he should make no more entries on the LEAF on which the last name is written, but should write across the page, "End of the Parish [or Quoad Sacra Parish] of —;" beginning the entry of the next Schedule on the next subsequent LEAF of his book. The same course must be adopted with respect to any isolated or detached portion of a distant Parish; which portion, for the sake of convenience, may have been included in his District. When he has entered all the Schedules belonging to any Burgh. Village, &c., he should make no more entries on that PAGE, but write underneath the line after the last name, "End of Burgh, [or Village, &c.] of —"; making his next entry on the first line of the following PAGE.
In this way he will proceed until all his Householders' Schedules are correctly copied into his Book; and he must then make up the statement of totals, at page ii of this Book, in the Form there specified. He must also, on page iii, make up the summaries there mentioned, in the form and according to the instructions there given.