Census Searching (England & Wales)

Updated: Feb 27

The first census that is of use to genealogists is from 1841. They were carried out every 10 years but, due to the privacy laws, they are only released to the public after 100 years. The latest 1921 Census has been released recently and is not yet widely available without paying to view.

The 1931 Census was destroyed by fire and there was no 1941 Census due to the war, therefore the next one won't be released until 2052.

The 1939 Register provides a snapshot of the civilian population of England and Wales just after the outbreak of the Second World War and, although not a census in name, it does provide some interesting details.

It is important to remember, especially with the earlier censuses, that standards of literacy were not particularly good, so do expect unusual spellings of names and locations.

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