Jim Fisher's Genealogy and Family History Pages
Tarrant Crawford, Dorset
This set of pages gives a transcription of the 1841 census for Tarrant Crawford, with a surname index, which I have personally produced. It was transcribed rather rapidly and has not been independently checked, and it should therefore be treated with caution, particularly with regard to names, which were at times difficult to decipher. However, since originally transcribing it I have acquired the Archive CD Books CD version, which is clearer than the original films and has permitted me to resolve questionable names and confirm others. I hope that it will be of some help to people researching ancestors in this parish.
Introduction to the 1841 census
The 1841 census was the first census of the country in which the names of individuals were officially recorded and retained, and so is the first general census of use to genealogists and family historians. Nevertheless, the information is very limited compared to that in later censuses. The major differences from the censuses which followed are:
- The head of each household is not specifically identified, although he/she is normally the first person listed.
- The relationship of each person to the head of the household is not stated.
- Ages of adults are rounded, not exact. Anyone aged from 15 to 19 is listed as age 15, anyone from 20 to 24 is shown as 20, etc.
- Marital status is not shown.
- Two small columns are used for place of birth instead of the one larger column in later censuses. The first states "Yes" or "No", often abbreviated to a single initial letter, to the question "Born in the same county?". The second indicates by an initial letter whether the person was "Born in Scotland, Ireland or Foreign Parts".
The columns shown on the enumeration schedules for this census are:
- HOUSES, sub-divided into:
- Uninhabited or Building
- NAMES of each Person who abode therein the preceding Night
- AGE and SEX, subdivided into:
- PROFESSION, TRADE, EMPLOYMENT or of INDEPENDENT MEANS
- Where Born, subdivided into:
- Whether Born in same County
- Whether Born in Scotland, Ireland or Foreign Parts
In addition to those limitations, the quality of the records is often poor, for a variety of reasons:
- The handwriting used is in some cases so poor as to be almost unintelligible.
- There are often marks on the original which obscure the writing. Ages are particularly prone to this problem, on this and later censuses.
- Most people at the time were illiterate, so the enumerator or a literate (or semi-literate) friend or family member sometimes wrote down what he heard, or thought he heard. This leads to many variations in spelling of names. For example, on this census the name "CHERRETT" is shown as "GERRARD" and probably also as "JERRETT".
- The quality of filming the original records is vary variable, some being too faint to read. (Access was available only to the films, not the original paper records when I originally transcribed the data). However, I have no acquired the Archive CD Books CD version, which is much clearer and has enabled me to resolve several problems.
- The schedules which were retained and filmed were themselves transcribed by the enumerators from their own original records, and so are prone to transcription errors by them as well as by me.
About this transcription
In order to make this data available even to those with very old browsers, I have avoided the use of tables in its presentation. By using indented lists with bullet points I have also avoided the need for horizontal scrolling, which would make for difficult viewing.
The presentation here consists of two parts, the surname index and the data "as enumerated".
The surname index shows each personal entry with the surname in block capitals, followed by the name exactly (or as near as I could interpret it) as on the original schedule, including the use of "do", meaning "ditto" to mean the same as in the preceding entry of the original schedule. Clicking on the name leads to the corresponding entry in the transcription of the "as enumerated" part.
In the "as enumerated" part, I have omitted the contents of certain columns in order to simplify the presentation without loss of information. The columns I have omitted are:
- PLACE - This is blank in all except the very last household (George FLORENCE and family), for which I have added an explanatory note at the end.
- Houses Uninhabited or Building - the two entries in this column were indecipherable on the film, but on the CD claerly say "1U" in each case, which I assume stands for 1 uninhabited. They occurred against the second (William JARVIS) and sixth (Thomas HUNT) households, presumably indicating an empty house between this and the preceding one.
- Whether born in the same county - These entries showed "y" or "Yes" in all except two cases. The exceptions were Sarah BROWN, Governess in the first household, and Henry DANIELS in the twelfth household.
- Whether born in Scotland, Ireland or Foreign Parts - there were no entries in this column.
I have used the first level of indentation to group all the people in the same household, with just the "Houses Inhabited" column (invariably the figure 1) unindented. The second level of indentation shows the information against each individual, one line per column on the original form, except that for clarity I have converted the two age columns (one each for males and females) to a single entry per person, with the age preceded by M for male or F for female. In other respects I have endeavoured to keep the wording identical to that on the original schedule.
In addition to the personal information in the columns, the census record has an introductory paragraph explaining the area covered, which I have included verbatim. At the end there is also a statistical summary, which I have also included, but with an added comment of my own.
The census "as enumerated"
The 1841 census "as enumerated" is on a separate page.
The surname index
The 1841 census surname index is also on a separate page.
Top of this page
Genealogy and Dorset | Return to Tarrant Crawford page
Click here to contact Jim Fisher, the author of this web site