Jim Fisher's Genealogy and Family History Pages
Tarrant Crawford, Dorset
This set of pages gives a transcription of the 1851 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 and places of birth, which were at times difficult to decipher. I hope nevertheless that it will be of some help to people researching ancestors in this parish.
Introduction to the 1851 census
The 1851 census was the first census of the country in which the precise (as distinct from accurate) ages, relationships to head of household and places of birth were recorded.
The columns shown on the enumeration schedules for this census are:
- No. of Householder's Schedule
- Name of Street, Place or Road and Name or No. of house
- Name and Surname of each Person who abode in the house on the Night of 30th March 1851
- Relation to Head of Family
- Age of, subdivided into:
- Rank, Profession or Occupation
- Where Born
- Whether Blind, or Deaf-and-Dumb
- The first column serves to give each household a numeric identity
- Condition means marital status. In this case, as in most, the options are:
- Mar = married
- U = unmarried
- Wid = widow or widower (these are sometimes given in full)
- [blank] = normally for children under about 15
Users should be aware that the quality of the records is sometimes poor, for a variety of reasons:
- The handwriting used is in some cases so poor as to be unintelligible.
- There are often marks on the original which obscure the writing. Ages are particularly prone to this problem, on this and other censuses.
- Most people at the time were illiterate, so the enumerator 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 "JERRETT", while farmer Richard BRIAN in 1841 has become Richard BRINE here.
- The quality of filming the original records is vary variable, some being too faint to read. (Access is available only to the films, not the original paper records).
- 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.
- Many people did not know for certain where or when they were born (no certificates), and others falsified their age, so ages and places of birth are unreliable for adults.
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 empty columns.The nature of the entries makes it clear which they are. In most cases there is no street or house name or number, the "Whether Blind or Deaf-and-Dumb" column is always blank, and the "Rank, Profession or Occupation" column is blank for many people.
I have used the first level of indentation to group all the information for a household, with just the "No. of Householder's Schedule" column unindented. The second level of indentation shows the name of the house (if any) and the name of each person. The third level gives 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 by the enumeration district, which I have included verbatim (but with an added explanatory comment). There is also a statistical summary, which I have included but have moved to the end to be consistent with the layout of my 1841 census page.
The census "as enumerated"
The 1851 census "as enumerated" is on a separate page.
The surname index
The 1851 census surname index is also on a separate page.
The schedule shows that the only employer of significance was Richard BRINE (or BRIAN), of Tarrant Abbey (the farm). However, he is shown as employing 30 labourers, yet only just over half that number is shown in the schedule as being employed in that way, implying that many workers on this farm lived outside the parish.
It is also interesting to note that of 45 adults living in the parish (defined as over 15), only 8 were born there.
The population of the parish had increased from 67 to 77 over the 10 year period between the 1841 and 1851 censuses, but the whole of the increase was in the male population (adults from 19 to 23, children from 10 to 16) while the female population not only remained static in total but also in the split between adults (22) and children (16). The total number of houses had increased from 15 to 16, but with only one uninhabited in 1851 compared with two in 1841.
The gross figures tend to hide a considerable changeover. Of the 14 families resident in 1841, only 7 were still there in 1851. While some of the departures are no doubt the result of deaths, in most cases the whole family, including relatively young adults and children, has gone. All the adult departures and arrivals were agricultural labourers or similar, while the higher social strata (farmer, blacksmith and gamekeeper) all remained.
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