Jim Fisher's Genealogy and Family History Pages
Tarrant Crawford, Dorset
This set of pages gives a transcription of the 1861 census for Tarrant Crawford, transcribed and kindly made available by a contributor who wishes to remain anonymous as a part of the On-line Parish Clerk project. I have added a surname index. It has not, so far as I know, 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 1861 census
The 1861 census was the second census of the country in which the precise (as distinct from accurate) ages, relationships to head of household and places of birth were recorded, and is in most respects similar in structure to that of 1851.
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 7th April 1861
- 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 often 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" (which was originally "GERRARD" in this case) is shown as "GERRET", while farmer Richard BRIAN in 1841 has become Richard BRINE here, as in 1851.
- 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 the transcriber could interpret it) as on the original schedule. Clicking on the name leads to the corresponding entry in the transcription of the "as enumerated" part.
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 the transcriber omitted the distinction between male and female, which is clear in all cases from the given names. In other respects I believe the transcriber has 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 (as supplied by the transcriber). 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 and 1851 census pages.
The census "as enumerated"
The 1861 census "as enumerated" is on a separate page.
The surname index
The 1861 census surname index is also on a separate page.
The schedule shows that the only employer of significance was Richard BRINE, of Tarrant Abbey (the farm). However, he is shown as employing 18 labourers, compared with 30 in 1851, with the acreage farmed reduced from 900 to 700 acres. Whereas in 1851 most of the labourers employed were resident outside the parish (or stated some different occupation), in 1861 the number of declared agricultural labourers is greater than the number employed on this farm.
It is also interesting to note that of 44 adults living in the parish (defined as over 15), only 7 were born there, including two not yet 16 years old.
The population of the parish had remained static at 67 over the 10 year period between the 1851 and 1861 censuses, but the male population fell from 39 to 32 (adults from 23 to 19, children from 16 to 13) while the total female population also fell (from 38 to 35), but in this case the number of adults increased (from 22 to 25) but the number of female children dropped sharply from 16 to 10. The total number of houses had decreased from 16 to 15 (the same as in 1841), but with none uninhabited compared with one out of 16 in 1851 and two out of 15 in 1841.
The gross figures tend to hide a considerable changeover. Of the 15 families resident in 1851, only 6 were still there in 1861, and in two of those cases the head appears to have died, to be succeeded in one case (George Hunt) by his daughter and in the other (gamekeeper George Florence) by his widow. 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. Almost all the adult departures and arrivals were agricultural labourers or similar, while the higher social strata (farmer, blacksmith and deceased gamekeeper's family) all remained not only from 1851 but from 1841 (although most of the farmer's children had departed since 1851).
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