On this Day 7th April 1861

Census in Penwith 1861

A census has been taken every 10 years from 1801 until 2011, covering England, Scotland, Wales, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. Only since 1841 have names been routinely included in the census though, as our piece on the 1801 census of St Hilary illustrates, names were sometimes included before that.

The Census up to 1911 is available easily to local history researchers at the moment via a number of online sites as well as in local record offices and libraries. They are an unparalleled source of family and local information (although researchers must beware of errors and omissions) so it is worrying that the present government is considering abolishing the Census in the future, to save money.

The 1861 census was taken on the night of 7/8 April, giving detailed information about every person who spent that night in the premises listed. The forms were given out a day or two beforehand, and collected the day following that night. For example, at 31 Market Place, Penzance, lived Thomas H Bodilly, Head of the Household, a Grocer Master Employing 11 persons. Also living there were his wife, 3 sons and 3 servants, all with details of their ages, birthplaces and occupations.

Penzance being a busy port, details were also noted about the various ships in port that night, showing the large number of ships from other places, coasters, overseas or fishing boats for example from Belfast, Hastings, Liverpool and the Isle of Man. St Ives showed a similar spread of non-local shipping in the harbour that night.

 

Parish

Population 1861

 

Parish

Population 1861

Gulval

1743

 

Sennen

613

Lelant

2320

 

St Buryan

2558

Ludgan

3480

 

St Erth

2317

Madron (not inc Penzance)

2512

 

St Hilary

1914

Marazion

1037

 

St Ives (borough)

9346

Morvah

380

 

St Just (inc Pendeen)

9290

Paul

5072

 

St Levan

447

Penzance

9414

 

Towednack

1007

Sancreed

1233

 

Zennor

933

 

27191

 

 

28425

Total Population of West Penwith in 1861

55616

 

To access the 1941-1901 Cornish Census free of charge use the Cornwall Online Census Project




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Penwith Local History Group
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Women of West Cornwall. A Publication by the Penwith Local History Group

"Women of West Cornwall"

Edited by
Pam Lomax


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