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1841 Census in Scotland

The 1841 census was to count all of the people in each house at midnight on the night of 6th-7th June 1841 and give some specific details about them. These details were given on a schedule for each household (or institution). The enumerator collected the household schedules and copied the details into the form (page of enumeration book) as shown below.

The instructions given to the enumerator are given below the form and its details.

The details of the form are as listed below. The title section gives the parish name. The main section below that gives the details of each of the people in each household.

  1. PLACE
    • Here insert Name of Village, Street, Square, Close, Court, &c,
    • Uninhabited or Building
    • Inhabited
  2. NAME and SURNAME, SEX and AGE of each Person who abode in each House on the Night of 6th June.
    • NAME and SURNAME
    • AGE
      • Male
      • Female
    • Of what Profession, Trade, Employment, or whether of indepedent means.
    • If Born in Scotland, state whether in County or otherwise
    • Whether Foreigner, or whether Born in England or Ireland
The number of houses I (inhabited), U (uninhabited) and B (building) are totalled on the last line of the page. The number of Males and number of Females are totalled on the last line of the page. These totals are carried forward to the summary pages of the census book.

EXTRACT from the Act 3° & 4° Victoria, Cap.99, intituled
"An Act for taking an Account of the Population of Great Britain."

Penalty for refusing Information, or giving false Answers

XX. "And the better to enable the said Commissioners, Enumerators, Schoolmasters and other Persons employed in the Execution of this Act to make the said Inquiries and Returns, be it enacted. That the said Commissioners, Enumerators, Schoolmasters and other Persons shall be authorized to ask all such Questions as shall be directed in the Instructions to be issued by the said Commissioners, with the Approval of One of Her Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State, which shall be necessarry for making the preliminary Inquiries and for obtaining the Returns required by this Act; and every Person refusing to answer, or wilfully giving a false Answer to such Questions, or any of them, shall for every such Refusal or wilfully False Answer, forfeit a Sum not more than Five Pounds, nor less than Forty Shillings, at the Discretion of any Justice of the Peace or Magistrate before whom Complaint thereof shall be made.

The above may be shown by the Enumerator to any person refusing to answer, showing his authority to require an Answer, or giving an Answer which he suspects is false.

Respecting the manner in which Entries may be made in the Enumeration Schedule


"Place"--In the Column headed Place, enter the name of the Parish, Village, Street, Court, &c. till such division or sub-division is finished; then write against the first house of any other Street, Court &c. the name of the place, and continue till all the houses therein have been enumerated.

"Houses"--Insert Houses uninhabited or building in the manner shown in the Example, writing 1 U. for "one house uninhabited," and 1 B. for "one house building," in the proper column opposite to the inhabited house to which each stands nearest. All Flats must be considered as houses if separately rated. At the end of the names of the inmates in each house make two lines thus //

NAME and SURNAME, SEX and AGE, of each Person who abode in each House on the Night of 6th of June.

Insert the name of every Person who slept in each house. Leave no blank spaces between the names. Always set down the names of the Whole family before entering the name of any other person in a house. In the names of a family do not write the surname more than once, but write "do." after the Christian name has been completed as in Example. Never write more than one Christian name to each person. Infants having no Christian name may be entered "n.k." for "not known."

Write the age of each person opposite to the name in one of the two columns headed "Males" and "Females," according to the sex. For infants under one year of age state the number of months, From one year to 15 state the age at the last birthday. For persons of 15 years of age and upwards, write as follows instead of the exact age. For persons between the ages of--

  15 and 20 write 15
20 and 25 write 20
25 and 30 write 25
30 and 35 write 30
    35 and 40 write 35
40 and 45 write 40
45 and 50 write 45
50 and 55 write 50
    55 and 60 write 55
60 and 65 write 60
65 and 70 write 65
70 and 75 write 70

When the person is a Peer or Peeress, the title may be written instead of the name. The words "Lord", "Lady," "Sir," "Rt Hon." "Hon." may be put before the names of those to whom they belong.

If as may happen in a lodging-house or inn, a person who slept there the night before, has gone away early, and the name is not known, write "n.k." where the name should have been.


Of what Profession, Trade, Employment, or whether of Independent Means.

Heads of Families, Men, Widows, or Single Women, of Independent Means (from whatever source) may be inserted Ind.

The occupation, &c. of wives living with their husbands, or of sons or daughters living with their parents, and assisting them, but not apprenticed or receiving wages, need not be shown.


Alphabetical List of Abbreviations which may be used and no others, unless a large class occurs in any Enumerator's District, when, if he uses another abbreviation, it must be carefully noticed in the page left for observations of Enumerators.

Agricultural Labourer.---Ag. Lab.

To signify all Agricultural Labourers, whether in the fields, or as Shepherd, Ploughman, Carter, Waggoner, or Farm Servant generally.


The letters Ap., which must be accompanied by the name of the trade, will signify Apprentice.


All persons of whatever rank in the Military Land Service of Her Majesty, whether Cavalry, Infantry, Artillery, Engineers, &c. must be inserted Army--add for Half-pay, H.P.; for Pensioners, P.

Calico Printer.---Cal. Prin.

Insert Cal. Prin. as the sign for all persons engaged in that trade.


All persons employed as Clerk or Book-keepers, &c. may be inserted "Cl."

Factory.---(See Manufacturer)

Hand Loom Weavers.---H.L.W.

Always add H.L.W. to each person engaged in Hand-Loom Weaving, after the words Silk, Cotton, &c. as the case may be.


The letter J. following the name of the trade or handicraft, will signify Journeyman.

Male Servant.---M.S.

All Male Servants may be entered M.S. This class to include, without further distinction, all Bailiffs, Game-keepers and Domestic Servants; Butlers, Coachmen, Footmen, Grooms, Helpers, Boys, &c.

Maid Servant.---F.S. (for Female Servant.)

This class is to include all females employed in houses as House Keeper, Ladies Maids, Nurses, &c.


The letter M. following the trade of any person designated as a maker.


Master Manufacturers to have "Manf." following the name of the staple commodity in which they are engaged.

Merchant Seaman.---Mer. S.

Add Mer. S as the designation of all persons engaged in Merchant Service, whether in the Coasting or Foreign Trade.


Always add the name of the Mineral in which each person is employed to the occupation in which he is engaged. If only general work add M., as "Coal M.," "Copper M.," "Iron M."


All persons, of whatever rank, engaged in the Sea Service of Her Majesty, whether in the Navy or Marines; must be inserted as Navy--adding H.P. for Half-pay; and P. for Pensioner.


Insert the staple commodity in which workmen are employed, as Cotton, Flax or Hemp, Silk, Woollen, Worsted, Linen, &c. &c., along with the particular designation of the branch of the trade in which the person is engaged, as "Silk Throwster," Cotton Weaver," "Wool Carder," &c. &c.

Power Loom Weavers.---P.L.W.

Always add P.L.W. to the name of each person engaged in Power Loom Weaving, after the words Silk, Cotton, &c. as the case may be.


All persons employed by retail Traders in their Shops, must have the name of the trade prefixed to this abbreviation.

Spirit Dealers.---Sp. Deal.

Add Sp. Deal. to the trade of all persons who are also engaged in vending Spirits.


"If born in Scotland, state whether in County or Otherwise."

In the case of persons born in Scotland, write opposite to each name, "Yes" if born in the County, and "No" if not born in the County. British Subjects born in Colonies, East Indies, or out of the United Kingdom, to be inserted with "No" to their name.

"Whether Foreigner or whether born in England or Ireland."

Write in this column ""E." for born in England, "I". for born in Ireland and "F" for Foreigner. The latter mark is to be used for those who are subjects of some Foreign State.

Enter the totals for houses and number of each sex, under the proper columns, in each page.