TalkingScot homepage TalkingScot Forum TalkingScot Gallery Family History Societies Links Libraries Registration Districts Censuses
census introduction census dates census 1841 census 1851 census 1861 census 1871 census 1881 census 1891 census 1901

1891 Census in Scotland

The 1891 census was to count all of the people in each house at midnight on the night of 5th-6th April 1891 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 details of the form are as listed below. The top section gives the parish, burgh or town/village names. The main section below that gives the details of each of the people in each household.

The undermentioned Houses are situate within the Boundaries of the
  • Civil Parish of
  • Quoad Sacra Parish of
  • School Board District of
  • Parliamentary Burgh of
  • Parliamentary Division of
  • Royal Burgh of
  • Municipal Burgh of
  • Police Burgh of
  • Burgh Ward of
  • Town of
  • Village or Hamlet of
  • Island of

* Draw the pen through such of the words of the headings are inappropriate.

  • No. of Schedule.
  • ROAD, STREET, &c., and No. or NAME of HOUSE
    • Inhabited  #
    • Uninhabited (U.), or Building (B.)  #
  • NAME and Surname of each Person.
  • RELATION to Head of Family.
  • CONDITION as to Marriage.
  • AGE [last birthday].
    • Males. #
    • Females. #
  • Profession, or OCCUPATION.
  • Employer.
  • Employed.
  • Neither Employer or Employed, but working on own account.
  • Gaelic, or G. & E.
  • Whether
    1. Deaf and Dumb.
    2. Blind.
    3. Lunatic, Imbecile , or Idiot.
  • Rooms with one or more Windows. #

    # - sub-totalled on the last line of the page and carried forward to the summary pages of the census book


As soon as possible after the completion of the Enumeration―
  1. Arrange the Householders' Schedules and other Schedules in order, so that all those relating to one Parish, Hamlet, or other Local Subdivision, are together.
  2. Copy very legibly in ink the Schedules into this Enumeration Book, in accordance with the following directions:―

Directions respecting the manner of entering the Schedules.

  1. Insert first, in the spaces at the top of the page, the name of the Civil Parish or Quoad Sacra Parish, School Board District, Parliamentary Burgh, Parliamentary Division of Burgh, Royal Burgh, Municipal Burgh, Police Burgh, Burgh Ward, Town, Village, Hamlet, or Inhabited Island, in which the houses of that page are situate, drawing your pen through such of the words as are inappropriate.
  2. In the first column write the No. of the Schedule you are about to copy, commencing with No. 1; in the second column the name of the Road, Street, Square, &c., where the house is situate, and the No. of the house, or any distinctive name by which it is known; then insert in the third column the figure 1 for an Inhabited House, and Copy from the Schedule into the other columns all the particulars concerning the persons mentioned therein, making use of any of the authorized contractions (see below), and taking especial care to class the ages of males and females under their proper columns.

Enter in the same manner the other Schedules, up to the last, in strict numerical order.

  1. Under the name of the last entered person in each house (as defined in II. 6 of the Instructions in your Memorandum Book) draw a strong black line across the entire column headed "Name and Surname," as in the example on the opposite page, to separate the inmates from those of the house next following; and where there is more than one Occupier in the same house, draw a similar line half-way across the column to distinguish each Family, as in the example. [Note.―A Lodger, with or without a family, is to be considered an Occupier.]
  2. If you have enumerated any persons in Canal Boats or Barges, enter the Schedules for Vessels in the same manner as the Householders' Schedules, stating in col. 2 the locality in which the boats, &c. were met with.
  3. Where you have to insert an uninhabited house, or a house building, do this by writing in the fourth column, "1 U," or "1 B," on a distinct line, taking care to omit none which are noted in your Memorandum Book. When two or more houses, uninhabited or building, occur together, insert the total number, thus:―"3 U," "2 B," as the case may be.
  4. At the bottom of each page, on the line for that purpose, enter the total number of houses in that page, as in the example. If the statement respecting any inhabited house is continued from one page to another, that house will be reckoned in the total of the houses in the page on which the first name is entered. Enter also, on the line at the foot of the page, the total number of males and females, and of windowed Rooms, in that page. [The number of windowed Rooms, must be reckoned in the case of each Family, the relative figures being inserted in a line with the name of the Head.]
  5. When all the Schedules belonging to any one Civil Parish, Quoad Sacra Parish, School Board District, Parliamentary Burgh, Parliamentary Division of Burgh, Royal Burgh, Municipal Burgh, Police Burgh, Burgh Ward, Town, Village, Hamlet, or Inhabited Island, have been entered, write across the page, "End of the Civil (or Quoad Sacra) Parish of ――," "End of the Parliamentary (Royal, Municipal, or Police) Burgh of ――," "End of the Burgh Ward of ――," "End of the Town (Village or Hamlet) of ――," "End of the Island of ――," making the next entry on the first line of the following page. Where a Burgh partakes of more than one of the specified characters (Parliamentary, Royal, Municipal, or Police), and the respective boundaries happen to be different, the termination of the particulars applicable to each must be similarly indicated.


Persons not dwelling in Houses; and Completion of the Enumeration Book.

Enter under the proper Road, Lane, or other locality, any particulars you have obtained respecting persons not dwelling in houses, but in Barns, Sheds, Caravans, &c.; in making up the totals at the foot of that page, however, the Barns, Sheds, &c., are not to be reckoned as Houses.

Having satisfied yourself of the correctness of your book, fill up the tables on pages iv. and v., and sign the Declaration on page vi.



Road, Street, &c.―Write "Rd." for Road; "St." for Street; "Pl." for Place; "Sq." for Square; "Ter." for Terrace.
Names.―Write the First Christian Name in full; initials or first letters of the other Christian names of a person who has more than one, may be inserted.
When the same surnames occur several times in succession, write "do." for all such surnames except the first, which should be written in full.
Where the name or any particular is not known, "n.k." should be entered in its place.
In the column, "relation to head of family," write "Head," for head of family; "Daur." for daughter; "Serv." for servant.
In the column "condition," write "Mar." for married; "Unm." for unmarried; "W." for widow; "Widr." for widower.
In the columns for age write the number of years carefully and distinctly in the proper column for "Males" or "Females," as the case may be; in the case of Children under One Year of age, as the age is expressed in months, write "Mo." distinctly after the figures.
In the column for "profession, or occupation," the following contraction may be used:―"Ag. Lab." for agricultural labourer, but care must be taken that the contractions used are such as will be readily understood.