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1851 Census in Scotland

The 1851 census was to count all of the people in each house at midnight on the night of 30th-31st March 1851 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 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.

  • Parish of
  • Quoad Sacra Parish of
  • Within the limits of the Parliamentary Burgh of
  • Within the limits of the Royal Burgh of
  • Town or Village of

  • No. of Householder's Schedule.
  • Name of Street, Place, or Road, and 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
  • Condition
  • Age of
    • Males
    • Females
  • Rank, Profession, or Occupation
  • Where Born
  • Whether Blind, or Deaf and Dumb

  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.


Respecting the manner in which Entries should be made in this Book.


The process of entering the Householder's Schedules, in this book should be as follows:--

The Enumerator should first insert, in the spaces at the top of the page, the name of the Parish, Quoad Sacra Parish, City or Burgh, Town or Village, to which the contents of that page will apply, drawing his pen through all the headings which are inappropriate.

He should then, in the first column write the No. of the Schedule he is about to copy, and in the second column the name of the Street, Square, &c. where the house is situate, and the No. of the house, if it has a No., or, if the house be situate in the country, any distinctive Name by which it my be known.

He should then copy from the Schedule into the other columns, all the other particulars concerning the members of the family (making use if he please of any contractions authorised by his Instructions;) and proceed to deal in the same manner with the next Schedule.

Under the last name in any house he should draw a line across the page as far as the fifth column. Where there is more than one Occupier in the same house, he should draw a similar line under the last name of the family of each Occupier; making the line, however in this case, commence a little on the left hand side of the third column, as in the example on page vi. By the term "House," must be understood "a distinct building separated from other buildings by party-walls." Flats, therefore, must not be entered as houses.

Where he has to insert an uninhabited house or a house building, this may be done, as in the example, by writing in the second column on the line under the last name of the last house inhabited, "One house uninhabited," "Three houses building," as the case may be drawing a line underneath as in the example.

At the bottom of each page for that purpose, he must enter the total number of HOUSES in that page, separating those inhabited from those uninhabited or building. If the statement regarding any one inhabited house is continued from one page to another, that house must then be reckoned in the total of the page on which the first name is entered. He must also enter on the same line the total number of males and of females included in that page.

When he has completely entered all of the Schedules belonging to any one Parish or Quoad Sacra Parish, he should make no more entries on the LEAF on which the last name is written, but should write across the page, "End of the Parish [or Quoad Sacra Parish] of -----;" beginning the entry of the next Schedule on the subsequent LEAF of his book. The same course must be adopted with respect to any isolated or detached portion of a distant Parish; which portion, for the sake of convenience, may have been included in his district. When he has entered all the Schedules belonging to any Burgh, Village, &c., he should make no more entries on that PAGE, but write underneath the line after the very last name, "End of Burgh [or Village &c.] of -----"; making his next entry on the first line of the following PAGE.

In this way he will proceed until all his Householders' Schedules are correctly copied into his Book; and he must then make up the statement of totals, at page ii of this book, in the form there specified. He must also, on page iii, make up the the summaries mentioned, in the form according to the instructions there given.