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1861 Census in Scotland

The 1861 census was to count all of the people in each house at midnight on the night of 7th-8th April 1861 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.

The undermentioned Houses are situate within the Boundaries of the
  • Parish of _____________
  • Quoad Sacra Parish of _____________
  • Parliamentary Burgh of _____________
  • Royal Burgh of _____________
  • Town of _____________
  • Village of _____________

  • 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
  • Age of
    • Males  #
    • Females  #
  • Rank, Profession, or Occupation
  • Where Born
  • Whether Blind, or Deaf and Dumb
  • No. of Children from 5 to 13 attending School  #
  • No. of 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 in the order in which they ought to be entered into the Enumeration Book.

Note: – This order will be indicated by the Schedule Numbers entered in your “Memorandum Book,” prepared in conformity with the instructions:–
(2.) Copy very legibly in ink the Householders’ Schedules into this Enumeration Book, in accordance with the following directions:–

Directions respecting the manner of entering the Householders’ Schedules.

  1. Insert first, in the spaces at the top of the page, the name of the Parish or Quoad sacra Parish, Parliamentary or Royal Burgh, Town or Village, &c., 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 Householder’s 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 relative particulars 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.

    Proceed to enter in the same manner the other Schedules, up to the last, in strict numerical order.
  3. Under the name of the last entered person in each house, draw a double line, 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 single line to distinguish each Family, as in the example. [Note. –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. A Lodger, with or without a family, is to be considered an Occupier].
  4. 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,” in a distinct line, following the line in which the houses occur in the Road, Street, &c. Where two or more houses, uninhabited or building, occur together, enter the total number, thus : – “3 U,” “2 B,” as the case may be.
  5. 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 to 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 in that page, the total number of Children attending School, and the Rooms with one or more Windows. [The number of School Children and Windowed Rooms is to be reckoned in the case of each family, the relative figures being inserted in a line with the name of the Head.]
  6. When all the Schedules belonging to any one local Sub-division have been entered, write across the page, “End of the ---- of ----”, making the next entry on the first line of the following page.

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

After having completed the entry of all the Householders' Schedules according to the above directions, commence a fresh page, and writing across the top “List of Persons not in Houses,” proceed to copy from your “Memorandum Book” the particulars contained in the List of Persons who slept in Barns, Sheds, &c., but in making up the totals at the foot of that page, the column headed “Houses” must be left blank, as Barns, Sheds &c., are not to be reckoned as Houses. Then, 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 out in full.
When the name or any particular is not known, “n. k.” should be entered in its place.
In the column “relation to the head of family,” write “Head” for head of family; “Daur.” for daughter; “Serv.” for servant.
In the column “condition”, write “Mar.” for married; “Un.” for unmarried; “W.” for widow; “Widr.” for widower.
In the column 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 figure.
In the column for “rank, profession, or occupation,” the following contractions may be used: “Ag. Lab.” for agricultural labourer; “Ap.” for apprentice; “Cl.” for clerk; “Serv.” for servant.