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Census Search Forms 1841 & 1851

Notes on the Census Returns

This is the date the Census Search Form was received in the Public Record Office. The forms were received between 1915 and 1922.

Surname of Applicant
The surname of the person applying for the census search as it was in 1841/51. Sometimes in the Census Return Form, a second surname is written above the applicant’s name. This indicates a female applicant’s married name and will be given in the ‘Notes’ field of the table. Where two versions of a surname is given on the Census Return Form (e.g. Ayres/Eyres), entries are made in the table for both versions.

This field contains the birthdate or age of the applicant. It can either be:
• The applicant’s age at the time the search was requested, usually around 60-80 years. The date of the search is given in the ‘Date’ field.
• The applicant’s date of birth, usually between the 1830s and early 1850s.
• The applicant’s age at the time of census, usually between birth and 20 years.

Addressee information
If the Addressee Surname and Forename fields are blank, the applicant themselves has applied for the Census Search.
If names are given in the Addressee fields, this could mean:
• The application is being made by a married woman. The name in the ‘Surname of Addressee’ field is her married name.
• Another person is applying on behalf of the applicant, eg. a family member, Solicitor, Head of an Institution etc.
The address in the ‘Address’ field is that of the applicant if they themselves have applied. Otherwise, it is the address of the Addreessee, i.e. a name other than that of the applicant’s.

This is the townland which the applicant requested to be searched, i.e. residence of the applicant in 1841 or 1851. Sometimes, when this was not known, a number of townlands were requested to be searched. When a family was not found, all these townlands are given in the ‘Townlands’ field. When a family was found, only the correct address is shown. Townland spellings have been given as they appear in the Search Forms.

This indicates which census is requested to be searched, i.e. 1841 or 1851. The 1841 census was carried out on June 6th., and the 1851 census was carried out on March 30th.

Siblings as given by applicant
Applicants sometimes provided a list of siblings in order to help identify their family in the search.

Search results
The search results were written on the application form, usually in the form of ‘Found’ or ‘Not found’. These results relate to the applicant only. In many cases it meant that the applicant wasn’t born at the time of the census. Even when a ‘Not found’ was returned, information relating to other family members was often provided. If the search results are very long, they are continued in the ‘Notes’ field.

The ‘Notes’ contain any extra information which does not fit into the other fields. Occasionally, they contain information from the ‘Search results’ field.

The searchers used some abbreviations:
Dau./Dautr. = Daughter
N.f. = Not found.
Md./ Marrd. = Married




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<< Census Search Forms 1841 & 1851