Middlesex Censuses


From 1851, the Registrar-General grouped together the census returns from those parts of Middlesex, Kent, and Surrey which formed the "metropolitan" area commonly called London - i.e. the built-up areas - as a separate "census county". This area was used as the basis of the area governed by the Metropolitan Board of Works and later formed with few alterations the new County of London when it was created in 1889. The areas covered include Paddington, Kensington, Fulham, Chelsea, St George Hanover Square, Westminster, Marylebone, Hampstead, Pancras, Islington, Hackney, St Giles, Strand, Holborn, London City, Shoreditch, Bethnal Green, Whitechapel, St George in the East, Stepney, Mile End Old Town, Poplar, St Saviour, Southwark, Lambeth, Wandsworth, Camberwell, Greenwich, Lewisham and Woolwich.

The rest of the county remained under the name of Middlesex.

Census indexes and facsimiles are available online and on CD from a wide range of providers. Information here is arranged by the date of the census:

General - pre-1841 - 1841 - 1851 - 1861 - 1871 - 1881 - 1891 - 1896 - 1901 - 1911


General census information

  • General information on census for England and Wales
  • The Open Reading Room at the National Archives, has copies of most published census indexes and some unpublished ones, and enumeration books from 1841 to 1901 on microfilm or microfiche. It also has excellent indexes of London streets and their census references. There is free access to online indexes to the 1841-1891 censuses on Ancestry and the 1901 census on 1901Censusonline.com.
  • The (archived) GenDocs list of London Census Surname Indexes lists many indexes available in 2003 by area covered, showing census year and source.
  • Chart of online or CD indexes or facsimiles provided by Daniel Morgan is a very useful summary, but it was last updated in 2014.
  • The former London list at Rootsweb had a useful faq on the census in London (pdf)This contains information about the census, but predates the release of the 1911 census and various other changes to the online availability of censuses (and is now only available on the Internet Archive).

The surviving census returns are not entirely complete. The National Archives distinguishes between those returns that are 'missing', meaning that they have gone missing since being catalogued, and those that are 'wanting', meaning that they should have been present but were not at the point of cataloguing, though the terms appear to be interchanged in the cataloguing of the 1901 census. Missing parts are listed in the National Archives' Catalogue online, but wanting parts are only listed in the paper versions at the National Archives and elsewhere. Known lost returns for London and Middlesex are noted below. If any readers know of others, please let us know.

pre-1841 census returns

Very few pre-1841 census returns survive. The known London and Middlesex ones are included in Census schedules and listings, 1801-1831: an introduction and guide by Richard Wall, Matthew Woollard and Beatrice Moring.

  • Ealing 1801 and 1811: John Gauss has made a complete transcript on his website.
  • Hackney 1831: the East of London FHS have published an index which is available for members to download.
  • Hendon 1801, 1811, and 1821: Archive CD Books published CD facsimiles of these returns, which are available from Genfair.
  • Marylebone 1821 and 1831: there are householder surname indexes to these returns. An internet search may find copies of the CD for sale. Copies are held at the Westminster Archives and by some Family History Societies.

1841 census returns

Piece HO107/680 covering Paddington is missing.

1851 census returns

1861 census returns

The following are known to be lost:

  • from the West London and London City registration districts: part of the parish of St Dunstan in the West (RG9/219), and parts of Cliffords Inn and Serjeants Inn within that parish (RG9/221); part of the parish of St Gregory by St Paul (RG9/220); the first six pages of the parish of St Bride (RG9/221); part of the Inner Temple (RG9/221); part of the parish of St Mary Staining (RG9/222); part of the parish of St Michael-le-Quern (RG9/223); part of St Botolph-without-Bishopsgate, including nos. 58-104 (but not no.77) Houndsditch (RG9/212 folios 140-143).
  • Belgravia Sub-district, within St George's Hanover Square District, is also lost.
  • Chelsea District is only 92.5% complete, with the three subdistricts missing different proportions:
    • Sub-district 1 Chelsea South (RG9 30-32) is 92.8% complete. Within this sub-district, Enumeration District 6 (RG9/30 ff.143-152), is missing a number of streets including Cooks Ground, part of Kings Road, Oakley Street, Phene Street, Oakley Crescent, Margaretta Terrace and Rolls Cottages.
    • Sub-district 2 Chelsea North West (RG9 33-35) is 89.2% complete.
    • Sub-district 3 Chelsea North East (RG9 36-39) is 95.1% complete.

The Family Record (Newsletter of the former Family Records Centre) Issue 36 for October 2006, contained the following statement about the completeness of the 1861 census records for London:

Research has shown that roughly 3% of the 1861 census returns is missing or damaged. A major project is now underway to identify and list the missing sections. The London registration districts have already been fully checked with some interesting results. Hampstead is the most complete (at 98.5%) while St George's Hanover Square is at the bottom of the list with only 34.7% surviving. We are planning to make the information available online but at present it is only accessible on request at the FRC.

As of October 2008 this project was suspended, but the results were intended to be published on Your Archives (source), though that site since become defunct in 2013.

1871 census returns

1881 census returns

  • 1881 U.K. census transcript and index online in FamilySearch This covers the whole country. From the home page choose "search", it is one of the databases available. Online search and details are free. It is also available on CDROM. From FamilySearch home page choose Order/Download products, search for "British Census" or "1881". The index is available in Family History Centres of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, from all their distribution centres, and in many other libraries on CD or on microfiche.
  • Peter Higginbottom's site The Workhouse has many 1881 census transcripts. A convenient way to see links to transcripts for five Middlesex workhouses is is in Census on-line which has links to 1881 census transcripts of Mile End Old Town, Shoreditch, St Marylebone, Whitechapel, and Whitechapel South Grove Workhouses.
  • Ancestry offer an index for all of England and Wales with basic searches for free, but details and images of returns are only available on a paid subscription basis.
  • S&N Genealogy publish this census separately for Metropolitan London and Middlesex, as images on CDs including national Archives' street indexes for London.
  • Archive CD books have published images of the enumerator's books for Paddington in the 1881 census.

1891 census returns

The following are known to be lost: The Victoria Hospital for Children, Chelsea; two persons on board a British vessel in St Clement Danes Civil Parish (RG12/217); 47 persons on board 6 vessels in Ratcliff (RG12/292); 7 persons on board 2 British vessels in Willesden (RG12/1042, 1043 & 1048).

1896 census of London

A quinquennial census was held covering the London County Council area on 29 March 1896, paid for by the local authority, and with primary aim of establishing parochial populations in connection with local rates. In line with the recommendations of the Treasury Committee which had developed the proposals for the 1891 census, this was only a summary enumeration, in which name, sex and relationship to head of household of each person were recorded. The enumerators' books from this census are believed not to have survived.

The Registrar General published a summary as a Parliamentary Paper in August 1896, and the LCC published a statistical return giving the population in each ward or parish divided into males and females, the number of rated households, and the numbers of inhabited and uninhabited houses (this was LCC Official Publications Vol.27, at LMA under reference SC/PPS/063/027). There are no personal details in either publication.

1901 census returns

The following are known to be lost: part of Bloomsbury and St Giles South Registration Sub-district (RG13/238); part of St Giles North Registration Sub-district (RG13/239).

  • 1901 Census Online is available from The National Archives, providing a name index and digital images of enumeration book pages. This covers the whole country. Search is free, details are pay-per-view.
  • Ancestry offer an index for all of England and Wales with basic searches for free, but details and images of returns are only available on a paid subscription basis.
  • S&N Genealogy publish this census separately for Metropolitan London and Middlesex, as images on CDs including national Archives' street indexes for London, and partial surname indexes. The indexes are also searchable online, on a subscription basis at The Genealogist or alternatively at London Census Indexes Online.
  • Frank W's Cendexes site has a surname index to Regent's Park.

1911 census returns

The 1911 census documents differ in structure from earlier censuses, with additional questions asked and the surviving documents being household schedules rather than enumerators' books. All parts of London and Middlesex are indexed and available.