Census Returns have been taken regularly every 10 years since 1801. At first they were just counts of populations, giving the numbers of people in various age groups. It was only in 1841 that the government decided that it needed more information than this. Thus for 1841 we have details of name, age and occupation. By 1851 even more information is given, including the place of birth and relationship to the head of the household.
Census Returns are very useful tools for researching the history of your house or community. The Local Studies Collection holds the Census Returns for the area now covered by the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames from 1841 to 1901. We also hold the complete census for England and Wales for 1881 on CD-Rom, and you can search the complete 1901 Census online
Updated: 20 October 2009