The decennial census was carried out on the following dates:
Before 1841, very few of the returns have survived. For details of what exists, have a look at the book 'Local Census Listings, 1522-1930', ISBN number 1 86006 052 8, written by Jeremy Gibson and Mervyn Medlycott, and published by the Federation of Family Hsitory Societies.
The following companies are publishing/have published census returns:
The 1851 census has been indexed or transcribed on a regional basis by various family history societies.
My own research has shown that:
For further information, take a look at the information on the The National Archives' web-site.
And finally, have a look at the 1901 Census for Great Cockup.
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