Parish level statistics for Great Britain taken from the 1801 census

Table ID:
PAR_1801_GB     (6566622)
Parish level statistics for Great Britain taken from the 1801 census
Approx. number of rows:
Table type:
Raw Data
Documentation Author:
Paula Aucott
Reporting units are identified by:
   Ancient County
   Ancient district: Hundreds, etc.
   Type of Ancient District
   Ancient Parish
   Original name of parish-level unit
The data cover the period 1881 to 1911.


  1. Data taken from the parish-level table from the 1801 Census, Abstract of the Answers and Returns Made pursuant to an Act for taking an Account of the Population of Great Britain, and the Increase of Diminution there of - Enumeration Part I. England and Wales. and Part II. Scotland.
  2. The England and Wales data were input by the Centre for Data Digitisation and Analysis at the Queen's University of Belfast in early 1998. CDDA input the Scottish data somewhat later.
  3. The transcription was extensively checked, corrected and enhanced by Humphrey Southall, spring 2006. This work included adding national, county and district-level totals, proof reading all geographical names, and revising the locational descriptors to make it easier to match rows with the core gazetteer.


  1. This table occupies the larger part of the 1801 reports, the remainder containing the Parish Register Abstract. It is of course of great historical significance, but contains many numerical inconsistencies and the geography is confused. It will often be preferable to use the 1801 data listed within the 1851 parish-level table, which is clearly linked to the Registration District geography and, judging by the footnotes, was based on substantial re-working of the earlier data by the Registrar General's staff.
  2. It would appear that the higher-level totals in this table were based on adding together parish-level returns, and that many errors were made in these calculations. In any new use of these data, the most accurate results can probably be achieved by: (a) computing new totals for districts, counties and nations from the parish figures; and (b) ignoring the penultimate column for 'all other persons' and relying more on the overall total population.
  3. The table is based broadly on a geography of Ancient Parishes, Hundreds and Ancient Counties, but there are many exceptions. In particular, many of the lowest-level units are described as 'Hamlets', 'Towns' and even 'Places'. In practice, many of them were Ancient Parishes. Where they were not, we have tried to add the most appropriate parish name in the anc_par column.
  4. The Scottish listings include 'districts' only within the larger counties.
  5. The table was renamed from "par_1801" to be "par_1801_gb" when transferred and edited to run on Postgres in September 2016. The column previously called "dist_unit" was renamed to "sup_dist". The is because column names containing the word "unit" now tend to relate to numerical values for "g_unit", whereas this column contains supplementry information about relationships to districts (i.e. names).


  1. The numbers of males and of females were checked against the total of persons. This check was generally satisfied.
  2. The number of persons working in agriculture, in trade and manufacture, and all other persons were checked against the total of persons, but the figures in the original table frequently do not meet this requirement. This seems to be because the figure for all other persons missed out large numbers of women and children, so the overall total of persons is probably the more reliable figure.
  3. All figures for individual parishes were checked against the totals for the ancient districts. Here again there are many errors in the original report, some large.
  4. The data for nations, counties and major divisions of counties (Ridings, Lathes, etc) were input separately, in 2005-6, and checked by both the single-row checks mentioned above and by comparing the totals of the county figures with the national totals (and the totals for major divisions with the counties). At this level, the data are highly consistent, but NB no attempt has been made to reconcile these data with the lower-level data for parishes and districts.
  5. As a result of the work done in 2006, almost all data entry errors should have been eliminated. However, very large numbers of numerical inconsistencies remain from the original table. Clear printing errors in the original table were corrected, but as usual this was only possible where a single correction eliminated errors on two check sums, and with this table that means where an error in the figures for men, women or total population was picked up both by a single-row check sum and by a comparison of parish- and district-level data.
  6. Although work has started on matching the units within this table to the AUO gazetteer it is incomplete. Only the counties are fully matched. All other types of unit are at best only partially matched. Much more work on the script and the gazetteer is needed.


IndexTypeColumn(s) indexed
par_1801_gb_pkey Primary key rec_num
par_1801_gb_idx Unique nation, row_type, anc_cnty, anc_dist, anc_type, sup_dist, sup_type, anc_par, par_name, par_type, part_of
par_1801_gb_idx2 Unique anc_par, par_type, part_of, anc_dist, anc_type, sup_dist, sup_type, anc_cnty
par_1801_gb_idx3 Unique anc_par, par_type, anc_cnty, pop_1801
par_1801_gb_idx_dist Unique cnty_unit, anc_dist, anc_type, rec_num


The table has the following associated constraints:

par_1801_gb_pkey Primary Key See details above for primary key index

Columns within table:

row_type Text string (max.len.=7). Type of row: G = Great Britain total, N = Nation, C = County, DoC = Division of County (Riding, Lathe, etc), Div = Division (e.g. for Hampshire), D = District, P = Parish
nation Text string (max.len.=6). Nation: E = England, W = Wales, S = Scotland
anc_cnty Text string (max.len.=29). Name of ancient county, as originally listed in the report (these are often abbreviated, e.g. 'BERKS').
anc_dist Text string (max.len.=104). Name of hundred or similar unit. In most cases this will be identical to the value in dist_unit, but in some counties two levels of district appear. In some rare cases, such as the Isle of Ely within Cambridgeshire, the names of hundreds do not appear at all and have had to be inserted by looking up parish names in pargaz. The aim, however, is that this column will always identify a Hundred, Borough etc as defined by Youngs. However, the name used will be that appearing in the census report, not that used by Youngs, unless no hundred name at all appears in the census.
anc_type Text string (max.len.=34). Type of the unit named in anc_dist, usually as listed in the table. If anc_dist is simply a copy of dist_unit, this column will usually simply hold a copy of dist_type. However, units listed as 'Towns' have their type re-set here to 'Borough'.
sup_dist Text string (max.len.=104). This will generally be the name of a Hundred or other Ancient District, but there are many exceptions. More specifically this column, possible in combination with the value in anc_dist, identifies the unit for which the original census table includes a sub-total. This is sometimes a higher-level unit than our Ancient Districts, as in Hampshire where it lists 'Divisions', and sometimes lower, as in Middlesex where this column is used to identify the sub-divisions of Ossulstone Hundred.
sup_type Text string (max.len.=34). The type of the unit named in sup_dist. NB many units which were actually Boroughs are listed here as 'Town'.
anc_par Text string (max.len.=84). By default, this column holds a copy of whatever is held in par_name, but we have manually added truncated versions or different names altogether where the unit named in par_name is only part of a parish. NB this is not used to handle variant forms of parish names, where as usual our method is to add the variant name to the core gazetteer.
par_name Text string (max.len.=84). Name of parish-level unit.
part_of Text string (max.len.=28). Contains any text indicating that the row covers only part of the unit named in 'par_name'.
par_type Text string (max.len.=28). Type of parish-level unit, transcribed as it appears in the original table rather than using a code.
house_in Integer number. Number of inhabited houses
house_fam Integer number. By how many families occupied.
house_un Integer number. Number of uninhabited houses.
ma_1801 Integer number. Total males.
fe_1801 Integer number. Total females.
oc_agric Integer number. Number of persons chiefly employed in agriculture.
oc_trade Integer number. Number of persons chiefly employed in trade, manufacturers or handicraft.
oc_other Integer number. Number of persons not comprised in the other two occupational groups.
pop_1801 Integer number. Total population.
derived_flag Text string (max.len.=6). Includes 'D' for rows which either do not appear in the original report at all or whose values are different from the original. The notes column will contain an explanation.
notes Text string (max.len.=2004). The original table includes only a small number of footnotes, which we try to include here. [Additional comments are included to indicate the alterations we have made to make the table not only loadable but linkable to the core gazetteer.]
nat_unit Integer number. Unique ID number for container unit, a country; England, Wales, Scotland or Great Britain.
cnty_unit Integer number. Unique ID number for container unit, a county.
anc_dist_unit Integer number. Unique ID number for container unit, an ancient district (mainly null in Scotland).
sup_dist_unit Integer number. Unique ID number for container unit, a supplementary ancient district (mainly null in Scotland).
g_unit Integer number. Unique ID number for unit
rec_num Integer number. Unique number identifying row in table.

Additional Notes:

These data were gathered by asking the following questions, usually of parish priests:

  1. How many inhabited houses are there in your parish, township, or place; by how many families are they occupied; and, how many houses therein are uninhabited?
  2. How many persons (including children of whatever age) are there actually found within the limits of your parish, township or place at the time of taking this account, distinguishing males and females, and exclusive of men actually serving in His Majesty's regular forces or militia, and exclusive of seamen either in His Majesty's service or belonging to registered vessels?
  3. What number of persons, in your parish, township or place, are chiefly employed in agriculture; how many in trade, manufactures, or handicraft; and how many are not comprised in any of the preceding classes?
  4. What was the number of baptisms and burials in your parish, township or place in each of the several years 1700, 1710, 1720, 1730, 1740, 1750, 1760, 1770, 1780 and each subsequent year, to the 31st day of December 1800, distinguishing males from females?
  5. What has been the number of marriages in your parish, township or place in each year, from the year 1754 inclusive to the end of the year 1800?
  6. Are there any matters which you think it necessary to remark in explanation of your answers to any of the preceding questions?