Family History Federation

Doddiscombsleigh Census – 1811

This booklet was compiled by members of the Devon Family History Society in co-operation with the Devon Records Office. The booklet provides an extract of some information and further details may be obtained from the Devon Records Office. Family historians are skilled at using the census returns from 1841 to 1901 for their research, but many people do not realise that there some surviving earlier censuses which, although providing less information, can often be just as useful. This census for Doddiscombsleigh was taken by the enumerator in 1811. He wrote down the names of the inhabitants of the parish by household, beginning with the rector, Mr Thomas Hole. The names are not divided into males and females, but the totals for each are written in the margins. Ages are not given, nor relationships to the head of the household because neither was required for the census return. However, the enumerator has included place names, to specify where in the parish each family lived. It also means that it is possible to follow the enumerator’s route around the parish. He started at the rectory and then visited all the families to the north of the village, before going to the houses in the village itself. Finally he visited all the houses to the south of the village and finished at Spanish Lake close to the rectory where he started. All the entries are written in a little note book made from several pieces of paper folded in half and stitched along the fold. The heading on the first page and the rector’s name are written in the same hand, while the rest of the book is written by someone else, so it appears that the Rev. Hole designed the lay-out of the book but instructed a second person to fill it in. Population figures for this census and the later one of 1821 have been entered at the back of the book.


SKU : D052

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