Family History Federation

Sidbury Census – 1829

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. The census for this parish is unusual in that it was taken in 1829 and so does not tie in with any of the national censuses. It was compiled between August and November 1829 with later revisions in May 1830 and undated annotations made during the 1830s. The census was written in a small leather-bound notebook, fastened with a metal clasp. A draft version was first written in the book in pencil and then later written up in ink. To avoid a duplication of names, the pencil draft is not covered by this index. The names are arranged by family, in alphabetical order of surname. Servants are not entered with the household they served, but as individuals, by surname. All the members of the family are listed, the head first and then his, or her, children. A capital ‘D’ is written in the margin next to the families of dissenters (who attended Sidbury Independent Chapel). The abode of the family is given next, but this is often quite vague, being just a farm name or ‘Sidbury’. Next is a column for ages, followed by the trade of the head of the household and then the last column ‘State’ meaning married, widowed, bachelor or spinster. The ages of the members of the family are usually given as a full year although there are some half years, and the age of babies is given in weeks or months. Although the census was taken over a period of three to four months, the ages are calculated from about 1st November. Children born in the few months after this date were added to the census in May 1830. The final column for ‘State’ is the one which has the most annotations. There are later notes to say ‘died’, or ‘married again’, or, more useful still, ‘gone to America’. These notes are not dated, but give a clue as to what happened to an individual or a family.


SKU : D053

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