2nd April 1871
When the 1871 census was taken on the night of 2 April 1871 the total population was recorded as 26,072,036. For the first time, the General Register Office (GRO) attempted to take a census across all the dependencies and colonies in the British Empire. The results found that there were over 234 million people in the whole of the British Empire.
As well as the information about people, in 1871 the census may have recorded extra information about the property in which the people was living.
The original forms would have been given to each household several days before the 2nd April date, and the head of household would have been asked to fill in the details for anyone who would have been residing at that address on the census date. Illiteracy was still very high in 1871, and anyone unable to read or write would have made use of an enumerator - a literate person collecting the census forms - to help fill in the details. Because of this, however, many mistakes that were made, such as the spelling of names. Also, many people were often economical with the truth, especially when it came to their ages.
The surnames from the Census are:
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