National Census Records

The first official census of England and Wales took place in March 1801 and a national census has taken place every ten years since then with the exception of 1941. However It was not until 1841 that the names and other information about every member of the household was retained. The county was divided into Enumeration Districts and the census forms were distributed to each household by the designated enumerator. The head of the household was responsible for completing the form. The enumerator collected the forms and the details were entered into a printed book.

It is likely that there would been some people in the parish who were unable to read or write In these circumstances another member of the household, the enumerator or some other responsible person probably completed the forms for them. The obvious point to bear in mind is that the spelling of some recorded names may well have been based on how the words were pronounced. It also seems likely that some people did not know exactly how old they were or may have been unsure of where they were born. Studies of the national census have revealed that some people gave false information about themselves and other persons in the household for a variety of reasons.

The census was designed to capture the details of persons who were present in the household at midnight on the specified date of the census. Members of the household who were not present, for example staying with relatives, were not included. These persons should of course appear on the census return for the household where they spent that night.

The census forms were destroyed after the details had been entered into to the printed books. Copies of these printed books have been made available to the public for research purposes in various formats. They are available to view free of charge at the National Archives (Public Record Office) and at the Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Archive Service. The census returns are also available via pay per view web sites and available for purchase in CD format from organisations that advertise in family history magazines and web sites.

The most common purpose for searching the census returns is of course to trace people and where they were on the night of the census. The records provide a list of the persons who were present in the household. To get the best out of the census it is worth taking a look at how the original census records were organised. The census records are not indexed by the name of the persons or their address. Instead a three part reference is used to describe the records as follows, Public Record Office Classification + Piece Number + Folio Number.

The PRO classification identifies the year of the census. The Piece Number identifies a collection of enumerators books that relate to a specific district. The Folio Number identifies a sheet in a specific enumerators book. Each sheet comprises of two pages. Although this indexing system was adequate for the intended purpose of the census it only provides a starting point in the records for people who are tracing their family tree.

If for example you were searching the 1841 census for Adam Walters and his family using the micro-film records you would have to work your way from the beginning of the film, viewing each entry until you found them.

The subscription based web sites provide a range of search options. They can save researchers a lot of time but in my experience they do not always provide an instant solution. The accuracy of the records in the database is of course dependant on how the original handwriting has been transcribed. I have found some errors in the spelling of names, occupations and places. For example I have found the family name Coyney transcribed as Cogney and also as Copley. One gentleman of leisure listed his occupation as a `Backer Of Horses` but this has been transcribed as a `Baker of Houses.` The web sites can be a great resource but you do have to be aware of the potential for transcription errors.

The Census of 1831

The census carried out in 1831, like the censuses that preceded it, was designed to obtain a range of statistical information about the population and the personal details of individuals were not retained. This data has been kindly supplied by David Alan Gatley.



Caverswall Village and parts of the Parish

Weston Coyney and Hulme


Inhabited houses.




Number of families.




Houses under construction.




Uninhabited houses.




Families mainly employed and maintained by agriculture.




Families mainly employed in trade, manufacture or handicraft.




Families not employed in the two preceding classes.




Number of males.




Number of females.




Total Population.




Males aged 20 and over.




Male occupiers aged 20 and over engaged in agriculture and employing




Male occupiers aged 20 and over engaged in agriculture and not
employing others.




Males aged 20 and over employed in agriculture.




Males aged 20 and over employed in manufacture.




Males aged 20 and over employed in retail trade or in handicraft.




Males aged 20 and over who were wholesale merchants, bankers,
capitalists, professional persons, artists, architects, teachers,
clerks, surveyors and other educated men.




Males aged 20 and over employed as miners, fishermen, boatmen,
excavators of canals, roadmakers, toll collectors or labourers of any
bodily kind, excepting in agriculture.




Males aged 20 and over (excluding taxable servants) not included in
any of the foregoing classes. Including, retired tradesmen,
superannuated labourers, and males diseased or disabled in body or mind.




Males aged 20 and over employed as servants who were taxed or taxable
as such including waiters and attendants at inns.




Male servants under 20 years of age.




Female servants of any age.




The references and location details for the 1841 and the 1851 census are provided below.

The Census of 1841

This census was taken on the 6th of June.  The National Archive Census Reference is : HO107/1003/ Book 10 and 11. National Archive Description is : PARISH Caverswall, TOWNSHIP Weston Coyney and Hulme, HAMLET Adderley Green, Wherrington, Cellar-Head (part).
The census records are contained in two books, book number 10 and book number 11 and subdivided into districts.

  • Book 10, District 5 – `South end of the Township of Caverswall which lies to the east of the road from Caverswall to Mear Lane.` Cookshill, Cookshill Mill, Vicarage, School, Caverswall, Caverswall Park, Mear Lane.
  • Book 10, District 6 – `North end of the Township of Caverswall which lies to the north of the Turnpike Road from Caverswall to Lane End and to the east of the Turnpike Road from Leek to Sandon.` Cookshill Green, Cookshill Hall, Holehouse, Caverswall, Bank House, Intakes, Cockin, Eden Cottage, Hardiwick, Tickill End, Sheepwash, Roughcote.
  • Book 10, District 8 – Caverswall Castle, Fingerpost House.
  • Book 11, District 6 – Part of the Township of Weston Coyney and Hulme, New Barn, Moorville, Windy Cote, Coyney`s Grove, Over Moor, Fox Earth, Gravel Pit, Butt Fields, Cat Gut Lodge, Leek Road, Hermitage, Malthouse, Blythe.
  • Book 11, District 7 – `North west part of Weston Coyney in the Parish of Caverswall and Hulme which lies to the west of the Turnpike Road from Leek to Sandon.` Hulme Dale, Hulme, Werrington, Weston Coyney, Bolton Gate.
  • Book 11, District 8 – `South west part of the Township of Weston Coyney and Hulme which lies to the north and south of the Turnpike Road from Caverswall to Hanley`. Old Toll Gate House, Mear, Waterloo Farm, Long Doles, Millfield Gate, Mear Heath, Cinder Hill, Adderley Cottage, Adderley House, Adderley, Moss Fields, Divydale Lane, Adderley Green, Park Hall Farm, Park Hall, Wood House Farm, Park Head Cottage, Park Head, Weston Coyney Hall, Weston Coyney.

The Census of 1851

This census was taken on the 30th of March.  The National Archive Census Reference is : HO107/2009/ National Archive Description is : Parish Caverswall, Hamlet Caverswall, Hamlet Weston Coyney with Hulme, Adderley Green and Werrington. The Parish was divided into four Enumeration Districts.

  • William Marson Senior`s District – East of the Turnpike Road from Mear to Weston Coyney Toll Gate and to the south of the road from Weston Coyney to Caverswall. Including the village of Caverswall, Mear Lane, Cookshill and Caverswall Park.
  • William Bradbury`s District – North of the road leading from Weston Coyney Toll Gate to Caverswall and to the east of the Turnpike Road from Weston Coyney to Cellar Head. Including Roughcote, Caverswall Common, part of Weston Coyney, Cellar Head, Sheepwash, Captains Barn, Coyneys Grove and Windicote.
  • James Bradbury`s District – West of the Turn Pike Road from Weston Coyney Toll Gate to Cellar Head and to the north of the road leading from the said Toll Gate to Adderley Green Toll Gate and thence to the junction of the Turn Pike Road leading from Wherrington to Hanley. Including Malthouse Mill, Foxearth, Werrington, Hulme, Hulme Dale, Bark House and High Coppice.
  • William Marson Junior`s District – South of the last district and to the west of the Turn Pike Road leading from thence to Weston Coyney Toll Gate. Including part of Mear, Park Hall, Adderley Lane, Dividy Lane, Cinderhill, Mossfields, Brook Lane and Millfield Gate.

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