The Census of Ringmer
|There have been attempts to count and record the population of England ever since the Domesday Book and probably even before then. Those in authority have wanted this information for many purposes, such as taxation, raising armies and recording land use. In the early days there was no attempt to cover the entire country, and the results were somewhat sketchy. In the eighteenth century there was a great political debate as to whether the population was rising or falling and whether or not the agricultural workers were able to produce enough food for everyone. This brought about the census as we understand it today.
With the exception of 1941, the census has been taken every ten years since 1801. Collecting information for the early censuses was the responsibility of the clergy and the overseers of the poor. The clergy were involved as there were originally questions relating to baptisms, marriages and burials.
|So, Mr. Smith, let's summarise shall we... You are 50, your wife is 48. You live here with 10 of your children, ranging in age from 24 to 6 months. You have 3 grandchildren aged 5 years to 3 weeks.... and your widowed mother still insists that she is only 31!||The first census to record names was taken on Sunday 6 June in 1841. This is the first census on the Ringmer website. Current plans are to display the indices for 1841, 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891 and 1901. Please be patient - enumerators handwriting can be difficult to read, making indexing slow and laborious.|
I would like to record here my thanks to those who have devoted much time to make these indexes available to us. You will find the individual censuses attributed to the person who transcribed them.