Skip to content
  • Start free trial

Middlesex in the 1881 Census

Search for your ancestors in Middlesex in the 1881 Census and discover a detailed snapshot of their life at the time.

Search Middlesex in the 1881 Census

or try an advanced search

Middlesex in 1881

Bring the past to life with Find My Past’s historical records from the 1881 Census in Victorian Middlesex. Taken on 3rd April 1881, these historical records are your windows into life in Middlesex at a fascinating period in UK history.

The 1881 Middlesex Census collected the following information: full name, exact age, relationship to head of household, gender, occupation, parish and county of birth, medical disabilities.

By the end of the 19th century, the county of Middlesex had in large parts been encompassed by nearby London, but it wasn’t until 1889 that the County of London was created.

Middlesex at the time of the 1881 census was therefore a highly urbanized area, counting almost 3 million people. One of the smallest counties in Britain, it was also one of the most populous

As the mega-city of London continued to grow, many of it’s workers and other denizens increasingly decided to make the more suburban areas of Middlesex their homes, escaping the fumes and ill-health of inner-city London. During the latter part of the 19th century, several railway line developments meant that commuting into London became both faster and easier, adding to the allure of a suburban Middlesex life.

A little less than a month after the 1881 census, the Childers reform was issued, which merged the 57th West Middlesex Regiment and 77th East Middlesex Regiment to become the Middlesex Regiment (The Duke of Cambridge’s Own).

Find your Middlesex Past

Whether you are searching for your ancestors or researching local history, Findmypast has extensive records from the county in 1881 , so you can be sure to find the piece of the past that matters to you.

To search the census returns, simply input the information you have about your relatives into our search bar and hit search.

With options to search by name, location, birth place, birth year, location and so much more, filtering out the millions of people who called Middlesex home is as easy as clicking a button

For example, if you have a relative with the surname Smith who you know lived in Middlesex, just enter Smith in the “Last name” field and Middlesex in the “County” field to discover your ancestors in the 1881 Census. Bear in mind that many areas that are now the City of London, was part of Middlesex in 1881, so the record might state London, Middlesex.

Using the transcripts of the census provided, members can then inspect the original images of the census enumeration books, which will help validate findings and expand family trees.

Famous Names

While searching for your ancestors in the 1881 Middlesex Census, you may come across more than a few illustrious names, among them the cream of Victorian authors, inventors and statesmen.

Bram Stoker ,the author of “Dracula”, lived with his wife, son and brother on Cheyne Walk in Chelsea and is listed in the census as a theatrical manager.

His fellow Irishman Thomas Barnardo , the founder of the charity Barnardo’s Homes, lived in Hackney, towards the eastern borders of Middlesex county.

Search Tips

The original documents will have been given to your ancestors some time in advance before collection on April 3rd.

As illiteracy was still common, third party “enumerators” will have written on many people’s behalf, which could lead to some errors in the transcripts. This makes it of vital importance to check the original images.

Beware other inaccuracies such as wrong birth dates. Our search function allows a margin of error of two years, you can adjust this further if you wish.

There are 2,922,783 records of Victorian era Middlesex residents waiting for you in the 1881 Census, we wish you the best of luck in your search for the ones that have contributed to your family history!

Search Middlesex by surname