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Warwickshire in the 1881 Census

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

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Warwickshire in 1881

During the 19th century, the coalfields in the north part of Warwickshire greatly contributed to transforming the county into one of the most prominent of the industrial counties and helped propel cities like Birmingham and Coventry into leading industrial towns.

Spurred on by the advances of industry, Warwickshire also developed an important transport grid, becoming the hub for the national canal system as well as building a dense railway network.

As with many other rapidly growing industrial counties, Warwickshire grappled with overcrowding and slum-like living conditions of the poor who flocked to the cities to make their living. In the latter half of the 19th century, the city of Birmingham invested heavily in improvement schemes, which transformed the lives of many, as the city gained access to clean water and gas.

Birmingham was known as "The City of a Thousand Trades", thanks to the myriad trades practised in the city and became the fastest growing city in the 19th century and major destination in its own right. A famous resident during the census year was Sherlock Holmes author Arthur Conan Doyle, though he was registered in Scotland on the actual day of the census.

Warwickshire became the home of rugby, as the game developed during the 19th century in public schools in the town of Rugby.

The city of Coventry would eventually become famous for car manufacturing, and it all kicked off in the late 19th century when John Kemp Starley invented the Rover Safety Cycle in 1885, just four years after the census. Coventry would quickly move to develop the largest bicycle industry in the world.

Find your Warwickshire Past

Whether you are searching for your ancestors or researching local history, Find My Past 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 hundreds of thousands of Victorian Warwickshire ancestors is just a click away.

For example, if you have a relative with the surname Smith who you know lived in the county, just enter Smith in the "Last name" field and Warwickshire in the "County" field and you’ll get these search results .

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.

Notable Names

If your ancestors lived in the famous spa town Leamington Spa, they might have lived in close proximity of the child who would one day grow up to be labelled "the wickedest man alive," the occultistAleister Crowley .At the time of the census however, he was just 5 years old and known as Edward Crowley.

Perhaps your ancestors had heard of or lived close to Gloucester Street in Coventry, where the inventor John Kemp Starley lived with his wife and three infant sons.

The writer Rose Macauley was to be born in Rugby 4 months after the 1881 census. Perhaps the presence of a nurse servant in her Parents household gives witness to preparations for her birth?

Rugby was also the birthplace of Sir Joseph Norman Lockyer ,scientist and founder of Nature journal, though by the time of the 1881 census, he was residing in London.

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 729,872 Warwickshire inhabitants waiting for you in the 1881 Census, so why not discover the people in your family who made an unforgettable impact? Happy searching!

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