In addition to these official censuses, there were three other detailed counts of
Preston people - in 1801,1821 and a religious census in 1886. However, the 1801 and
1820 censuses only list those living in the part of Preston which was in the parish
of Hitchin. Nevertheless, these made up the majority of the village.
1801 and 1821
Both of the censuses are handwritten drafts, but are competent and accurate.
They not only listed the family heads and their occupations but also included the
numbers of males and females in the household. Later censuses showed that some Preston
households included aged parents and in-laws. Therefore, by analyzing births, deaths
and marriages in a family, it is possible to establish with a degree of certainty
who comprised the males and females counted. Therefore, I have included with the
censuses, details of births, marriages and deaths and my rough working notes which
may be useful in re-creating households.
To the 1801 census details, I have added the Poor Law Rate listing for Preston (Hitchin
parish) in 1799 which includes other people who were living in Preston at the start
of the nineteenth century and who contributed to the Poor Law funds.
Of interest is not only is the division of the village into ‘Church’, ‘Baptist’ and
non-religious families, but there are also additional (and occasionally extraordinary)
notes about some families. The location of some families in the village in 1886 can
be pinpointed by details in this census.
Sources: Hitchin Poor Law Rates 1799,1801, Hitchin 1821 census; Preston religious
census 1886 - all by kind permission of Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies
(Ref - 67579-81; DP 53/18/7; DP 53/3/9)