A History of Preston

in Hertfordshire

                                                                       Censuses 1841-1901.


This web-site includes transcriptions of all the censuses from 1841-1901. There are also summaries of the information in each census. These may be accessed using the links below:


                                                                                Census 1841

                                                                                Census 1851

                                                                                Census 1861

                                                                                Census 1871

                                                                                Census 1881

                                                                                Census 1891

                                                                                Census 1901

                                                                                Census 1911


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 censuses


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.


This is a link to a transcription of the 1801 census: 1801 Preston census

This is a link to a transcription of the 1821 census: 1821 Preston census


                                                                       1886 religious census


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.


This is a link to a transcription of the 1886 census: 1886 Preston Religious Census







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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)

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