It has long been an article of faith that the census of 1841 was the first British census to list the names of individuals. This myth, as most of us know, has been exploded recently in a number of important publications but perhaps nowhere as comprehensively as in this cameo publication by Colin Chapman. In nearly 90 pages of text, accompanied by unique notes and references to original documents, Mr. Chapman describes hundreds of pre-1841 name lists (censuses, poll lists, national surveys, tax lists, parish enumerations, etc.), explaining most of them, as far as possible, in their historical framework. He has interwoven simple enumerations of people, even surveys and numbers of houses, with detailed listings which furnish names, ages, addresses, occupations, religious affiliations, and more. Local unique lists are jumbled among national surveys, military with civilian, ecclesiastical with civil.
As logic would dictate, the work follows a chronological pattern, and for this edition, the author has appended, in Appendix I, a county-by-county breakdown of the various censuses containing individuals’ names with the dates of those censuses; and for completeness, in Appendix II, he has added a list of decennial censuses containing names of individuals from 1801 to 1831.
This edition, completely rewritten, incorporates over 200 additional listings for Ireland, making it a unique chronological account of censuses and enumerations in the British Isles from 1086 to 1841.