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BerksFHS 1871 Census
Census Project Progress

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 Berkshire 1871 Census Project

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Berkshire 1871 Census Transcription Project


Phil Wood, 2002

(to join in, send me an email -)


  • First transcription passes thse half way mark!
  • Cookham Reg. Dist. "sold out" - all allocated to transcribers, the seventh of the twelve RDs. to be fully allocated. Very little remains for the Windsor RD.
  • First returns from North Berks as a number of parishes from Faringdon and Wantage RDs. are transcribed.  

REMINDER: Sample Data from our work will form a dataset in the forthcoming Family History Online website trials (Berks FHS members, Cornwall FHS members & Berks 1871 transcribers only).

A big thank you to Oxfordshire FHS who have made their name index for North Berkshire (in Oxfordshire since 1974) available to this project.

Progress can be measured in many ways, the graphical approach used below gives a fair indication of how far we have gone - and how much further there is to go!

Despite appearances the colour key for this chart has six colours!

  Ready for allocation
  First transcription complete
  Part allocated / transcribed - more still available

Turquoise shows areas available for allocation, yellow then shows that the area has been allocated to a transcriber and green indicates that first transcription is complete.  Later red will show the area has been checked and blue that it has been validated and is ready for publication.  The dubious orange colour indicates large parishes where major allocations and/or transcriptions have been achieved but parts remain available for allocation. 

The index will encompass Berkshire 1871, not parishes or areas that have been added since (e.g. Caversham, Slough) or those removed earlier (e.g. Little Faringdon, Shilton). 


Population of Berkshire in 1871 - 196,475 (source Census 2001 leaflet)

The chart above does not show everything.  In the chart Reading St Mary's and Reading St Giles can be seen in yellow - far from completed.  However transcriptions from these parishes make up a significant proportion of the returns to date!  As these parishes are so large (around 15,000 people in each) it takes a long time to complete them.

Other parishes appear on the chart as large expanses but only have a few hundred inhabitants - expect to see some of these change to green more rapidly.

Another way to measure progress is to consider the task in terms of census pages:

  • A total of 8766 data pages make up the Census returns identified to date.

  • Of these 4598 have been transcribed (52.5%), a further 2198 are with transcribers leaving 1966 still available for any volunteers!

Still plenty to do!

And then we have to check it all!


Finally I show the progress using the table format beloved of other Census projects. The use of the word Partial in the allocated/transcribed columns indicates that one or more of the Enumeration Districts in that Piece has been allocated/transcribed.

Registration District Sub District Piece Allocated Transcribed Checked Validated
Newbury Thatcham  1247 Yes Yes    
Newbury Thatcham 1248 Yes Yes    
Newbury Newbury 1249 Yes Yes    
Newbury Newbury 1250 Yes Yes    
Newbury Speen 1251 Yes Yes    
Newbury Speen 1252 Yes Yes    
Hungerford Kintbury 1253 Yes Yes    
Hungerford Hungerford 1255 Yes Yes    
Hungerford Lambourn 1256 Yes Yes    
Faringdon Shrivenham 1257 Yes Partial    
Faringdon Faringdon 1258 Partial Partial    
Faringdon Buckland 1259        
Faringdon Buckland 1260        
Abingdon Fyfield 1261        
Abingdon Abingdon 1262        
Abingdon Abingdon 1263        
Abingdon Cumnor 1264        
Abingdon Sutton Courtney 1266        
Wantage Wantage 1267        
Wantage Wantage 1268 Partial      
Wantage Ilsley 1269 Yes Partial    
Wantage Ilsley 1270 Partial Partial    
Wantage Hendred 1271


Wallingford Cholsey 1272 Partial      
Wallingford Wallingford 1274        
Bradfield Bucklebury 1275 Yes Partial    
Bradfield Mortimer 1276 Yes Partial    
Bradfield Tilehurst 1277 Yes Partial    
Reading St Mary's 1278 Yes Partial    
Reading St Mary's 1279 Yes Partial    
Reading St Mary's 1280 Yes Yes    
Reading St Lawrence 1281 Yes Yes    
Reading St Giles 1282 Yes Yes    
Reading St Giles 1283 Yes Yes    
Reading St Giles 1284 Yes Partial    
Wokingham Wokingham 1285 Yes Partial    
Wokingham Wokingham 1286 Yes Yes    
Wokingham Wokingham 1287 Yes Partial    
Wokingham Wargrave 1288 Yes Yes    
Wokingham Wargrave 1289 Yes      
Cookham Bray 1290 Yes Partial    
Cookham Bray 1291 Yes Yes    
Cookham Cookham 1292 Yes      
Cookham Bisham & Hurley 1293 Yes Yes    
Easthampstead Bracknell 1294 Yes Yes    
Easthampstead Bracknell 1295 Yes Partial    
Easthampstead Sandhurst 1296 Yes      
Windsor Egham 1298 Yes Partial    
Windsor Windsor 1299 Yes Partial    
Windsor Windsor 1300 Partial      
Windsor Windsor 1301 Yes      
Windsor Windsor 1302 Yes Partial    

Small portions of Pieces 1236 (Basingstoke), 1425 (Henley) and 1437 (Oxford) are also in Berks, these are all allocated and partially transcribed.


The idea for a transcript of the various Censuses for my local town of Newbury struck me as a useful contribution I could make to the growing mountain of family history data available to the researcher. In November 2001 I received permission from the Berks FHS to use their well worn films to make a start on the 1871 returns.  

At the beginning it was purely a personal project for Newbury data, however, all my plans went awry when someone heard of my little project and asked if they could join in.  Before I knew it I had a County-wide project on my hands and the first few volunteers where beginning to send in data.  Early in 2002 the call went out for more help and a number of generous souls responded, since then more have been joining in as they hear of the project.  There are now over 20 volunteers working at home on the transcriptions.  Their homes are in five countries (six if we give in to Cornish calls for independence), the USA, Australia, Canada, Wales and even England.  The largest cluster reside in Berkshire, I guess this is no surprise, but almost as many reside in Ontario!

Transcribers work at their own rate doing as much as they can find the time or inclination to do, contributions vary from over 1000 down to 16 pages - all are most welcome.  Three transcribers have passed the 500 page mark and five more have done over 100 pages each. With such contributions progress has been excellent and completion of the first transcription can be envisaged by the end of 2002 (though vision and reality often fail to match).

A big thank you to all who have contributed.

A process for checking the transcriptions is being developed, access to better films will be of key importance - if anyone has ready access to such films through a local library or FHC and would like to be involved in the checking process - please get in touch.

And if you have had the interest to read this for - and you're not already involved, please get in touch and eMailfor details of how you could help us complete this project.

And for a few more words on the 1871 Census 

Phil Wood

Berkshire Family History Society  -  1871 Census Project Coordinator

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Please contactwith any queries
Phil Wood, 2002

updated 7th August 2002
amended 18th September 2002