Index Coverage in Maps
The transcribing and indexing of the Victorian census returns for the county of Kent (England) has until recently been a piecemeal affair, tackled over many years by a number of societies and individuals. This effort has been supplemented in the last year or two with the creation of county-wide on-line indexes for most census years. However, these are usually less accurate, so the original indexes will continue to have value into the future.
These pages show by means of maps the known transcripts and surname indexes to Kent census material, whether on-line or microfiche/booklets. The arrangement is by Registration District, the main reporting unit used on the censuses from 1851. The 1841 census is shown on the same basis for the purposes of comparison, even though its figures were originally aggregated by Hundred rather than Registration District.
A few indexes of minor importance are omitted, e.g. those covering only a small area such as one rural parish.
Kent is defined on these pages as the ancient county, i.e. prior to the formation of the county of London in 1889. It therefore includes the Registration Districts of Greenwich and Lewisham, and also that of Woolwich which was created from them in 1868.
Kent censuses for all the years 1851-1901 are now available for searching on-line. These are part of national transcribing projects that are either complete or on-going. 1881 was transcribed during 1988-96 by family historians, mainly in the UK. It was published by the Church of Latter-day Saints, initially by county on microfiche, then (1999) on CD-Rom. The other census years have largely been transcribed in the Indian sub-continent and China, and are of variable quality. Most of the on-line search sites include page images. See the links at top left for details.
These have generally been compiled locally by family history societies in Kent, or individual indexers, or the staff of Kent libraries & record offices. Though each covering a smaller area they're usually more accurate. Availablility is either CD-Rom, microfiche, postal/email look-up service, or a library card index.
Use the links (lower left) to view the current state of this transcription effort. Each of these pages is divided into a series of maps, one for each index compiler.
For more information see also the booklet by David Wright, The Kentish Census Returns 1801-1901: Origins, Location, Registration Districts and Indexes (2003) ISBN 0 9517580 2 0
Images on Cd-Rom
You can also purchase images on CD-Rom or DVD-Rom (mostly no name indexes) for most census years, e.g. from S&N Genealogy Supplies.
Detailed maps of specific areas
For a comparison table of population figures for each Registration District 1841-1901, see Population Table.
Please direct comments, questions or corrections to the compiler Steve Archer.
Website launched April 2005, updated to March 2006