The history of Clophill, Bedfordshire, UK
Including historical descriptions, maps and statistical analysis.
Every ten years a census is taken. The first was in 1801 and the next one will be in 2021. The details are not released for 100 years so we can only view those up until 1911. The 1841 census was the first detailed census, the previous ones being little more than head counts.
The country was divided into districts. The parish of Clophill was made up of two districts. An enumerator was assigned to each district. They had to deliver a schedule (a form) to each house before the census date. This was to be filled in by the head of the household showing all people who slept there on the night of the census. After the census day the enumerator collected the schedules and copied the details into a book.
The enumerator's books are available for the 1841 to 1901 censuses but the original schedules where destroyed. For the 1911 census, it is the schedules that have survived.
All the available censuses have been transcribed. They can be searched.
After 1871 the total population fell, probably due to migration to the towns and cities by people seeking work.
In the 1871 census, out of a total female population of 655, there were 264 Straw Plaiters.
In the 1851 census, out of a total male population of 560, there were 238 Agricultural Labourers.
Children started by being 'At home' then they became 'Scholars'. But soon they were put to work as 'Straw Plaiters'.
George and Elizabeth were the most popular given names.
Roberts was the most numerous surname followed by Bottoms, Webb and Gudgin.