The 1861 Census of England, Wales, Scotland, Channel Islands and Isle of Man was taken on the night of 7/8 April. The completed collection contains detailed information on each individual who spent the night in individual households including name, relationship to the head of the family, marital status, age at last birthday, gender, occupation, and birthplace. Additional information about the dwelling and property was also collected.
The Census forms were distributed to all households a couple of days before census night and the completed forms were collected the following day. All forms were meant to accurately reflect each individual's status as of 7/8 April 1861 & the household they spent the night in. People who were travelling or living abroad were recorded at the location where they spent the night. All of the details from the individual forms were later sorted and copied into The Census books, which are the original records you can view images of today.