Scottish Census Enumerators' Books: Skye, Kilmarnock, Rothiemay and Torthorwald, 1861-1901

  • E. M. Garrett (Creator)
  • Andrew Blaikie (Creator)
  • A Reid (Creator)
  • R. Davies (Creator)



This project aimed to extend knowledge of late nineteenth century Scottish, and hence British, demography, by producing four parallel longitudinal data sets by linking individuals in the decennial censuses of 1861-1901 with the births, deaths and marriages from civil registers for the lowland town of Kilmarnock, the Hebridean Island of Skye, and the rural parishes of Torthorwald and Rothiemay, places with contrasting economic and social structures and physical environments. The resulting data source is rich in information relating to the social, occupational, household, and demographic characteristics of individuals, who can also be situated within their physical environment. The relatively large scale of the data-sets allows greater accuracy and detail in the multivariate analysis of mortality, fertility, nuptiality and migration. Special permission was granted by the General Register Office, Edinburgh, for access to the civil registers of births, marriages and deaths, and these have been linked to the census entries for the same individuals, allowing the creation of full or partial life histories. Linkage has been carried out using a sets of related individuals approach in a relational data-base system using computer algorithms and hand-finishing (see Reid, Davies and Garrett (2006) ''Nineteenth century Scottish demography from linked censuses and civil registers: a sets of related individuals approach'', History and Computing, 14(1+2), 2002 (publ. 2006), pp. 61-86).

The terms of our agreement with the General Register Office for Scotland do not allow us to deposit the births, marriages and deaths for archiving, which prevents deposit of the linked material. However we can deposit the census material annotated to include the years of birth, death and marriage of an individual (but no other details of these events). Two separate census deposits are being made. This is a version of the raw data, with no standardisation or enhancement apart from corrections or changes to ensure consistency, notes made by data entry personnel, and household and individual identifiers.

Main Topics:
The data consist of transcriptions of the census enumerators'' books for Skye, Kilmarnock, Rothiemay and Torthorwald, for the years 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891 and 1901. The following information on all individuals within all households on census night is provided: address (three fields); forename(s), surname(s); relationship to head of household; marital status; age; sex; occupation; other occupational information such as employment status, where available; county or birth, parish of birth; language; and number of rooms in the household. The data collection also contains details of where each individual appears in the census returns by giving the name of the registration district, the number of the enumeration district, the schedule number as indicated on the census enumerators'' books, and household and person identification codes created by the project. Some variables are not available for all years or places: see project documentation for more details.

1881 Census Records for Kilmarnock, Rothimay, and Torthorwald material: Copyright Genealogical Society of Utah and the University of Essex. All other Records: Copyright Alice Reid, Eilidh Garrett, Ros Davies and Andrew Blaikie, Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure, Department of Geography, Cambridge University
Date made available14 May 2007
PublisherUK Data Service
Temporal coverage1861 - 1901
Date of data production2001 - 2005
Geographical coverageScotland Regions: Inverness, Banff (county) Dumfrieshire Skye

Funder and Grant Reference number

  • Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
  • RES-000-23-0128
  • Other
  • British Academy
  • SG30087

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