Level 3 Genealogy Centre The Mitchell Library North Street Glasgow G3 7DN
0141 287 8364

Census Returns

Census Returns

Census Returns

While the statistical information from a census may be published at the time, personal information may not be published for 100 years.

You can access the vast resource of Scotland’s historic census, identify and connect with your ancestors, and discover details of their lives and times.
The census records information on the country's population and has been taken every ten years since 1801, with the exception of 1941. The returns most useful to the family historian are those from 1841 onwards and are available for research up to 1911 (from 5 April).


The census is essentially a snapshot of the people in a household on a given night and as such can provide details of a particular family and anyone else who happens to be in the house at the time, for example, servants or visitors. The information changes across the years, but typically includes the name, relationship to head of household, marital status, age, and place of birth. The 1911 census includes duration of married women’s marriage, the number of children born alive, and number of children still living.

You can access the official digital indexes and images of census records,

1841-1901, with 1911 expected shortly after its publication, for the whole of Scotland in the Registrars  Genealogy Centre, Level 3.

There are microfilm copies of the census returns, 1841-1901, for parts of Scotland, with indexes, mainly by address, in various formats in the Family History Centre on Level 3.


Our census returns leaflet provides further information on the records we hold in the Family History Centre.


Library users can access transcripts of census records for Scotland 1841-1901, on Ancestry Library Edition.





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