The 1841 census is the earliest census generally used by family historians, the census is also known as the Census returns.
The Census is a series of questions asked of every household in England & Wales which allowed government to identify the necessary resources. Each of the households were then catalogued into regions – from County to District to Parish and then to Village and Street. Furthermore their Surnames and Forenames were recorded together with their Position within the household as well as their sex, occupation and place of birth.
All this information was recorded in a series of pages which again were categorised into forms which were bound into books called folios. Each folio was then subdivided into Pages.
As well as Households forms were distributed and collected by enumerators to every hospital, ship or institution including boarding schools.