Graylings in the British Census 1841-1911

There are 1,260 references to people with the surname “Grayling” in the UK censuses between 1841 and 1911 referring to 573 individual people in 478 different households.

Overall both the number of people and the number of households recorded increased during the period.  The number of people increased by 96% and the number of households by 86%.  The average number of Graylings per household increased by 5%.

Households People P per H
1841 42 111 2.6
1851 43 118 2.7
1861 55 133 2.4
1871 62 153 2.5
1881 69 183 2.7
1891 60 156 2.6
1901 69 189 2.7
1911 78 217 2.8

It should be noted that the number of people per household shown above only refers to Graylings – i.e. if there are people with other surnames living in the household, they are not included.

Grayling household size

The largest percentage of household size is 1 person.  These include people staying in boarding houses and people living as servants in larger households.  These also include individual visitors to non-Grayling households.  In 1841 this accounted for just 36% of households but in 1851 this was over 50%.  The percentage of single person households reported declines over the decades and in 1911 it has dropped back down to 35%.

Grayling residence counties

The census records show a similar picture to the birth records when it comes to residence.  The number of households with at least one Grayling member in the key counties is shown above.  There is a significant increase in the number of Grayling households in the London/Middlesex area over the years of the census and another increase in the number of households in other countries.  The largest number of households in the 1911 census outside the four key counties can be found in Suffolk (5), Warwickshire (3), Surrey and Lancashire (2 each).

Grayling age in census

The percentage of people by age can be seen in the above graph.  The percentage of people aged 65+ increases throughout the census period from 2-9%.  The number under 15 hovers between 27% (1891) and 39% (1911).

To analyse occupations from the census is less easy because of erratic and inconsistent recording.  In total there are 593 people with recorded occupations that I have attempted to group in a logical manner.  The most common occupations recorded for Grayling are:

  • Agricultural labourers, farm workers etc – 103 references in all censuses
  • Other labourers (bricklayers, stevedores, painters, builders etc) – 96 references in all censuses
  • Servants (including housekeepers, maids, charwomen etc) – 83 references in all censuses
  • Of independent means (including annuitants, land owners etc) – 40 references in all censuses
  • Food and drink (bakers, beer housekeepers etc) – 38 references in all
  • Clothes making (tailoring, needlework, shoemaker etc) – 30 references in all.

There is some change over the time period.  Agricultural labourers are by far the most common occupations listed in 1841, 51 and 61 at 44%, 34% and 31% respectively.  However, in 1871, the proportion of people dropped to 10% and it remained between 8 and 12% for the rest of the census period, dropping to the 3rd or 4th most common occupation for Graylings.  Other labourers increased from 4% in 1841 to a high of 31% in 1901.

Many names are repeated in the Grayling family.  The data below comes from the 573 individual people who each appear at least once in the census.

Female names:

  • 12% of all Grayling women in the census are called Eliza or Elizabeth
  • 11% are called Mary, Maria or Marie
  • 5% are called Ann(e)
  • 5% are called Emma or Emily
  • 5% are called Ellen
  • 5% are called Sarah
  • 5% are called Alice or Alison

Male names:

  • 15% of all Grayling men in the census are called William
  • 13% are called John or Jonathan
  • 11% are called Thomas
  • 9% are called James
  • 7% are called George
  • 6% are called Joseph
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