Highfield in the 1841 Census

The 1841 census for Highfield has been transcribed for this site.

Here are some interesting facts from it:

  • There were 268 residents listed; 117 male and 151 female.
  • The average age was 26.
  • There were 9 babies under the age of 1
  • There were 19 people aged 60 or over.
  • The oldest resident was Richard Elcock, aged 80 (born approx. 1761).
  • 212 residents were born in Hampshire. 
  • Of the 56 born outside Hampshire, 2 were specified as Ireland, 1 as Scotland and 1 as outside England.
  • There were 57 properties, although some properties housed more than one family unit. (11 properties on Back Lane and 46 in Highfield)
  • No properties in Highfield were named in this census.
  • The most common surnames were; Heath (20), Page (15), Rolfe (10), Bone (8), Chapman (8), Connor (8) and Willis (8).
  • The most common occupation was servant, (32 female servants and 13 male servants). Other common occupations listed were; labourer (18), independent means (14), gardener (6), laundress (4), widow (4), carpenter (3), maltster (3) and yeoman (3).

Some notes about the census transcript:

Please remember that this is my interpretation and you should double check entries if they are important to you. The handwriting can be difficult to interpret and subsequent markings disguise details. Enumerators (those visiting the homes to take the census) were often local people who were known to be educated (eg: teachers, solicitors, the clergy). This means that the handwritings and amount of information recorded do vary.

The first 11 properties from the transcript are on Back Lane (now part of Highfield – University Road and Church Lane), the rest were described as being in Highfield.
The properties are not numbered on the census document, but they are numbered here for ease of use only; to show who was sharing a home and how the properties were arranged. A new property is indicated on the census by a double line, a single line indicates a seperate unit within a property (maybe a family unit or a seperate home within a single property). I have used a “b” to show this.

In the 1841 census, age was not recorded accurately and generally only to within 5 years.

Most people at this time were illiterate and therefore the spellings of names was decided upon by the enumerator and where not known, approximated or written phonetically. This was especially difficult for those coming from outside the area as their accents may make the spellings vary even more. The spellings given in the transcript are as written in the census.

The Enumeration District description is given below:

England and Wales Enumerators Schedule
County of Southampton, Parish of South Stoneham (part of) Tything of Portswood
Superintendent Registrars District – South Stoneham
Registrars District – South Stoneham
No. Of Enumeration District – 1
Description of Ditto – Portswood

The tything of Portswood within the Parish of South Stoneham with in the liberties of the borough of Southampton sending two members to Parliament. Commencing at the Lake of water at the south side of James Weables Garden, Continuing to the West side of the River Itchen, thence
South West to the pont Rivio opposite to the centre arch of Northam Bridge, then West obliquely crossing the Road to Northam Farm to a certain ? ? on the west side of Rockstone Lane, then in a direct line across Rockstone field ? near the Hol House at Bevois Mount ? in a North Direction by a line of
? ? ? yard by a ? past standing