population

Before the first national census in 1841 it is very difficult to compile a comprehensive list of the inhabitants of any neighbourhood.  There were numerous lists (usually only of men) compiled for a variety of civic duties and the best one can do is combine the names appearing on these lists.  Another major resource is the wills made by quite a large proportion of the population.  The Hearth Tax Returns (1664) an early property tax, and wills, were the two most useful sources for preparing the research paper Who lived in Churt in the 1600s’. 

Similarly, for this document ‘Who lived in Churt in the 1700s there are a number of sources of names for the later part of this period, which reflect the general rise in bureaucracy.  These include the lists prepared for the parish rates, distribution to the parish poor (Smith’s Charity) and the national Land Tax Returns.

Using every conceivable source after 1841 this spreadsheet hopes to list every inhabitant and where they lived in the period 1841 to 1921.  The sources are all written in the document.

The spreadsheet finishes at 1921 because this is the latest census that is open to public scrutiny.  Censuses of the population are taken every ten years.  They remain sealed for 100 years.  The 1921 census will be open to public scrutiny in 2022.  This will enable us to see the names of men and women who returned from the 1914-18 war.

Information about the population in the modern era can be obtained from the Electoral Registers and Trade Directories.  The Electoral Registers for Surrey have been digitised and are available on-line on the Ancestry website.  Trade Directories such as Kelly’s and the Post Office Directory often included a comprehensive list of the inhabitants of even very small villages and the Farnham Directory dated 1947 has a long list of Churt inhabitants.

There is another invaluable source – the ‘1939 Register’ was prepared in 1939 in order to issue ration books to the population in war time.  It is available on-line.

There are another two sources unique to Churt.  In 1882 or 1883 a new vicar walked right around his parish and made a note of all the houses in Churt and the people who lived in them.  We are so fortunate that it was written just then – just before a period of major house building in Churt.  Although there had been some development along the Tilford Road this record shows, for the most part, those habitations which have been here for centuries – although, in some cases, we may not be looking at the original houses.  The list mentions 125 dwellings, most of which still exist. Read more.

And in 1908, Will Croucher, one of the villagers, compiled his own list of inhabitants of Churt.