As the date of the 2021 census approaches, lets look at how Tavistock appeared in previous censuses. The FreeCEN website gives free access to 1841, 1861 and 1891 censuses of Tavistock. Commerical Directories from 1850 and 1870 can fill in some gaps. How would your life look to future historians, if they could only read a few lines every 10 years?

Four traces of past lives, 

  • Misses Myra and Ellen Kelly, Schoolmistresses.
  • Jonathan Blanchard, Bootmaker. 
  • Henry Rendle Perkin, Farmer.


Top Image: Tavistock Heritage Trust 

Photo JTHomas: 


Misses Myra and Ellen Kelly, Schoolmistresses

1841, Devon, Tavistock, 4 Bedford Place
KELLY, Honor, 50, Independent
KELLY, Philip, 30, Independent
KELLY, Myra, 25
KELLY, Ellen, 20
KELLY, Bertha, 15
DOWNING, Ann, 50, Female Servant 

White's Devonshire Directory 1850
Page 630 ACADEMIES. Kelly Misses, Bedford Place 

1861 Devon, Tavistock, 4 Bedford Place
KELLY, Honor, Head, 73, Day School, Plympton St Mary
KELLY, Myra, Dau 49, Pupil Teacher, Tavistock
KELLY, Ellen, Dau, 43, Pupil Teacher, Tavistock
HOLMES, Rachael, Servnt, 19, House Servant, Petertavy 

Morris and Co.'s Commercial Directory and Gazetteer. 1870
Kelly The Misses M. and E., seminary, 4, Bedford place 

1891 Devon, Plymouth Charles, Saint Matthias, 5 Alexander Place
KELLY, Myra, Head, 79, Retd Schoolmistress, Tavistock
KELLY, Ellen, Sister, 72, Retd Schoolmistress, Tavistock
DAVY, Clara, Servnt, 18, Gen Serv Dom, Gunnislake


Jonathan Blanchard, Bootmaker

1841 Devon, Tavistock, Brook Street
BLANCHARD, Joel, 54 Boot Maker
BLANCHARD, Jonathan, 24
BLANCHARD, Hannah, 22
BLANCHARD, Henry, 15
BLANCHARD, Alfred, 8
BLANCHARD, Richard, 3
DAWE, Fanny, 14 Female Servant
MATTHIAS, T.,28 Cl. 

White's Devonshire Directory 1850
Page 630. BOOT & SHOEMAKERS. Blanchard Jonth., Lower Market St 

1861 Devon, Tavistock, Russel St
BLANCHARD, Jonathan, Head, 45, Boot Maker, Tavistock
BLANCHARD, Mary A, Wife, 43, Bratton Clovelly
BLANCHARD, William, Son, 17, Painter Ap., Tavistock
BLANCHARD, Charles, Son, 12, Scholar, Tavistock
BLANCHARD, Arthur, Son, 8, Scholar, Tavistock 

Morris and Co.'s Commercial Directory and Gazetteer. 1870
Blanchard Jonathan, shoemaker, 3, Barley Market street 

1891 Devon, Tavistock, St Eustachius, Pepper Street
BLANCHARD, Jonathan, Head, 74, Bootmaker(Em'er), Tavistock
BLANCHARD, Charles B, Son, 41, Engine Fitter(Em'ee), Tavistock 


Henry Rendle Perkin, Farmer

1841 Devon, Tavistock, Gulworthy Farm
PERKIN, Robert, 30, Farmer
PERKIN, Mary, 20
PERKIN, Mary Ann, 2 weeks
RUNDLE, Mary, 60, Independent
TAYLOR, Dolly, 60, Nurse
PALMER, Jane, 20, Female Servant
RICH, Mary, 10, Female Servant
NAT, John, 15, Male Servant
WORTH, William, 15, Male Servant
DOWN, Thomas, 15, Male Servant
METTERS, William, 10, Male Servant 

White's Devonshire Directory 1850
Page 631 FARMERS. Perkin Robert, Gulworthy 

1861 Devon, Tavistock, St Paul's, Gulworthy
PERKIN, Robert, Head, 58, Farmer 500 Acres Empl 8 labs & 1 boy, Clawton
PERKIN, Mary W., Wife, 44, Farmer's Wife, Lamerton
PERKIN, Mary A. R., Dau, 19, Farmer's Daughter, Tavistock
PERKIN, Edward, Son, 18, Farmer's Son, Tavistock
PERKIN, Henry R., Son, 15, Scholar, Tavistock
PERKIN, John, Son, 12, Scholar, Tavistock
PERKIN, Jessie, Dau, 10, Scholar, Tavistock
PERKIN, Robert, Son, 4, Scholar, Tavistock
PERKIN, Thomas, Son, 5 months, Tavistock
WILLS, Mary G., Servnt, 18, Dairymaid, Virginstowe
HOCKAWAY, Mary A., Servnt, 15, Housemaid, Lifton
WEBBER, William, Servnt, 35, Carter, South Tawton
COLE, William, Servnt, 17, Carter, Tavistock
EDGCUMBE, William, Servnt, 14, Cowherd, Tavistock 

Morris and Co.'s Commercial Directory and Gazetteer. 1870
Perkin Robert, yeoman, Gulworthy 

1891 Devon (DEV), Tavistock, St Pauls, Galworthy Farm
PARKIN, Henry R., Head, 45, Farmer (Employer), Tavistock
PARKIN, Annie, Wife, 38, Uppaton
PARKIN, Mary M., Dau, 13, Scholar, Tavistock
PARKIN, Henry E., Son, 11, Scholar, Tavistock
PARKIN, Dan W., Son, 9, Scholar, Tavistock
PARKIN, Charles R., Son, 8, Scholar, Tavistock
PARKIN, Arthur, Son, 4, Tavistock
MATTHEWS, Anne E., Visitr, 42, South Brentor
HOCKIN, Jane, Servnt, 20, Cook Domestic Servant, Calstock
AYERS, Eliza, Servnt, 27, Housemaid Domestic Servant, Liskeard 


General Information on Tavistock

GENUKI provides a virtual reference library of genealogical information of particular relevance to the UK and Ireland. It is a non-commercial service, maintained by a charitable trust and a group of volunteers.


Welcome to the Devon Heritage website where you will find information and articles about the people and places of this County, both past and


British History Online has copies of the late 19th Century Ordnance Survey maps. 


Census 2021 The census is a survey about all the households in England and Wales. The next census takes place on Sunday 21 March 2021. Everyone must complete the census and provide accurate information. It helps decide how services are funded in your area.


A Vision of Britain Since 1801 the Census has created a uniquely detailed record of our changing communities. For data on your chosen town or village, search by place from our main home page. 

Tavistock Ancient and Civil Parish 


Extract of the Tavistock entry from William White's Devonshire Directory of 1850  


FreeCEN The aim of FreeCEN is to provide free internet searches of the 19th century UK census returns. The first UK census to include names and other details of UK residents took place in 1841. Since then, a census has been held every ten years.

The FreeCEN project was begun in July, 1999, with a pilot transcription for Devon, coordinated by Brian Randell. Since then, the project has moved on, outgrowing its original database and website: we are now based on this site and have plans to improve the database and the ways you can search it. 

Coverage for Tavistock on FreeCEN is for the years 1841, 1861, and 1891  


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