With the 2021 census just completed, lets look at how Hatherleigh appeared in previous censuses. The FreeCEN website gives free access to 1841, 1851, 1861 and 1891 censuses of Hatherleigh. White's Devonshire Directory from 1850 can fill in some gaps. How would your life look to future historians, if they could only read a few lines every 10 years?

Three traces of past lives, 

  • John Phillips, Schoolmaster
  • Mary Risdon, Farmer 
  • John Harwood, Tailor



St John the Baptist's Church: Grant Sherman https://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/80166

National School: Derek Harper https://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/535771

Market Street: Humphrey Bolton https://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/1803921

Old Police Station: Humphrey Bolton https://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/1803933 


John Phillips, Schoolmaster

1841 Devon, Black Torrington, Broadwood Kelly Village
PHILLIPS, John, 45, Schoolmaster
PHILLIPS, Betty, 40
PHILLIPS, Elizabeth, 15
PHILLIPS, Samuel, 11
PHILLIPS, George, 6
PHILLIPS, Eliza, 4

White's Devonshire Directory 1850
Page 785. Phillips John, National School

1851 Devon, Okehampton, Hatherleigh, 20 Bridge Street
PHILLIPS, John, Head, 54, Schoolmaster, Sandford
PHILLIPS, E, Wife, 53, Swimbridge
PHILLIPS, J, Son, 11, Scholar, Broadwoodkelly
PHILLIPS, M, Dau, 8, Scholar, Broadwoodkelly
PHILLIPS, J, Son, 5, Scholar, Hatherleigh

1861 Devon, Hatherleigh, Bridge Street
PHILLIPS, John, Head, 65, Schoolmaster (National School), Sandford
PHILLIPS, Betty, Wife, 63, Schoolmasters Wife, Swimbridge
PHILLIPS, James, Son, 15, Wheelwright, Hatherleigh
PHILLIPS, Mary, Dau, 18, Glover, Broadwood Kelly
BRADSHAW, John, Grnson, 5, Scholar, Islington (Middlesex)


Mary Risdon, Farmer

1841 Devon, Black Torrington, Hatherleigh, Cowles And Castles Fishley
RISDON, Joseph, 40, Farmer
RISDON, Mary, 30
RISDON, Ellen, 9 months

White's Devonshire Directory 1850
Page 785. Farmers (at Fishley) Risdon Mrs

1851 Devon, Okehampton, Hatherleigh, Cowles Fishley
RISDON, Mary, Head (Widow), 41, Farmer 170 Acre Empl 7 Lab, Dolton
RISDON, Tristrim, Vistor, 37, Annuitant, Buckland Filleigh
RISDON, Ellen, Dau, 10, Scholar, Hatherleigh
RISDON, Alfred, Son, 8, Scholar, Hatherleigh
ABELL, Wiliam, Servnt, 28, Farm Lab, Hatherleigh
JORDAN, Thomas, Servnt, 12, Farm Lab, Hatherleigh
HAWKING, John, Servnt, 15, Farm Lab, Hatherleigh
BROCK, Mary, Servnt, 25, House Serv, Iddesleigh
VANSTONE, Jane, Servnt, 12, House Serv, Hatherleigh

1861 Devon, Dolton, Sage
RISDON, Ann, Head, 61, Landed Proprietor, Buckland Filleigh
RISDON, Elizabeth, Sister, 54, Landed Proprietor, Buckland Filleigh
RISDON, Mary, Sislaw (W), 51, Landed Proprietor, Dolton
RISDON, Ellen, Niece, 16, Scholar, Hatherleigh
BADCOCK, Eliza, Servnt, 21, Cook, Beaford
SAUNDERS, Elizabeth, Servnt, 17, Housemaid, Hatherleigh

1891 Devon, Okehampton, Hatherleigh, Bitticombe Vale
RISDON, Ellen, Head, 50, Living On Her Means, Hatherleigh
LOCKE, Fanny, Servnt, 20, Dom Servant(Em'ee), Monk Okehampton


John Harwood, Tailor

1841 Devon, Black Torrington, Hatherleigh, Market St
HARWOOD, John, 30, Tailor
HARWOOD, Mary, 30
HARWOOD, William, 2
HARWOOD, Harry, 1

White's Devonshire Directory 1850
Page 785. Tailors. Harwood John

1851 Devon, Okehampton, Hatherleigh, 30 Conduit Street
HARWOOD, John H, Head, 44, Tailor, Plymouth
HARWOOD, M A, Wife, 38, Norfolk, Lynn
HARWOOD, W S, Son, 13, Scholar, London, Westminster St Margt
HARWOOD, H, Son, 11, Scholar, London, Marylebone
HARWOOD, E, Son, 9, Scholar, Hatherleigh (Twins)
HARWOOD, J, Dau, 9, Scholar, Hatherleigh (Twins)
HARWOOD, S, Dau, 7, Scholar, Hatherleigh
HARWOOD, T, Son, 4, Scholar, Hatherleigh
HARWOOD, J M, Son, 2, Hatherleigh
HARWOOD, T, Son, 7 months, Hatherleigh

1861 Lancashire, Accrington, Old Accrington, 5 Birch Street
HARWOOD, John, Head, 54, Railway Clerk, Plymouth
HARWOOD, Mary Ann, Wife, 47, Norfolk, Lynn
HARWOOD, Harry, 21, Railway Clerk, London
HARWOOD, James, Son, 13, Telegraph Clerk, Hatherleigh
HARWOOD, Theodore, Son, 9, Scholar (Dr Marks Pupils), Hatherleigh
HARWOOD, Gustavus, Son, 7, Scholar (Dr Marks Pupils), Hatherleigh
DAVIS, David, Lodger, 20, Railway Porter, Warrington


General Information on Hatherleigh

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 last census took 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. 

Hatherleigh https://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/place/4173 


Extract of the Hatherleigh 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 Hatherleigh on FreeCEN is for the years 1841 (census district Black Torrington), 1851 (Okehampton), 1861 (Hatherleigh), and 1891 (Okehampton)



follow Hartstongue on social media


Twitter  Facebook  YouTube  Instagram LinkedIn