- 1859-12-31 - 1859-12-31 (Creation)
- 1859-12-31 - 1859-12-31 (Accumulation)
Level of description
Name of creator
Content and structure area
Scope and content
On 25 July 1848, an Ordinance was passed "for taking an account of the population and of the amount of livestock and crop and other particulars of the Colony of Western Australia" (12th Vict., No. 4). Resident Magistrates were responsible for undertaking a census in their area at regular intervals. Completed census returns were forwarded to the Colonial Secretary's Office.
Few census returns for the Colony during the 1800s appear to have survived. This series comprises only one collection of census returns that were forwarded from the York Resident Magistrate. The census was conducted on 31 December 1859.
The returns document the number of people present at each stated premise, including their name; sex; age; marital status; religion; occupation; ability to read or write; whether they were free settlers, conditional pardon or ticket of leave men; the name of the ship they arrived on; their year of arrival; country where born; country where married; if husband or wife absent, where he or she is; and the number of Aboriginal males/females in their permanent employ.
Each return also documents agricultural information for each premise (the number of acres for wheat; barley; oats; rye; maise; beans/pulses; hay/green crop; fallow; cleared land; kitchen garden; potatoes; onions; vineyard; produce of vineyard from last vintage) as well as information on livestock (the number of horses; cattle; pigs; goats; number of cattle/sheep/pigs sold or consumed in 1859).