UK Data Service data catalogue record for:

Ashford, 1840 - 1870: a Socio-demographic Study

Title details

SN: 2948
Title: Ashford, 1840 - 1870: a Socio-demographic Study
Persistent identifier: 10.5255/UKDA-SN-2948-1
Depositor: Drake, M., Open University
Principal investigator(s): Drake, M., University of Kent at Canterbury. Centre for Research in the Social Sciences
Pearce, C., University of Kent at Canterbury. Centre for Research in the Social Sciences
Sponsor(s): Economic and Social Research Council


The citation for this study is:

Drake, M., Pearce, C. (1992). Ashford, 1840 - 1870: a Socio-demographic Study. [data collection]. UK Data Service. SN: 2948,

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Subject Categories

Community and urban studies - Society and culture
Economic history - History
Election returns - Politics
Local history - History
Population censuses - Population, vital statistics and censuses
Population history - History
Social history - History


Abstract copyright UK Data Service and data collection copyright owner.

The Ashford study aimed to create a machine-readable database of information relating to the social and economic activities of the inhabitants of Ashford in the mid to late nineteenth century. Material has been transcribed from the census enumerator's books, civil registers of births, marriages and deaths, poll books, trade directories and Parliamentary sessional papers listings of landowners. Each source is held as a separate data file containing the following information:
1) Census data: the data consists of all persons residing in Ashford and surrounding rural areas on the night of the censuses of 1841, 1851 and 1861. However, the data file for 1841 is only a partial transcript as some of the original enumerator's books are missing. The data comprise one record for each individual transcribed as recorded in the source with some additional information.
2) Civil register data: The data comprise all marriages which took place in Ashford churches between 1837 and 1870, in total about 1600, of which around 600 were in non-conformist churches. Also recorded are births and deaths registered in the Ashford division of the West Ashford Union, including the parishes of Bethersden, Great Chart, Hothfield, Kingsnorth, Shadoxhurst and Ashford. For each marriage two records were prepared, one for the husband and for the wife thereby retaining all details of the marriage. Births and deaths are recorded as in the original source with some minor coding.
3) Directory data: The data comprise details of various members of the community including local officers, gentry, professionals, shopkeepers and traders.
4) Electoral data: The data comprise details of enfranchised members of constituencies and how they cast their votes in the Parliamentary elections of 1852, 1857, 1863 and 1868.
5) Landowners data: The data comprise details of landowners, land and estimated rental for all those people with addresses in the East or West Ashford Union who owned land in Kent.
Main Topics:
The data files may be analysed separately or linked and merged to provide a means of evaluating and quantifying aspects of the lives of the people of Ashford over a period of time. The data may be of interest for a wide range of topics, for example, fertility patterns, marriage patterns, household structure and composition, migration, (during this period Ashford experienced a large influx of migrants associated with the newly built railway works), economic activities, social composition.

Coverage, universe, methodology

Time period: 1837 - 1874
Dates of fieldwork: 1968 - 1972
Country: England
Geography: Ashford
Great Chart
Spatial units: No information recorded
Observation units: Individuals
Kind of data: Textual data
Numeric data
Individual (micro) level
Universe: Subnational
Demographic data
Inhabitants of Ashford and the five parishes of Bethersden, Great Chart, Hothfield, Kingsnorth and Shadoxhurst, from 1840-1870
Time dimensions: Time Series
Sampling procedures: No sampling (total universe)
However the 1841 Census is incomplete and does not cover the whole area.
Method of data collection: Compilation or synthesis of existing material
Weighting: No information recorded
Data sources: Trade directories: the directories of Ashford used in this study are those produced by the Post Office in 1851, 1855, 1867 and 1874, together with the directory published by Pigot and Co. in 1839. Census enumerator's books. Parliamentary sessional papers; the Parliamentary sessional papers for 1874 contain listings of the owners of land of at least one acre. Poll Books. Civil registers. (Access to the registers was granted to the research team by special permission).

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Administrative and access information

Date of release:
First edition: 09 November 1992
Copyright: Copyright No information recorded
Access conditions: The depositor has specified that registration is required. Available to all registered users. The depositor may be informed about usage.
Availability: UK Data Service
Contact: Get in touch


Title File Name Size (KB)
Pdf file, containing data about the Domestics of Ashford domestic.pdf 365
Pdf file, containing User guide guide.pdf 3215
Study information and citation UKDA_Study_2948_Information.htm 19
READ File read2948.txt 2


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