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The 1851 Census was taken on the night of 30 March 1851.
This took place under the jurisdiction of the Home Office. All subsequent censuses have been conducted by the office of the Register General for Scotland, established under the 1854 Registration of Births, Deaths and Marriages (Scotland) Act.
Census enumerators distributed a schedule before census night to every household in the area they were assigned to cover which were collected the following day, checked and copied into an enumerator's book. The local registrar checked them and sent them to the Census Office and the original schedules were destroyed.
More detailed information appeared in the 1851 census than that of 1841: households were given a schedule number; relationship to head of family shown; given age of each person recorded (previously, adult ages had been rounded down to the nearest five years); more detail on place of birth; status of person recorded, i.e. single, married, wodowed or widower.
Information from ScotlandsPeople, which provides full access to the 1841-1911 census records.