How to

Enumerator’s Instructions from 1851 Luxembourg Census: Those Places Thursday

Memorial Legislatif et Administratif du Grande-Duché de Luxembourg, Année 1851 no. 1-96

(Luxembourg City : J. Lamort, n.d.), 829-833; digital images, Google Books ( : accessed 22 May 2015). Translation by Bryna O’Sullivan.



General Administration of the Interior

Decree concerning the population census of 31 December 1851

No 4211 – 511 of 1851

Luxembourg, 11 November 1851

The General Administrator of the Interior:

Noting article 56 of the electoral law concerning the Chamber of Deputies of 23 July 1848, thus conceived:

The number of deputies will always be maintained in relationship to the population and at the proportion of 1 deputy to 3500 people.

A fraction greater than 2000 people will count as the entire 3500.

Every six years there will be a numbering of the population, to serve as the base for distribution between the cantons of the individual rights of representation.

The first census will take place during the second half of 1851; the second during the same period of 1857; and thus successively.

Considering that, in order to ensure that the census be regularly taken in conformity with the legislative deposition above cited, it is necessary to fix the day on which the population will be enumerated and to indicate the rules to be observed to do so accurately.


Article 1

A general census of the population of the Grand-Duchy will be taken the 31st of December next, by the means of bulletins, which should be distributed

by the 27th of the month by the aid of one or more members of the communal administration, to be named for that purpose by the communal administration before the 20th of the same month.

An indemnity may be allocated to these agents by the communal treasury.

The bulletins will be retrieved between 2 and 6 January 1852 in the same manner in which they allocated.

Article 2

Every head of household, every individual living alone, living in the Grand-Duchy, Luxembourger or not, the police, the custom officials, will receive a bulletin to record the information concerning them.

Article 3

The following rules will be observed in the completion of the bulletins:

1st) The first and last names of all the people composing the family on the 31st of December will be listed on the bulletin in the following order:

The head of household, his wife, his male children, his female children, in the order of their age, the other members of the family, the wards, the domestics of both sexes if they are of the age of majority, that is to say, if they have reached the age of 21.

2nd)The minor individuals, that is to say those who have not yet reached the age of 21, who are absent from the family, in whatever locality in the Grand-Duchy or abroad, will be carried on the bulletin of the family to which they belong;

3rd) The individuals of majority, absent from the family,


who do not find themselves in a state of domesticity in the Great-Duchy, will also be carried on the bulletin of their family in whatever place in the country or abroad they find themselves. unless they have carried out an act that made them lose the quality of Luxembourger or they are established abroad without plan to return;

4th) The absent individuals will be designated as such in the observation columns, which will also bear their place of actual residence, as well as the reason for their absence, for example: absent, working at his trade in France; absent, student at Diekirch; absent, military in garrison at Echternach (unless he be an officer); absent, held in the prisons at the beggars’ home; absent, domestic at Namur; absent, servant at Luxembourg City (if she is a minor).

Article 4

The officers of the federal contingent without exception, the non-commissioned officers and the soldiers who do not belong to a family of which the head is still in the country, or who are themselves head of the family, will count towards the place of their respective garrisons, and they will be named with their families, where necessary, on the special forms that the commanding officers will furnish.

Article 5

At the time the bulletins will be gathered, the census agents will inscribe there the numbers of order; and in the cities or communes where there are houses inhabited by several families, they will take evidence, given by the principal inhabitant of each home, on the number of families or individuals living alone, who live there, in order to ensure that they do not omit any individual or family who should receive a bulletin.

Article 6

The day following the gathering of the bulletins by

the communal authority, the college of bourgermesters and deputy bougermesters of each commune, assisted by the communal secretary, will gather in order to examine and to verify all the bulletins, and will have rectified the errors and irregularities that they discover, and will complete those who present omissions or inexactitudes; they will make out the bulletins of the families or the individuals living alone, who were not present at the gathering of the bulletins, all conforming to the rules of article 3 above.

Article 7

These operations terminated, the college of bourgermesters and deputy bougermesters will proceed to divide the bulletins by section, according to the categories on the record which will be addressed to it in three exemplars by the district commissioner; on the last page of the report should be recorded the movement of the population during the year 1851. (This last step is demanded in order to avoid similar work later, as the count is required annually.)

Article 8

The college of bourgermesters and deputy bougermesters will address, by the 20th of January next, to the district commissioner, the bulletins and the record aforementioned in two exemplars. This official will verify the bulletins in order to confirm that they conform to the above requirements; he will have them rectified or will eventually rectify them, and he will address them to the general administration of the interior, by the 15th of February next at the latest, with an exemplar of the summary record for each commune and list for his district.
Article 9

The urban administration of Luxembourg will have

gathered for the same day (13 February 1852), at the general administration of the interior, the pieces concerning the census of the city.


Article 10

The communal administrations are invited to take to heart the process of the census, the slightest inexactitude can influence the political rights of the inhabitants and the cantons of the Grand-Duchy.

Article 11

The contraventions against the dispositions of the present decree are repressed according to the law of 6 March 1818. In order to observe them, each census agent will be accompanied in his operations by a member of the commune administration or a member of the local police, who will take the official report.

Article 12

The present decree will be inserted in the administrative and legislative Memorial of the Grand-Duchy; an extract will be printed at the head of census bulletins.

General administrator of the interior, Ulrich




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