Between 1841 and 1911 we have a glorious amount of information about where our ancestors lived and if we are not careful we can think that either side of these dates there is nothing but this is not so. Nationally, from 1801-1831 there were censuses and although they only give the total number of people living in a parish, occupations, number of houses etc., they are still very useful.The figures give us the total populaion broken down into the percentage working in agriculture and other trades and we can also see trends in population which may explain why your ancestor moved into or out of an area.
Beyond 1911 there are also published totals and some interesting figures eg deaths in the workhouse, hospitals and lunatic asylums etc
Some parishes carried out more detailed 'censuses' pre 1841 and Kate Hartland Westwood (Katehw) has drawn my attention to work done at the University of Essex to find out the number of such censuses and their location. This research on pre 1841 and post 1911 cenuses is iindexed by parish and available online at
There is also a listing of the 1801-1831 at