One of the main treasures of the archive of the Real Sociedad is its collection of census returns of the inhabitants of Tenerife for the year 1779. These documents offer a perfect socio-economic ‘snapshot’ of Tenerife between 1778 and 1780. The Institution has had this collection digitised, for reasons of its conservation and for its universal dissemination throughout the internet.
The origin of these censuses came about due to the wish of the Real Sociedad to obtain a comprehensive overview of each and every one of the localities that made up Tenerife in the last quarter of the 18th century. With that aim in mind, a request for co-operation was sent to every town and village on the island, from which 27 census returns resulted.
Volume 1 (Access)
La Laguna, Tacoronte, Valle de Guerra, Tegueste, La Punta, Adeje, Arico (includes Fasnia), Buenavista, Candelaria (includes Arafo), La Guancha e Higa (La Orotava).
Volume 2 (Access)
Isora, La Matanza, Realejo de Arriba, Realejo de Abajo, El Rosario, San Andrés y San Juan de la Rambla.
Volume 3 (Access)
Santa Úrsula, Santiago, El Sauzal, Tacoronte, Taganana, El Tanque, Tegueste, La Victoria y Chasna.
Every census of those localities, in addition to simply the names and surnames of every inhabitant, gives a good deal of information about each individual; age, occupation, relationship to others in the household, and further information which is very useful for genealogical researchers, for studying the socio-professional structure of the population, economic geography, human geography, philology, urbanism, the educational lives, and even, at times, the mental condition of the inhabitants. All of this information converts the census returns into a major documentary work that is very appealing to researchers who come to the archive of the Real Sociedad Económica de Amigos del País de Tenerife.