The census was taken on 5 April 1891. There were 315 residents in Preston - 153 males and 162 females. They included 53 couples and 16 widows or widowers. They occupied 62 cottages, an average of 4.7 inhabitants in each home. Also inhabited were six farms and ‘The Cottage’. Fifteen houses were empty.The ‘core’ families of Preston in 1891 were:
The following were the most popular Christian names in the hamlet:
Age of Preston’s inhabitants:
One hundred and sixty-one local folk were aged under 21 years - 51%. The oldest and youngest residents lived at Chequers Lane - Sarah Peters who died in May 1881 aged 79 and two-week-old Eva Ewington.
The straw plaiters ranged in age from 15 - 71. Four villagers were ‘on own means’ (ie having an income, but not employed) and two had retired. George Jeeves (55) was noted as a cripple.
They comprised 37% of Preston’s population.
Of the surviving inhabitants from 1881, 163 were still living in Preston 10 years later - 50%. Of the remainder, 34 were living within a radius of 5 miles from the hamlet and another 32 had relocated within Hertfordshire. Thirty-seven had left the county. Twenty villagers were living in Hitchin and six had moved to London.