Census Returnscensus

There has been a nationally conducted census in Britain, every decade, since 1841 (with the exception of the War years). There were, however, earlier ones from about 1821 but these were sporadic depending on the area concerned. The latest census returns that are available to the public are the 1901 returns, as there is a 100 year privacy rule on public information. In 2011 however the 1911 census will become available. The census provides a wealth of information for the genealogist but there are a few pitfalls that must be remembered. The first of these is that people are inconsistent, forgetful or just downright lie! The example of the new religion of 'Jedi' should be remembered for this when the 2001 census was conducted (coinciding with the new Star Wars Trilogy). The other is the accuracy and penmanship of the enumerator conducting the census. The census was written by hand and, just as now, some people's handwriting is a lot easier to read than others! The other problem a lot of people encounter is spelling inaccuracies. In three consecutive census returns I found three different spellings for Ebenezer. In these cases you have to use a bit of detective work to try and track down your elusive relatives.

 

Civil Regristration Districts in Kent between 1st July 1837 and 31st March 1974. (part of GENUKI website)

 

 

1841 Census
Census taken on 6th June 1841
Details include:
Location, Number of Inhabited Rooms, Name, Age, Gender, Occupation, Whether Born in the County, Wether Born in Scotland, Ireland or Foreign Parts

To view a free transcription of the 1841 Census for Key Street please click here.

 

 

1851 Census
Census taken on 30th March 1851
Details include:
Location (sometimes including road number and name), Number of Inhabited Buildings, Name, Relation to Head of Household, Condition of Marriage, Age, Gender, Occupation, Where Born (Town and County), Whether Blind or Deaf and Dumb!!

To view a free transcription of the1851 Census of Sittingbourne 1851 Census of Sittingbourne
To view an example page click here

 

1861 Census
Census taken on 7th April 1861
Details include:
Location (sometimes including road number and name), Number of Inhabited Buildings, Name, Relation to Head of Household, Condition of Marriage, Age, Gender, Occupation, Where Born (Town and County), Whether Blind or Deaf and Dumb

To view a free transription of the 1861 Census of Borden please 1861 Census of Borden, Kent

 

1871 Census
Census taken on 2nd April 1871
Details include:
Location (sometimes including road number and name), Number of Inhabited Buildings, Name, Relation to Head of Household, Condition of Marriage, Age, Gender, Occupation, Where Born (Town and County), Whether 1) Deaf and Dumb, 2) Blind, 3) Imbecile or Idiot, 4) Lunatic

 

1881 Census
Census taken on 3rd April 1881
Details include:
Location (sometimes including road number and name), Number of Inhabited Buildings, Name, Relation to Head of Household, Condition of Marriage, Age, Gender, Occupation, Where Born (Town and County), Whether 1) Deaf and Dumb, 2) Blind, 3) Imbecile or Idiot, 4) Lunatic

Free to view at Ancestry.co.uk

 

1891 Census
Census taken on 5th April 1891
Details include:
Location (sometimes including road number and name), Number of Inhabited Buildings, Number of Rooms Occupied If Less Than 5, Name, Relation to Head of Household, Condition of Marriage, Age, Gender, Occupation, Where Born (Town and County), Whether 1) Deaf and Dumb, 2) Blind, 3) Imbecile or Idiot, 4) Lunatic

 

1901 Census
Census taken on 31st March 1901
Details include:
Location (sometimes including road number and name), Number of Inhabited Buildings, Number of Uninhabited Buildings either in Occupation or not Unoccupied, Number of Rooms Occupied If Less Than 5, Name, Relation to Head of Household, Condition of Marriage, Age, Gender, Occupation, Employed, Employer or Own Account, If Working at Home, Where Born (Town and County), Whether 1) Deaf and Dumb, 2) Blind, 3) Imbecile or Idiot, 4) Lunatic

Limited free search facility at 1901 Census Online. You can then pay for credits to view the original or transcribed pages.

 

1911 Census
As I'm sure many of you are already aware the long-anticipated, but early release of the 1911 census has now taken place. The format is slightly different from the previous Census Returns and the last column is currently still concealed under the Data Protection Act.

Census taken on 2nd April 1911
Details include:
Name and Surname of every Person ... (1) passed the night of Sunday 2nd, 1911, in this dwelling and was alive at midnight, or (2) arrived in this dwelling on the morning of Monday, April 3rd, not having been enumerated elsewhere.
Relationship to Head of Family.
Age (last birthday) and Sex.
Particulars as to Marriage. Single, Married, Widower, or Widow ... of all persons aged 15 years and upwards. State for each Married Woman entered ... th enumber of Completed years the present marriage has lasted. Children born alive to present marriage: Total Children Born Alive, Children still living, Children who have died.
Profession or Occupation. Personal Occupation, Industry or Service, Whether Employer, Worker, or Working on Own Account, Wether Workign at Home.
Birthplace of Every Person. ... (1) County, and Town or Parish. ... (2) Dependency, Colony, etc. and of the Province or State. (3) Country
Nationality of every Person born in a Foreign Country. (1) British Subject by parentage (2) Naturalised British subject giving year of naturalisation (3) If foreign state whether 'French,' 'German,' 'Russian,' etc.
Infirmity (1) Totally Deaf, or Deaf and Dumb (2) Totally Blind (3) Lunatic (4) Imbecile or Feeble Minded. state the infirmity ... and the age at which he or she became afflicted.

Free search facility at 1911 Census. You can then pay for credits to view the original or transcribed pages. Some counties are still being transcribed.

If you are looking to reconstruct a community or try and work out exactly which building your ancestor lived in then at the beginining of each district is the description of the route taken by the enumerator. You can they try and compare this to a map from a similar date.

Census Reviews are available to view at many of the Genealogy Research Sites

 

 

 

1901 National Census Online (Free)

1911 National Census Online (Free search facility but need to purchase credits to view transcriptions and original images). KCC libraries sell vouchers to access Find My Past if you don't want to pay online, which are also valid on the 1911 Census website.

Ancestry.co.uk provide lots of useful resources to help you to research your family tree. BMD indexes, Census Returns, Military Records and lots more. You can also build your family tree online and share it with others. Most of these services are available by subscription only. There is a library edition that is free to access from your local KCC library and allows limited facilites to be used free of charge on the Ancestry.co.uk website.

 

Find My Past Family History Website - BMD Indexes, Parish Records, Military Records, Migration Records etc. Many are pay-per-view. KCC libraries sell vouchers to access Find My Past if you don't want to pay online, which are also valid on the 1911 Census website.