24 April 2009

1911 UK census quirks

Thank heavens we've got lots of genealogy publishers out there trying to keep on top of the news. I just opened the May/June 2009 issue of Discovering Family History magazine and spotted a blurb in the editor's comments called "W-W-Worth a Look", I learned that the complete 1911 UK Census has been launched online. Somehow in my travels, Ol' Myrt here missed the debut of this major census collection. With the editor's permission, here is the entry in full [emphasis added] :

"The 1911 census for England and Wales was taken on the night of 2 April 1911. The count included all individual households, plus institutions, such as prisons, workhouses, naval vessels and merchant vessels, and it also attempted to make an approximate count of the homeless. In common with the censuses that preceded it, it recorded the following information: where an individual lived, their age at the time of the census, who (what relatives) they were living with, their place of birth and occupation.

Additionally, a unique feature of this census is that prior to 1911, the household schedules were destroyed once the details had been transferred into the enumerators’ summary books. But for the 1911 census, both sets of records have been preserved, which means you can see the census documents filled out in your ancestor’s own hand (complete with mistakes and additional comments), in addition to the edited version in the enumerators’ summary.

Do note that women, frustrated with the government’s refusal to grant women the vote, boycotted the 1911 census by refusing to be counted. There were two forms of protest. In the first, the women (or their husband) refused to fill in the form, often recording their protest to the enumerator. In the second, women evaded the census by staying away from their home for the whole night. In both cases, any details relating to individual women in the households will be missing from the census. " The census is now online at http://www.1911census.co.uk.

So Ol' Myrt here visited the website, and discovered that you can:

but then when you find an entry of interest, you'll need to:

    Once you are sure of the record you want, you’ll need to register and buy credits to view and print and save a typed transcript or an image of the original handwritten page.

So how much does it cost? The census website explains "Viewing the images of the household pages uses 30 credits, which costs from £2.50 to £3.48, depending on the package of credits that you buy." According to Google today, that translates to $3.63 to $5.06 US dollars, or $2.81 to $3.91 Euro.

This 1911 UK Census website was created in association with the National Archives (UK) and is powered by our friends at FindMyPast.com.

So I guess now we have to pray our 1911 UK ancestresses and their spouses weren't ardent suffragists.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
Your friend in genealogy.


Familytreeservice said...

I have used the census a fair bit since its initial launch and have found it to be very good. I've found people easily and the details are well recorded (in mostly good handwriting!!).

DearMYRTLE said...

Thanks for the feedback, but I'd like to know how you luck out with readily decipherable handwriting on the pages that mention your ancestors.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)