Census Present and Past

Some notes from our volunteer Sue

While we fill in our forms on Sunday 21 March we are all awaiting the launch of  the 1921 census which is due at the end of this year. It will be wonderful to track down those ancestors who are missing from the 1911 census either because they were born after 1911 or they disappeared and you could not find them!

How refreshing it will be to see the 1921 census and have some `new` records to search. My parents and grandparents should be listed and I am eagerly waiting to see if any more relatives are listed that I may have missed so far.

If you don’t wish to wait until the end of the year for the 1921 census, why not buy our 1931 Electoral Register transcription. This shows the address together with the name of the people resident there if they are eligible to vote (both men and women). Unfortunately, the 1931 census was completely destroyed by fire so many people use our 1931 Voting list as a partial replacement.

I worked as an enumerator for the 1981 census in the Midlands. It was lots of fun even though I suffered a dog bite- the people were really very nice. I remember one house in particular I went to collect the census form. The elderly resident said it was `in the bottom of the bird cage` did I really want it back? I had a new form and I completed it on the doorstep. When I asked him his place of birth he said a placename in Wales which sounded like `Yssy…` or similar and I asked him to spell it for me. He said he couldn’t as he had forgotten, so I asked the question `Where is it near to?` He replied `Newtown` and that’s the name of the birthplace I wrote on the form.

Remember this when you are searching for your ancestors in the census records. Places of birth are not always correct, after all in 2081 will they really be able to find Mr Jones? (not his real name).

If you have found anything strange or funny when searching the census records for your ancestors, why not share it with our readers. Please send your information to the webmaster for short snippets and the Journal Editor for any longer pieces and we can all enjoy what you have found.

There is an interesting blog from The National Archives