Thursday, January 15, 2009

1911 England and Wales Census Now On-Line

The UK 1911 Census has been reported on the JewishGen Discussion Group on October 20 and 21. This census was taken April 2, 1911 and covered 36 million people. 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.

An interesting commentary of the times, was that many women were frustrated with the government's refusal to permit women to vote, so some women boycotted (number unknown) the 1911 census, recording their protest with the enumerator, unless the women stayed completely away from home the day of the census--then there will be no notations. Therefore, some women will not be included in the census. However, in addition to the census filled out in the person's own hand, was the enumerator's summary books- both will be on-line--the enumerator's books being added in a few weeks-months. The woman's protest was listed in the enumerator's summary books!

The 1911 census for England and Wales, is now available on-line, accessed through http://www.findmypast.com/ . This is three years earlier than the expected 100 year requirement-- 2012. Some of the information on the 1911 census will NOT be released until January 2012- that relating to an individual's infirmity as listed in the census (e.g. deaf, dumb, blind etc) . More records (9 million) will be made available in the coming months, including remaining counties in England and Wales, as well as naval and military records. But what is included is a gem: this is the first UK census where the original documents have been preserved, so you will see the actual documents written in the person's own hand! The 1911 census records show the name, age, place of birth, marital status and occupation of every resident in a household, as well as their relationship to the head of household. For married women, there are also questions on how long they've been married and how many children were born from that marriage.

On Find My Past.com you may search for free, however, to view the actual images does require "purchasing credits". You must register on Find My Past to access the records and to purchase the credits. Persons living outside the UK can purchase PayAsYouGo credits online using a credit or debit card. There are varying costs to view an image or a transcript- all of which is explained on the FindMyPast.comwebsite.

Jan Meisels Allen
Director, IAJGS and Chairperson,
Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

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