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Select one of the following options for step by step instructions on using the record to find birth information in this time period.

1. Civil Registration

Search Indexes: 

Free Indexes Indexes on subscription websites
www.freebmd.org.uk  www.ancestry.com 
www.northwalesbmd.org.uk www.findmypast.co.uk 

Order the birth certifcates online:

www.gro.gov.uk

For further information see Wales Civil Registration.

2. Church records

Indexes

Free Transcripts 
www.familysearch.org 


Church record images

Family History Library


For further informaiton see Wales Church Records.


3. Chapel records

Free websites Subscription websites
www.familysearch.org www.thegenealogist.co.uk

www.bmdregisters.org.uk

For further information see Wales Non-conformist Records.


4. Census records

Free Transcripts Index and Images on subscripton websites
1841
1851
1861
1871
1881
1891
1901
1911


For further information see Wales Census Records.

5. Probate records

Index to Probate Records

www.ancestry.com 
Record the date of probate and the name of the probate court

Find the image to the will if probated in:

Principal Probate Registry
District Probate Registries 

For further information see Principal Probate Registry.


United States  Gotoarrow.png  US Migration Routes  Gotoarrow.png  U.S. Migration Canals  Gotoarrow.png  Erie_Canal 


The Erie Canal was used as a river to reach rural upstate New York and Lake Erie. Eventually the Great Lakes were also connected to the Ohio River and Mississippi River systems by other canals. As canals developed in America settlers were attracted to nearby communities because the canals provided access to markets. They could sell their products at distant markets, and buy products made far away. If an ancestor settled near a canal, you may be able to trace back to a place of origin on a connecting waterway.

Historical Background

Section linking

The construction of the Erie Canal began in 1817. As more Irish laborers arrived the pace of construction picked up and overcame significant barriers. For example, during summer construction in a marsh, 1,000 workers died of swamp fever, so survivors were moved to another part of the canal until winter when it was safer to work in the frozen marsh. Sections of the canal opened as follows:[1]

  • 1819 Rome to Utica[2]
  • 1820 Utica to Syracuse
  • 1823 Brockport to Albany (Champlain Canal connecting the Hudson River to Lake Champlain was completed at the same time)
  • 1824 Lockport locks
  • 1825 Onondago Ridge finishing the entire canal.[3]

The Erie Canal contributed to the wealth and importance of New York City, Buffalo, and New York State. It increased trade throughout the nation by opening eastern and overseas markets to Midwestern farm products and enabling migration to the West. New ethnic Irish communities formed in towns along the canal, as Irish immigrants were a large portion of labor force involved in its construction.[4]

The University of Rochester and the Family History Library Catalog have more information about the history of the Erie Canal.

Settlers and Records

Because so many immigrants traveled on the canal, many genealogists would like to find copies of canal passenger lists. Unfortunately, apart from the years 1827-1829, canal boat operators were not required to record or report passenger names to the New York State government. Those 1827-1829 passenger lists survive today in the New York State Archives.[4]

Prior to the building of the Erie Canal the settlers in upstate New York were often from New England, especially Vermont. Once the Canal was finished, setters along the canal and farther west into Ohio would have reached the Erie Canal from New York City, or from along the Hudson River in New York, or from Vermont via the Champlain Canal. Most of the men who labored to build the Erie Canal were from Ireland and many of them settled near it.


Sources

  1. Hello!
  2. Old Style and New Style Dates and the change to the Gregorian Calendar: A summary for genealogists, Mike Spathaky
  3. Double Hello!
  4. 4.0 4.1 REference






SOLDIERS
Locate: Birth Marriage Death Spouse Child Service
OFFICERS
Locate: Birth Marriage Death Spouse Child Service





Officers' birth info Time period  Location
WO 25




WO 42 1755-1908 Family History Library(indexed; use online index to browse images below)Free Online (no index; must do free checkout to view images)


WO 76



TIME PERIOD WAR OFFICE RECORD OFFICERS / SOLDIERS CONTENTS (Link to TNA website) AVAILABILITY WARS 
1590s WO 54 Officers
The National Archives

1600s  

1600s/10s India Office
1640-1660 Civil War
1650-1969 WO 93: Index to trials of officers, death sentences, papers relating to courts martial, etc.  The National Archives Civil War
1666-1960 WO 92
1660-1837 WO 25: series 1-88 Officers
1660-1684 WO 25: series 1 Officers
1668-1993 WO 71: JAG Courts Martial Proceedings and Board of General Officers' Minutes Minutes containing entries of warrants, letters, depostitions, etc.
1666-1829 WO 89: Contains full proceedings of Courts Martials The National Archives
1660-1837 WO 94: Tower of London Constable Records Contains custody of State prisoners, pay and discipline of staff, etc. The National Archives
1676-1855 WO 54: series 197-247
1686-1703 WO 24: series 884-892 Officers
1684-1847 WO 30: Miscellaneous Papers Conditions of service, letters of attorney, reports on many different subjects, etc. 
1685-1850s London Gazette
1692-1866 WO 54: series 672-755
1692-1796 WO 71
1690-1887 WO 94: series 37-47
1698-1825 Tennison Groves

1700s-1750s

1702-1823 WO 64 Officers Army Officers lists Family History Library
1702-1789 WO 23: series 114-123: Officers
1704-1922 WO 118: series 1-44 Officers & Soldiers Registers of In- and Out- pensioners of the Royal Hosptial Kilmainham Family History Library Spanish Succession
1704-1708 WO 4: series 513-520 Comissions Spanish Succession
1708-1878 WO 10 Soldiers Artillery Muster Books and Pay Lists  Spanish Succession
1712-1856 WO 25: series 2979-3019 Officers Half Pay and Retired Pay
1713-1829 WO 24: series 660-747; 804-833 Officers Half Pay 
1714-1749 WO 109 Paymaster General entry books including: accounts, estimates and warrants for payment, deductions from pensioners pay, etc.  
1715-1790 WO 71: series 34-64 General Courts Martial
1715-1857 WO 120: series 1-70 Officers & Soldiers Registers of Pensioners of the Royal Hospital Chelsea; arranged by regiments.
1715-1913 WO 116: Royal Hospital Chelsea disability and Royal Artillery Out-Pensions, Admission Books Officers & Soldiers Contains brief description, place of birth,etc.  Free Online
1716-1830 "E" 182
1720-1739 WO 109
1720-1899 WO 164 Officers & Soldiers
1720-1982 WO 284 Officers Orders of the military garrison in Gibraltar: arrival and departure of officers, units, details of guards, discipline, promotions, etc. 
1722-1858 WO 94: series 12-20 Tower of London- Constable's Office: Letters and Orders
1732 WO 12 Soldiers
1732-1740 WO 109
1735-1811 WO 25: series 3020-3045 Officers Payment of Pensions to widows of Full Pay officer
1737-1921 PMG 4 Officers
1740-1859 WO 54: series 317-336 Discharges, transfers, and casualties
1741 WO 12
1744-1858 WO 4: series 591-654 Deserters King George's War / Jacobite Rebellion
1764-1785 WO 4: piece 1023 Officers Widows  King George's War
1746-1926 WO 28 Soldiers King George's War
1755-1858 WO 54: series 260-309 Artillery Description Books
1751-1911 WO 94: series 24-33 Tower of London- Constable's Office: Pay Book
1754-1808 WO 25: series 209-220 Officers Sucession books
1754-1902 WO 65: Officers' Army Lists  Officers Lists Officers of each regiment with dates of commissions, etc.

Family History Library

Free Online

1755 WO 24: series 884-892
1755-1769 WO 25: series 3046-3058 Officers Payments of pension to the widows of Half Pay Officers
1755-1816 WO 25: series 3995 Officers Register of annual bounty paid to deceased officers' widows
1755-1908 WO 42: Officers' Birth Certificates, Wills and Personal Papers;

Officers Births, baptisms, marriages, deaths, some wills, admons, personal papers, etc.

Family History Library(indexed; use online index to browse images below)

Free Online
 
(no index; must do free checkout to view images)


1756-1789 WO 71: series 65-98 JAG: Courts martial proceedings: Marcing Regiments Seven Years War (French & Indian War)
1756-1833 WO 54: series 310-316 Description Books: Sappers, Miners, Artificers, Labourers, etc.; Register of Officers and widows,  Seven Years War(French & Indian War)
1756-1878 WO 25: series 266-688
Description and Succession Books Family History Library Seven Years War (French & Indian War)
1756-1772; 1797-1861 PMG 14 Officers Seven Years War(French & Indian War)
1756-1906 WO 69: series 74-80: Royal Artillery Records of Service; Family History Library Seven Years War(French & Indian War)
1757-1899 "C" Series Canada Officers & Soldiers
Familiy History Library Seven Years War (French & Indian War)
1758-1855 "E" 51 Seven Years War(French & Indian War)
1759-1760 WO 89 Seven Years War (French & Indian War)
1759-1820 WO 5: series 91-121 Militia orders Seven Years War (French & Indian War)
1759-1863 WO 118:series 1-44: Army & Militia registers of out-pensioners; 
May include death dates Family History Library Seven Years War(French & Indian War)
1759-1859 WO 4: series 757-829 Secretary-at-War Out-letters; Militia Seven Years War (French & Indian War)
1754-1866 WO 17: Officers& Soldiers Seven Years War (French & Indian War)
1759-1925 WO 68: Militia Depot Description Books; Officers & Soldiers Registers of marriages, births, & baptisms, returns of Officers, etc. Family History Library Seven Years War(French & Indian War)
1759-1935 WO 25: series 3896-3922 Soldiers Family History Library Seven Years War (French & Indian War)

1760s-1790s

1760-1878 WO 12: Muster Books: Cavalry & Infantry Soldiers May contain birthplace, trade, enlistment, marriage roll enumerating wives and children, Soldiers movements, discharge, death, etc The National Archives Seven Years War (French & Indian War)
1760-1878 WO 25: series 2990-3004 Officers Half Pay and Retired Pay Seven Years War (French & Indian War)
1760-1880 WO 97: series 2172-6354 Soldiers Family History Library Seven Years War (French & Indian War)
1760-1882 WO 97: series 1-2171 Family History Library Seven Years War (French & Indian War)
1760-1924 Regimental Registers Officers & Soldiers Contains births, marriages, & deaths  The National Archives (Indexes online) Seven Years War (French & Indian War)
1764-1915 WO 76: Records of Officers Services Officers May in include name of spouse, marriage date, names of children, birthdates of children, birthplace of Officer, etc. 

Family History Library

Free Online (must know regiment)

1768-1908 WO 67 Soldiers Family History Library
1770-1808 WO 18: series 1-147 Vouchers for Agents' disbursements, Artillery
1771-1824 WO 54':' piece 948 Alphabetical list of Barrack Sergeants The National Archives
1773-1807 WO 25: series 221-232 Succession Books
1773-1812 WO 25: piece 3124 Widows' pensions and bounty The National Archives
1773-1812 WO 24: series 771-803 Papers containing Establishments: Compassionate List
1773-1876 WO 69: series 1-905: Royal Artillery Description Books Soldiers Contains description books, place of birth, registers of marriages and baptisms, deceased soldiers, discharge or death, etc.  Family History Library series 1-177 Only
1775-1810 WO 4: series 273-282 Secretary-at-War, Out Letters (America) American Revolution 
1775-1822 WO 35: series 7-15 General Administration fo the Army in Ireland (Commission Books, In-letters, Military fees, etc.)
1777-1892 WO 32 Soldiers
American Revolution 
1845-1912 WO 32: series 8903-8920
Births and baptismal certificates of militia officers; extracted from destroyed papers; birth, baptismal, marriage and death certificates extracted from old papers 1777-1888.
American Revolution 
1702-1865 WO 23: series 124-132 Royal Hospital Chelsea: Admisison Books, Registers, and Papers; In Pensioners Muster Rolls American Revolution 
1778'-'1878 WO 13
American Revolution 
1776-1960 WO 90: series 1-9 JAG: General courts martial registers, abroad American Revolution 
1702-1823 WO 64: series 1-13 Officers Army Lists American Revolution 
1787-1813 WO 121: series 1-136 Officers& Soldiers Royal Hospital Chelsea discharge of pensionsers. Includes reason for discharge, place of birth, etc.   American Revolution 
1782-1833 WO 121: series 137-222 Soldiers Royal Hospital Chelsea discharge of pensionsers. Certificates of service, etc. American Revolution 
1782-1840 HO 50: series 57-363 Internal Defence (Militia and Volunteers) Family History Library American Revolution 
1782-1854 WO 25: series 703-743 Staff Returns: Foreign Stations American Revolution 
1783-1810 WO 25: series 1121-1131 Service returns; NCOs and men not actually known to be dead or disqualified for military service... American Revolution 
1809-1828 WO 24: series 744-762 Officers Returns of Officers' Services American Revolution 
1783-1822 WO 118: series 39-44 American Revolution 
1783-1822 WO 119: series 1-69 Officers & Soldiers American Revolution 
1784-1806 WO 4: series 23-1030
1785-1878 WO 12 Soldiers The National Archives
1786-1846 WO 54: series 1935-935
1790-1939 WO 149 Royal Military Academy Woolwich: Registers of Cadets The National Archives
1790s-1800s WO 76: series 1-13 Officers Record of Officers Services Family History Library
1793-1817 WO 25: piece 3393 Index to Casualty Returns The National Archives
1793-1870 WO 25: series 426-561 Description and Succession Books
1793-1870 WO 31: series 426-561 Office of the Commander-in-Chief: memoranda and papers
1793-1912 WO 100: series 1-397 Officers & Soldiers Queen's South Africa
1793-1927 PMG 13
Militia, Yeomanry, and Volunteers: Allowances
1794-1802 WO 64: series 1-13
1795-1796 E 69: series 14-15
1796-1880 Chaplains' Returns Contains births, marriages, & deaths The National Archives (indexed online)
1796-1935 WO 25: piece 3913 Officers Records of Service: Royal Engineers (includes...marriages, births of children...,next of kin, etc.
1797-1817 WO 25: series 1196-1358
1798-1816 WO 13
1798-1816 WO 23: series 124-132
1798-1883 WO 61: series 1-18
1799-1882 WO 25: piece 3239 Officers

1800s-1810s

1793-1817 WO 25: piece 3994 Officers Succession of Artillery Captains The National Archives
1801-1815 WO 23: piece 133 Royal Hospital Chelsea: Out Pensioners: Admission Books
1812-1821 WO 25: series 689-702 Staff Pay Books
1803-1860 WO 4: series 521-590 Officers Napoleonic Wars
1803-1873 WO 69: series 644-646 Napoleonic Wars
1803-1914 WO 103: series 1-30 Officers Napoleonic Wars
1803-1923 WO 143: series 17-27 Napoleonic Wars
1805-1843 WO 25: series 233-258 Chaplains: Certificates of services, payments,  Napoleonic Wars
1704-1858 WO 4: series 513-520 Secretary-at-War Out-letters, Commissions Napoleonic Wars
1805-1895 WO 23: series 162-180 Napoleonic Wars
1794-1816 WO 23: piece 134 Royal Hospital Chelsea: List of pensioners Napoleonic Wars
1806 WO 25: series 81-1120 Napoleonic Wars
1806-1817 WO 30: piece 111 Napoleonic Wars
1806-1836 WO 103: series 20-33 Napoleonic Wars
1806-1837 WO 25: piece 252 Officers Napoleonic Wars
1806-1838 WO 120: series 23-30 Napoleonic Wars
1806-1891 WO 91: series 1-50 Napoleonic Wars
1806-1904 WO 93: series 1-68 Napoleonic Wars
1806-1915 WO 96: series 1-1522 Soldiers Militia Attestation Papers: arranged under regiments

Findmypast.co.uk

Napoleonic Wars
1806-1946 WO 151: series 1-20 Officers Napoleonic Wars
1808-1811 WO 156: series 9-10 Napoleonic Wars and Peninsular War
1808-1816 WO 13: Muster Books Militia nad Volunteers May contain dates of service, enrolling and discharge, desertion, rate of pay, etc. Napoleonic Wars and Peninsular War 
1808-1834 WO 47: series 2760-2851 Soldiers Napoleonic Wars and Peninsular War 
1808-1920 PMG 11: Widows' Pensions Officers Drouly annuities paid from the Drouly Officers' Widows Fund The National Archives Napoleonic Wars and Peninsular War
1809-1810 WO 19: series 744-748 Napoleonic Wars and Peninsular War
1809-1810 WO 25: series 744-748 Officers Napoleonic Wars and Peninsular War 
1809-1818 WO 9 Napoleonic Wars and Peninsular Wars
1809-1857 WO 42/43 Officers Napoleonic Wars
1809-1868 WO 61: series 19-60 Napoleonic Wars and Peninsular War 
1809-1870 WO 61: piece 134 Napoleonic Wars and Peninsular War
1809-1872 WO 25: series 1359-2410 Napoleonic Wars and Peninsular War
1810-1880 WO 23: piece 82 Officers Napoleonic Wars and Peninsular War
1810-1897 WO 23: series 83-87 Officers Napoleonic Wars & Peninsular War 
1811; 1814; 1813-1826 WO 24
Napoleonic Wars and Peninsular War
1811-1818; 1831-1856 WO 25: series 259-265 Napoleonic Wars and Peninsular War
1811-1847 WO 54: series 511-671 Napoleonic Wars and Peninsular War
1811-1852 WO 25: series 2906-2960 Napoleonic Wars and Peninsular War
1811-1858 WO 25: series 3005-3019 Napoleonic War and Peninsular War
1812-1829 WO 89: series 1-5 Napoleonic Wars and Peninsular War 
1812-1835 WO 61: series 61-93 Officers Napoleonic Wars and Peninsular War
1812-1855 WO 4: series 469-493 Officers Napoleonic Wars and Peninsular War 
1812-1858 WO 4: series 711-716 Napoleonic Wars and Peninsular War
1812-1858 WO 4: series 990-1008 Napoleonic Wars and Peninsular War 
1813-1920 PMG 3: series 1-118 Officers Napoleonic Wars and Peninsular War
1814-1834 WO 61: piece 96 Napoleonic Wars
1814-1875 WO 23: piece 173 Napoleonic Wars
1814-1876 WO 23: series 17-23 Napoleonic Wars
1814-1920 PMG 9 Officers Napoleonic Wars
1815 WO 30: piece 111 Napoleonic Wars
1815-1817 WO 4: piece 376 Officers Napoleonic Wars
1815-1874 WO 23: series 79-81 Napoleonic Wars
1815-1892 WO 23: series 88-92 Officers Napoleonic Wars
1815-1894 WO 104: series 1-13 Napoleonic Wars
1815-1894 WO 23: series 93-104 Napoleonic Wars
1815-1894 WO 23: piece 113 Officers Napoleonic Wars
1816 WO 122: series 1-14
1816-1844 WO 54: series 337-493 Soldiers
1816-1858 WO 4: series 881-967
1816-1878 WO 11: series 1-432
1817-1833 WO 94: series 34-35
1817-1843 WO 25: piece 256 Officers
1817-1875 WO 23: series 141-145
1817-1877 WO 69: series 551-582
1819-1822 WO 119: piece 70
1819-1824 WO 24: series 763-766 Officers

1820s-1860s

1820-1852 WO 54: series 756-926
1820-1875 WO 23: piece 25
1820-1892 WO 23: piece 113
1821-1829 WO 23: piece 24
1821-1829 WO 23: piece 173
1821-1873 WO 69: series 583-597
1822-1855 PMG 6: series 1-22 Officers
1822-1855 WO 54: series 540-572 Soldiers
1823-1913 WO 117: series 1-76; Royal Hospital Chelsea Length of Service, Admission books Officers / Soldiers Contains place of birth, regiment, years of service, rate of pension, etc.  Free Online
1824-1917 WO 23: piece 160
1827-1855 WO 25: piece 3118 Officers
1827-1855 PMG 10: PMG 5/7 Officers
1828 WO 19: series 749-779
1828 WO 25: series 749-779 Officers
1828-1845 E 75: series 1-18
1829 WO 25: series 780-806 Officers
1829-1831 WO 19: series 806-807
1829-1971 WO 86: series 1-109
1830-1844 WO 23: series 1-16 Soldiers
1830-1963 WO 138
1831-1839 WO 9: series 13-14; 44-47
1831-1902 WO 102: series 1-16;Long Service and Good Conduct Awards Officers / Soldiers Free Online
1833-1913 WO 116: series 1-252
1833-1913 WO 116: series 125-185 Soldiers
1834 WO 23: series 141; 143-145
1834 WO 23: piece 135
1834-1855 PMG 5: series 1-11 Officers
1836-1875 PMG 12 Officers
1837-1872 WO 23: series 136-140
1837-1879 WO 23: 146-152
1837-1921 PMG 18
1838-1896 WO 131: series 1-44
1839-1896 WO 131 Soldiers First Afghan War
1840-1842 WO 273: series 1-2 First Afghan War
1840-1855 PMG 5 First Afghan War
1841; 1844 WO 30: piece 113 First Afghan War
1842-1883 WO 22: series 1-300 Officers First Afghan War
1843-1874 PMG 7/8 Officers
1844-1857 WO 4: series 968-980
1844-1878 PMG 8
1846-1923 WO 101: series 1-7 First Sikh War 
1847 WO 19: series 808-823
1847 WO 25: series 808-823 Officers
1847-1872 WO 143: series 49-52
1848-1883 WO 69: series 63-73 Second Sikh War
1854-1856 WO 14: series 1-130 Crimean War
1854-1856 WO 15: series 1-102 Crimean War
1855-1864 WO 28: series 1-346 Crimean War
1855-1909 WO 146: series 1-155 Soldiers Crimean War
1856-1946 WO 98: series 1-2 Online at the National Archives Crimean War
1857-1920 PMG 57 Officers Indian Mutiny
1858-1876 WO 23: series 66-78


Indian Mutiny
1858-1876 WO 23: piece 79 Officers Indian Mutiny
1858-1880 WO 23: piece 75 Officers Indian Mutiny
1858-1894 WO 23: seires 26-65 Indian Mutiny
1858-1933 WO 23: seris 162-180 Indian Mutiny
1859-1868 WO 67 Soldiers Gives description of soldier Family History Library Indian Mutiny
1859-1884 WO 156: series 9-10 Indian Mutiny
1859-1946 WO 73: series 1-96 Indian Mutiny
1860-1912 WO 70: series 801-839 Indian Mutiny
1861 HO 45: piece 7077
1861-1908 WO 74: series 1-194
1864-1865 WO 23: series 114-123
1865-1875 WO 87: piece 1
1865-1947 WO 156: series 1-2
1868-1870 WO 23: piece 173
1868-1872 WO 25: piece 824/1 Officers

1870s-1940s

1870-1882 PMG 10
1871-1887 WO 121: series 223-257
1872-1894 WO 23: series 66-82 Officers
1873-1928 PMG 65 Officers
1874-1883 HO 45: piece 39832
1874-1890 WO 74: series 184-189
1878-1898 WO 16: series 1-3049 Second Afghan War
1878-1945 WO 88: series 1-7 Second Afghan War
1879-1900 WO 66: series 1-86 Second Afghan War & Zulu War
1880-1903 WO 23: series 153-159 Second Afghan War
1883-1928 WO 145: series 153-159 Egypt and Sudan
1888-1903 HO 45: piece B4402
1889-1904 HO 45: piece B5960A
1889-1920 WO 94: series 21-23
1891-1894 WO 23: piece 69 Officers
1897-1917 WO 23: piece 174
1899-1902 WO 126: series 1-167 Second Boer War
1899-1902 WO 127: series 1-23 Second Boer War
1899-1902 WO 128: series 1-165 Soldiers Second Boer War
1899-1902 WO 129: series 1-12 Second Boer War
1899-1904 WO 108: series 89-91; 93-95; 129; 144; 212-221; 224 Officers / Soldiers Second Boer War
1899-1905 HO 45: piece B30615 Second Boer War
1900-1902 WO 129: series 1-12 Second Boer War
1902-1904 WO 148: series 1-48 Second Boer War



England Gotoarrow.pngEngland Census Gotoarrow.png England Census: Further Information and DescriptionGotoarrow.png England Census Records and Indexes Online

30-london.jpg

Contents



Finding Census Records Online

Census records give name and birth information for families and show them living together at a specific place and time. 

FREE (Indexes)
www.familysearch.org 1841 1851 1861
1881 1891 1901 1911

SUBSCRIPTION SITES $ (Indexes & Images)
Note: Your local FamilySearch Centermay have access to the following websites:
www.ancestry.com 1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911 Images only
www.findmypast.co.uk 1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911
www.origins.net 1841 1861 1871
www.thegenealogist.co.uk 1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911 (beta)

Osmotherley1.jpg

Indexes

Many repositories, including the Family History Library, hold a number of indexes to the census records. They may be:
• Original Census records from 1841-1891
• Surname Indexes
• Street Indexes
• Some remnants of 1801-1831 censuses that include names

Online

Several websites have now published online many of the census indexes and records from 1841-1901.  There is only one site that provides access to the 1911 census on the internet at the present time. The sites are as follows:

www.familysearch.org - 1881 census free
www.ancestry.co.uk
www.origins.net
www.findmypast.co.uk
www.genuki.org.uk – links to indexes
www.thegenealogist.co.uk

For the 1911 census: www.findmypast.co.uk

Accessing England and Wales Census indexes and records online 

Online Tutorial

FamilySearch Historical Record Collections

Online collections containing these records are located in FamilySearch.org.

Wiki articles describing these collections are found at:

Tips When Searching Census Records

Census records are more easily available than ever before. Caution should be used when searching them for family members. Never assume what isn’t there or “leap” generations in linking individuals.

Important Searching Point

A number of items need to be considered while searching census records for family members:

  1. Names may be misspelled – both Christian and surnames could have variant spellings.
  2. Ages and birthplaces may not be accurate – consider who was reporting the information.
  3. Relationships may not be expressed in terms understood today – regionally “in law” and “step” are   terms that have different meanings.
  4. Jurisdictions changed – as population grew and shifted, jurisdictions changed.
  5. People may not be where they are expected – a disaster or plague may have forced a family to move.
  6. Pages may be unreadable – use “zoom” and other enhancements on digital copiers.

Census details changed little from year to year.  See a detailed listing of the changes made to the census over the years starting in 1841. At the GENUKI website you will find an excellent explanation of the census records and availability. (Examples of Census - 1841, 1851, 1861, 1871) NOTE: Many of the websites have not yet updated their pages to include the 1911 census.
 

Background

Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1801 8,305,362
1811 9,553,021 15.0%
1821 11,281,883 18.1%
1831 12,992,485 15.2%
1841 15,002,443 15.5%
1851 16,921,888 12.8%
1861 18,779,811 11.0%
1871 21,495,131 14.5%
1881 24,613,926 14.5%
1891 27,231,074 10.6%
1901 30,514,967 12.1%
1911 33,649,571 10.3%
1921 35,230,225 4.7%
1931 37,359,045 6.0%
Source: 1931 Census

A census is a statistical count of the population of a country taken for the purpose of accurate government representation, tax collection and military purposes. The first complete census in England was conducted in 1086 under William the Conqueror who was the first Norman King of England. As the new king, he wanted an accounting of land owners who held lands belonging to the crown along with the number of owned livestock. A detailed history of this survey is available online from History Magazine which was published in October/Nover 2001.

In England, the government census have taken place ever ten years since 1801, however, these earlier censuses were taken strickly for statistical purposes by the Overseers of the Poor and the clergy.

The first census listing people by name was taken in 1841 with the census traditionally being taken every ten years since then except for 1941 (due to WW II) along with the fact that the 1931 census was destroyed during WW II. Census records are generally released 100 years after they are taken. Because of this situation with 1931 and 1941 census records there will be a thirthy year gap.  These records are one of the best ways to locate ancestors at a given place and time.

Although the 1841 census is of great value, it had some limitations. It was originally produced on blue paper and inscribed with pencil. Many of the original images on film were very poor but the digital quality has improved them. In the 1841 census, relationships were not given, the age of individuals older than 15 years was rounded down, and specific birthplaces were not provided. The 1851 census and subsequent censuses provide more detailed information, making it easier to find family members.

The percentages shown in the chart to the right are the percentage of increase in population since the previous census year.

Further information: Further Information and Description and Lost or Missing England Census Records

Understanding the Census

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Instructions to the census taker were to list only those persons who spent the night in each household when the census was taken. Those traveling, staying at boarding schools, or working away from home were listed where they spent the night. For example, night watchmen are often listed under their employer’s business address rather than with their families. Guy Etchells has assembled a collection of the official instructions given to enumerators for each census.

Be aware of the date of each census for family members as that will help in determining the birth year for family members as it is reported. The date that each census was taken is as follows:

1841 – June 6               1881 – April 3 
1851 – March 30          1891 – April 5
1861 – April 7              1901 – March 31
1871 – April 2              1911 – April 2

The following information can be found in the censuses:

1841

  • Name of each member of the household
  • Sex/gender
  • Age (for adults 15 and up, the age was rounded down to the lower multiple of 5)
  • Address
  • Occupation
  • Whether or not the individual was born in the county in which they were living on June 6, 1841. (If it is ‘yes’ , it is noted with “Y” and for ‘no’ it is noted with “N”.)
  • A column indicating if born out of the country, i.e. “S” for Scotland; “I” for Ireland

Only individuals in the home on the census night were listed on the forms with the exception of individuals working through the evening and returning home in the morning. If a family member was visiting they would be listed in that person's home. Note: Individuals who were staying in other locations were listed by the owner of the establishment and this included those who were living in tents.

There are missing sections which have been lost. A detailed listing can be found on findmypast.com.

This census was conducted by the Registrar General and has the identifying marks of "HO" which stands for 'Home Office'. The returns were sorted and copied into enumerator's books in the format seen today in the digitized online records.

1851 to 1901

  • Name of each member of the household
  • Sex/gender
  • Age – hopefully exact
  • Relationship to the head of the household
  • Condition – marital status
  • Occupation
  • Parish and county of birth (except foreign births, which usually gave country only)
  • The 1851 and 1861 censuses list whether a person was "blind, deaf, or idiot."
  • The 1871 and 1881 censuses list whether a person was considered an "imbecile, idiot, or lunatic."
  • The 1891 census added the number of rooms (if less than 5) that the family occupied. It also listed whether the person was an employer or an employee.

A detailed listing of the changes made to the census over the years starting in 1841 can be found on the G

ENUKI website in the Census section. (Examples of Census - 1841, 1851, 1861, 1871) NOTE: Some of the websites have not yet updated their pages to include the 1911 census. Findmypast.com also provides a comprehensive overview which is also very helpful.

The census can also provide a good approximation of date and place of deaths and marriages. Census records are used in combination with church records and civil registration records in locating ancestors.

1911 

  • Name of each member of the household
  • Relationship to the head of the household
  • Age at last birthday
  • Sex/gender
  • Particulars as to Marriage including:
    • Marital condition
    • Completed years the present marriage has lasted
    • Total (number of) children born alive 
    • Children (number of) still living
    • Children (number of) who have died
  • Profession or Occupation 
    • Industry or service of work
    • Whether an employer, worker, or working on own account
    • Whether working at home
  • Parish and county of birth of everyone in the household
  • Nationality of every person born in a foreign country
  • Lists wether a person was "totally deaf, deaf and dumb, totally blind, lunatic, imbecile, or feeble-mined"
  • The 1911 Census was the first census where original forms were kept. Handwriting is that of ancestor.

Pre-1841 Census

The 1831 census was collated by the census office and the resulting Parish Register Abstracts form an important part of the published census material, because from it alone, the clergymen's manusript returns have survived. The records are held at The National Archives of the UK under 'Clergymen's returns of 1831' (HO71/1-HO71/124.)  Detailed information on pre-1841 census records can be found in:

  • Chapman, Colin R., Pre-1841 Censuses and Population Listings in the British Isles.  Dursley, Gloucestershire, England : Lochin Publishing, 1998 (5th ed). (Family History Library book 942 X27cc, 1998

Pre-1841 censuses generally contain only numbers of individuals in a household, but some do contain individual names of the head-of-household.

Further information: England Census: Further Information and Description
A worksheet can be used to record information found in census records.
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