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How Can the England Census be improved?   Leave your comments  

Feel free to click the edit button on the right side here and leave an message pertaining to this project or task. Click 'Watch' also so you know if an update has been added to the page.

The goal is to write about topics and and create subtopics when necessary and when anything becomes to lenghty create a new page and link  to it.  If someone on the web has created a page on the subject matter then link to it.  This 'England Census" page becomes the main reference that highlights the important points. and links to all the pertaining subject matter.

Writing is a developing process.  Often after writing something it is wise to review the words and sentence and paragraphs to improve upon them.  With your own website you are the sole contributor but with a wiki others may change your contribution.  Chances are no one will improve upon your work, so review your own writing often.  There is no doubt that if you read your work often you will see how it can be changed and improved.

The main thing to remember is to keep everything on topic.  More to follow...


A few things that would be worth adding:

  • The exact dates of the census for each of the years for which it's been published. This is often very important to genealogy (eg it can narrow down when a person was born or died).                                               There is a link in the 'Understanding the Census' section that goes over all these details.  It is quite a lengthy page,  if we wanted to we could create our own page and link to it but I think the likley thing to do it to expand on the sentences so a person can find that link or perhaps create a Link Section at the bottom of the page.
  • Expand this paragraph  "The census details have changed little from year to year. There is a detailed listing of the changes made to the census over the years starting in 1841. At 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."
  • At least a mention of the pre-1841 censuses. Very few records of these survive, but the few that do can be gold dust! Kent FHS have published a few on fiche for instance.                       Which section does that fit into?  I think that a new section or subsection in 'Undertanding the Census'  If there is enough info then we could create a new page and link to that.
  • Some of the reasons that information in censuses may be wrong. Ages are often wrong (for instance, people who take much younger spouses often find that the years fall away from themselves as well!) Places given as the birthplace may be approximate and may not be the same place as the person was baptised. Often the further people are living away from their birth place, the less precise they are.
  • Perhaps it's also worth mentioning that the way it worked, at least in the earlier years, was that the head of household wrote down the information about all the people therein. Some were more conscientious than others; some felt it indelicate to ask ladies their ages; some with lodgers seem to have guessed.      When we start talking about all the given situations  that may or may not apply to a persons situation then I think it could be quite lengthy so a new page would need to be created called ' Census Search Strategies'  or smoething down those lines.  If someone can't find there ancestor then they would have a page to go to see what other options they have.

I could add some of the above if it would be useful. Stevewest 15:11, 6 March 2009 (UTC)  I hope I have given some ideas that will be of use.  Creating a new page is very simple in fact it is to simple  In fact you can change the name of a page you do not like as well. 

___________

The reference to the Family History Librart edition of ancestry.com is not a correct statement. The site ancestryInstitution.com is available to any library wishing to subscribe. The sentence should be revised to refer to  ancestryinstitution is available for use in the Family History Library or the library has subscribed to it. I can make the change if you don't mind.

I added two short, general articles about the census. The titles are England Census: Information and Description of the Contents and the other is England Census: What It Is and How It Was Gathered. My purpose in adding them is to allow an individual who has no knowledge of the census, or a teacher of a class, to learn about the census on their own. I have others I want to add but before I do, I want your opinion as to the value of the ones just added. Some of the information is in the England Census article and perhaps separate articles are not necessary. They are not linked yet. If I didn't know anything about the census, I'd prefer to get a quick explanation and a few links rather than reading the entire England Census article.   Anne 18:10, 1 May 2009 (UTC)


I assume that you are having trouble incorporating your content into the current census page.  I think that much of it fits into what is already there.  If your aim is to create another page for another purpose an it would serve a purpose to that group of people then I would create it.  Feel free to take anything on the page and put it in different words.  If you do not have the confidence to do so then seek advice from a collegue.   Don  1 May 2009

Could someone put the directions on how to create a date stamp on this page and put it in the search engine as well.

The best way to drive writers away is to nit pic at there writing. 


Good comment about adding name and time stamp. I was told verbally that if I typed 3 tildes, it adds my name. If I type 4 tildes, my name and the date is added. I would be nice to have it in an article on the Help with the Wiki page. On my keyboard, the tilde is on the left side above the tab key.

Two reasons to create separate census were to 1) keep from adding a lot more to the already-too-long England census article; and 2) be stand-alone articles that people teaching beginners. I've added and edited many articles so I'll look at the England census article to see where information could be inserted. Thanks for your suggestion. Anne 17:16, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

  ================================================================================


To Barbara Baker - I see that you have been working on the format of the England Census page (at least, I think it's you).  I very much like what you have done.  The previous version just went on and on.  Now it is divided up into more meaningful units.  I'm glad I was able to add a few small items that were of value.  Ellisgj 19:13, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

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<input type="hidden" id="gwProxy"></input><input type="hidden" id="jsProxy" onclick="jsCall();"></input>


I haven't been to the page for a while and was surprised at what I found.  It took me a while to click through the links to see what was there.  For a minute I thought somethings had been deleted. I really didn't see a problem with the old format. 

Transfer from Research Guidance

The following information has been transferred from Research Guidance. It needs to be reviewed and if necessary, incorporated.

Kara 21:46, 23 August 2010 (UTC)

England, How to Use Census Records
Guide
Introduction
A census is a count and description of the population. The censuses of England and Wales are
especially helpful for family history research because they list the majority of the population and
are readily available. Censuses of genealogical value have been taken every ten years since
1841, with the exception of 1941.
For more information about the census see Background.
What You Are Looking for
The information you will find varies from record to record. These records may include:
• Name.
• Age.
• Marital status.
• Address.
• Birthplace.
• Relationship to the head of the household.
• Occupation.
Steps
These 8 steps will help you search the census.
Step 1. Decide which years your ancestor may appear in census
records.
Based on your ancestor's approximate birth, marriage, and death dates, decide which years to
search. The following censuses are available:
• 1841
• 1851
• 1861
• 1871
• 1881
• 1891
England, How to Use Census Records
Research Guidance
Version of Data: 08/08/01
2
Step 2. Identify the town or parish where your ancestor lived.
You need to know the name of the place where your ancestor lived to find him or her in the
census. If you do not know where your ancestor lived, see How to Find the Name of the Place
Your Ancestor Lived.
Step 3. Decide where you will search the census.
You may find copies of census records at the following locations:
• Family History Centers
• Family History Library
• Family Records Centre, London
• County Record Offices
• Archives and Libraries
• Family History Societies
Step 4. Look for a census index for the place where your
ancestor lived.
Indexes can save you research time.
There may be a census surname index for the place where your ancestor lived. See Census
Surname Indexes.
If you know the name of a street, look for a street index. Street indexes are especially helpful for
searches in larger cities. See Census Street Indexes.
If no census indexes are available for the place, go to step 5.
Step 5. Find the census record.
Use the catalog of the repository you chose in step 3 to find the census microfilm or microfiche
numbers for the place where your ancestor lived. See Where to Find It.
Step 6. Search the census record.
If you have an index reference, including a piece or bundle number and a folio number, search
the microfilm or microfiche copy of the census until you find the part of the census that matches
the index reference. Find the household that includes your ancestor.
If you did not use an index, search the census record name by name. The census is not arranged
alphabetically.
For suggestions of things to keep in mind when searching the census records, see Tip 1.
If you did not find your ancestor in the census, see Tip 2.
Step 7. Copy the information from the census and note the
source.
Copy the information from the census onto the family group sheets and pedigree chart for your
ancestor. Make a photocopy if possible. You may also print out a blank census form to make an
exact transcript.
England, How to Use Census Records
Research Guidance
Version of Data: 08/08/01
3
Document your source. Be sure to record where the information came from on your forms, your
photocopies, and on your research log.
To learn how to keep good notes, see Note Taking & Keeping for Genealogists.
Step 8. Analyze the information found on the census.
Compare any information you found on the census with knowledge you already have about your
ancestor. Does it:
• Conflict with what you know? If the information conflicts, use other sources to verify.
• Support what you know?
• Add to what you know?
Then ask yourself:
• Did the source have the information I wanted?
• Is this information accurate?
• Does this information suggest other sources to search?
Background
Description
The English and Welsh government has taken censuses every ten years since 1801, except
1941. The first genealogically useful national census was taken in 1841. Earlier censuses contain
only statistical information. Some parishes, however, compiled lists of names, a few of which
survive. For more information about pre 1841 census lists see Local Census Listings 1522-1930
Holdings In The British Isles by Jeremy Gibson and Mervyn Medlycott or Pre-1841 Censuses &
Population Listings In The British Isles by Colin R. Chapman. These booklets can be purchased
through the Federation Family History Societies.
The 1841 census is arranged by:
• Hundred.
• Parish.
• Town, chapelry, hamlet, village, etc.
• Household.
The 1851 through 1891 censuses are arranged by:
• Census district.
• Enumeration district.
• Parish.
• Town, chapelry, hamlet, village, etc.
• Street.
• Household.
The 1851 through 1891 censuses may give the following information:
• Name.
• Relationship to the head of household.
• Marital condition.
• Age.
• Gender.
England, How to Use Census Records
Research Guidance
Version of Data: 08/08/01
4
• Occupation.
• Place of birth.
The 1841 census may give the following information:
• Name.
• Age (rounded down to the nearest multiple of 5 for all persons aged 15 and older).
• Gender.
• Occupation.
• Indication of birthplace by county or country (specific birthplace not given).
Tips
Tip 1. What should I keep in mind when searching census
records?
• Accept ages with caution.
• Given names may not be the same as the name recorded in church or civil records.
• Information may be incorrect.
• Names may be spelled as they sounded to the enumerator and not as you expect.
• Place names may be misspelled.
• Parts of the censuses are faint and sometimes unreadable.
• Search in surrounding towns or parishes for individuals missing from a family.
Tip 2. What if I did not find my ancestor in the census?
• Your ancestor may have been living, visiting, or working in another place. Search other areas,
and be sure to search for indexes to those areas first. See step 4.
• The name may be spelled differently than expected. Watch for spelling variations.
• Your ancestor may have emigrated.
• A female ancestor may have married or remarried.
• Your ancestor may have died before the census was taken. Look for other family members.
Where to Find It
Family History Centers
Family History Centers can borrow microfilms and microfiche of the census from the Family
History Library for a small fee. To find the microfilm or microfiche numbers for each census year,
look in the Family History Library Catalog. Go to What to Do Next, select the catalog, select a
county, and look for census records for the parish where your ancestor lived.
You may request photocopies of the census from the Family History Library for a small fee. You
must provide the microfilm or microfiche number, and the piece, folio, and page numbers
obtained from an index. You will need to fill out a Request for Photocopies-Census Records,
Books, Microfilm or Microfiche form, which is available from the Family History Centers and
Family History Library. Send the form and the fee to the Family History Library.
England, How to Use Census Records
Research Guidance
Version of Data: 08/08/01
5
Family History Centers are located throughout the United States and other areas of the world. For
the address of the Family History Center nearest you, see Family History Centers.
Family History Library
The Family History Library has microfilm and microfiche copies of the census. There is no fee for
using the microfilms and microfiche in person.
To find the microfilm or microfiche numbers for each census year, look in the Family History
Library Catalog. Go to What to Do Next, select the catalog, select a county, and look for census
records for the parish where your ancestor lived.
Family Records Centre, London, England
Census records and indexes for 1841 through 1891 can be searched at:
The Family Records Centre
1 Myddleton Street
London EC1R 1UW
England
Copies of the original enumerator's returns for the censuses of 1841, 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881,
and 1891 for England, Wales, Channel Islands, and The lsle of Man are at the Family Records
Centre. These records may be searched there. A Public Record Office Readers' Guide No. 17
has been produced entitled Never Been Here Before? a genealogists' guide to the Family
Records Centre, by Jane Cox and Stella Colwell.
At the Family Records Centre instructional leaflets are available describing how to use the census
records for various census years. Note that these leaflets refer very specifically to resources
found in the Family Records Centre. Therefore, you should print out the leaflets for use when you
visit the centre.
Office for National Statistics
Census records less than one hundred years old are confidential and cannot be searched by
individuals. However, the 1901 census can be searched for you. To obtain an application and the
cost for this search, write to:
Office for National Statistics
Census Legislation, Room 4303
Segensworth Road, Titchfield
Fareham
Hampshire PO15 5RR
England
The search will be done only if you provide the name and address (at the time the census was
taken) of the individual you are seeking. You must also get the written consent of the person on
the record or of a direct descendant. The individual's age and birthplace will be the only
information provided.
England, How to Use Census Records
Research Guidance
Version of Data: 08/08/01
6
Local repositories in England
The original census records have been microfilmed, and many local repositories in England and
Wales have copies of the records for their areas. A list of the local repositories and their holdings
can be found in the publication Census Returns 1841 - 1891 in Microform: A Directory to Local
Holdings in Great Britain; Channel Islands; Isle of Man, by Jeremy Gibson and Elizabeth
Hampson. If it is not available at a library near you, it may be purchased from the Federation of
Family History Societies.
Addresses of local repositories can be accessed through Archon (Archives on Line). To search
for County Record Offices, click on Archon. Use one of the two following methods to search:
• If you know the exact name of the County Record Office, click on Repository Search. Put in
the name of the record office, and press Search. The record office information and address
should appear.
• If you want to browse through the list of repositories, click on Repository List. Select the
country in which the repository is found. A screen with an alphabetical list of repositories will
appear. You can shortcut the search by clicking on the alphabet bar at the top of the screen.
This will let you jump to the part of the index that you need.
Archives and Libraries
Archives and libraries elsewhere in the world may also have microform copies of census records
in their collections. Check with an archive or library near you (see Ready, 'Net, Go.)
Family History Societies
Every county in England and Wales has at least one family history society which promotes family
history research for its area. Many societies maintain libraries, and some societies have
microform copies of census records for their area in their library collections. You may find lists of
family history societies and their addresses on the Internet. Go to the member societies list of the
Federation of Family History Societies to find a society of interest to you. Contact the society
about their library holdings.


Family History Library • 35 North West Temple Street • Salt Lake City, UT 84150-3400 USA
England and Wales, How to Use Census Street Indexes
Guide
Introduction
A street index can help you quickly find your ancestor in the census. Street indexes are available
for most large towns and cities in England and Wales for the 1841 to 1891 census years. For
more information about street indexes, see Background.
What You Are Looking For
A census street index listing the street where your ancestor lived.
Steps
These 8 steps will help you find a particular street in a census street index.
Step 1. Find the name of the street where your ancestor lived.
To use a census street index, you must know the address where your ancestor lived close to the
time of a census. You may find street addresses in the following sources:
• Family records or traditions.
• Civil registration certificates of birth, marriage, or death.
• Directories of counties, towns, or cities.
• Census records of other years.
• Parish church records.
• Military records.
• Tax records.
• Voters lists.
If you cannot find a street address for your ancestor, return to England and Wales, How To Use
Census Records, step 5.
Step 2. Decide where you will be using street indexes.
Most street indexes are created by the Public Record Office of England. They are available at:
• The Family Records Centre.
• The Family History Library.
• Family History Centers.
• Other archives and libraries.
England and Wales, How to Use Census Street Indexes
Research Guidance
Versionof Data: 08/10/01
2
Based on availability and convenience, decide where you will be using street indexes.
Step 3. Find out if there is a census street index for the town
where your ancestor lived.
The Register of Towns Indexed By Streets will help you find if a street index exists. Look at the
list of towns indexed by street for the census year you want to search:
• 1841
• 1851
• 1861
• 1871
• 1881 (Use the1881 census index on microfiche or CD).
• 1891
Look for the town where your ancestor lived. If you find the town listed as being indexed, note on
your research log the name and number of the registration district under which it is indexed.
If you are searching at a Family History Center or The Family History Library, also note the
volume and microfiche numbers of the street index book for the district.
If no street index exists for the town where your ancestor lived, return to England and Wales, How
To Use Census Records, step 5.
Step 4. Find the census street index.
The process for finding the census street index will vary depending on where you are doing your
search. Ask the repository's staff for help if you need assistance.
Step 5. Search the index for the street where your ancestor lived.
The street index books are arranged by registration district name and number, then alphabetically
by street name. Look in the book for the district that includes the town you want, and then look for
the street where your ancestor lived.
If you cannot find the street listed in the index, see Tips.
Step 6. Copy the information from the index, and note the
source.
If you find the street listed, copy onto your research log the reference that is given for the street.
The reference includes:
• A Public Record Office class number and piece or bundle number, such as HO107/1735 or
RG10/245.
• A folio number.
To document your source, note on your research log the place where you found the index and
any record office or library call number for the index.
England and Wales, How to Use Census Street Indexes
Research Guidance
Versionof Data: 08/10/01
3
Step 7. Find the call number for the census.
At the Family Records Centre in London:
The piece or bundle number obtained from the street index is also the microfilm or microfiche
number of the census that will include the street where your ancestor lived.
At the Family History Library:
In the street index book, turn to the first page of the registration district. You will find a list of
microfilm or microfiche numbers and the piece or bundle numbers they correspond to. Match the
piece or bundle number for the street to the microfilm or microfiche number for the census. Copy
the census number onto your research log.
At a Family History Center:
Using the microfiche version of the street index, follow the same procedure as for the library.
At other archives and libraries:
The process for finding the census call number will vary depending on where you are doing your
search. Ask the repository's staff for help if you need assistance.
Step 8. Search the census.
For instructions on searching the census, return to England and Wales, How To Use Census
Records, step 6.
Background
Description
The majority of the census street indexes have been created by the Public Record Office. The
indexes beginning in 1841 are few in number, but as the census years increase, the number of
indexed towns increases. By 1891, most of the larger localities have street indexes.
From year to year the streets in a town may have changed; some streets may have ceased to
exist, while others were newly created. You cannot rely on streets remaining the same from one
census year to another.
Census street indexes are arranged alphabetically by street name and give a reference to where
the street appears in the census. Depending on the census year, a reference may include:
• Public Record Office class number.
• Piece or bundle number.
• Enumeration district number.
• Book number.
• Folio number.
• Page number.
England and Wales, How to Use Census Street Indexes
Research Guidance
Versionof Data: 08/10/01
4
Tips
Tip 1. What if I can't find the street in the street index?
Consider the following:
• If you are looking for the same address where your ancestor lived in another census year, the
street may not have existed at the time of the census you are now searching, or it may have
been known by another name. Check to see if there are any city guides that discuss street
names, changes, creation, etc.
• If you have an address from a directory, it might be a business address rather than a
residential address. Check the directory again, or another directory, to see if there could be
an additional address listed.
• If you are searching a large city, such as London, that is divided into many districts, you could
easily to be in the wrong section of the index. Check indexes for surrounding districts.
• If your ancestor lived on a small street and you know the larger streets it was adjacent to, look
in the index for the adjacent streets.
If you still cannot find the street in an index, it may be necessary to search the census street by
street and name by name. Return to England and Wales, How To Use Census Records, step 6.
Where to Find It
Family History Centers
Census street indexes for England and Wales may be available on microfiche at Family History
Centers. The microfiche numbers are listed in the Family History Library Catalog:
• 1841
• 1851
• 1861
• 1871
• 1881 (Use the1881 census index on microfiche or CD).
• 1891
If a Family History Center does not have the census street indexes on microfiche, it can obtain
the indexes from the Family History Library. A small fee is charged for having microfiche sent to a
center.
Family History Library
The Family History Library has census street indexes for many of the towns and cities of England
and Wales for each census year, 1841 to 1891. These are available in book form and on
microfiche. There is no fee for using the indexes in person.
You may request a photocopy of a page from a census street index from the library for a small
fee. You will need to fill out a Request for Photocopies form, which you can obtain at all Family
History Centers and from the library. Complete the form using the fiche number you found in your
search of the catalog. Send the completed form and fee to the Family History Library.
For information about contacting or visiting the library, see Library Services and Resources.
England and Wales, How to Use Census Street Indexes
Research Guidance
Versionof Data: 08/10/01
5
Family Records Centre
You may use census street indexes and also search the census at the Family Records Centre in
London at:
Family Records Centre
1 Myddelton Street
London EC1R 1UW
For more information about using the census and indexes, see the Public Record Office
information leaflets on Census. If you are planning to visit the Family Records Centre, you may
print out the instructions and take them with you.
Other archives and libraries
Census street indexes may be available at county record offices in England and Wales and at
other archives and libraries throughout the world. You should contact one near you to learn what
is available.
Addresses for many English and Welsh repositories can be obtained on the Internet at ARCHON.
If you know the name of a repository, choose Repository Lists and search by name. If you do
not know the name of the repository but you do know what city or county it is located in, choose
Repository Search and search by city or county name.

Family History Library • 35 North West Temple Street • Salt Lake City, UT 84150-3400 USA
England and Wales, How to Use Census Surname
Indexes
Guide
Introduction
Before you search the actual census, look for a surname index. Surname indexes will save you
time when searching the census.
Many indexes have been produced by family history societies and private individuals. The
indexes vary in format, and information given. Some list only surnames while others give
complete transcriptions of the census record. However, all indexes will provide a reference that
will take you to the exact spot in the census where a family of your surname is shown.
For more information about census surname indexes, see Background.
What You Are Looking For
Your ancestor's name and a reference to the original census record in a census surname index.
Steps
These 6 steps will help you find and use a census surname index.
Step 1. Identify the town or parish where your ancestor lived.
You need to know the name of the place where your ancestor lived to find him or her in census
indexes. If you do not know where your ancestor lived, see How to Find the Name of the Place
Your Ancestor Lived.
Step 2. Identify what surname indexes are available for the place
where your ancestor lived.
The complete 1881 census for England and Wales is indexed by surname, birthplace, and
census place. If your ancestor lived in England or Wales in 1881, search the 1881 census index
first. There are national, regional, and county indexes on microfiche and compact disc. For
availability, see Where to Find It.
Lists of other available census surname indexes, and the areas they cover, can be found:
• On the Internet.
• At the Family History Library.
• Privately held.
England and Wales, How to Use Census Surname Indexes
Research Guidance
Version of Data: 08/10/01
2
If no census indexes are available for the place where your ancestor was born, return to How to
Use Census Records and go to Step 5.
Step 3. Obtain a copy of an index.
To obtain a copy of an index, you may go to a repository that has census surname indexes, or
you may access an index by correspondence or via the Internet. You may also purchase
published indexes from the societies or individuals who created them. See Where to Find It.
If you go to a repository that has indexes available, use the repository's catalog to find a copy of
the index for the place where your ancestor lived.
If you are writing or e-mailing for an index search, request computer print outs or photocopies of
pages for your surname of interest and an explanation of the information given.
Step 4. Search the census surname index.
Read the introduction to the index to know how it is arranged and what information is given.
Note the exact portion of the census an index covers. Most indexes for larger cities cover only a
part of the city. The portion of the census is identified by a number, referred to as a bundle or
piece number. Sample bundle or piece numbers are:
• HO107/1731
• RG10/2414
The index will also give the number of the folio or page in the census where a surname appears.
Look in the index for your surname of interest and note the bundle or piece number, the folio or
page number, and any other details given.
If you did not find your surname of interest in the index, see Tips.
Step 5. Copy the information, and note the source.
Copy the information in the census surname index onto your research log. Also note where you
obtained the index and the archive and library call number for the index.
Step 6. Search the census.
Now that you have found your surname of interest in an index, you should search the census. To
do so, return to How to Use Census Records and go to Step 5.
Background
Description
Family History Societies and private individuals have been indexing the census records of
England and Wales. An index may cover part of a parish, a whole parish, a town, a subdistrict, or
a district. Some indexes list only a surname, in which case you must look up every entry to find
your ancestor's family. Other indexes give enough details that you can tell from the index whether
your ancestor's family will be found in the census. All indexes provide a reference that will take
you to the exact spot in the census where a family of your surname is shown. You can then
obtain a copy of the original census entry.
England and Wales, How to Use Census Surname Indexes
Research Guidance
Version of Data: 08/10/01
3
Census records are arranged by:
• Civil registration district.
• Subdistrict.
• Enumeration district.
• Parish.
• Household.
The British government has assigned identifying numbers, called bundle or piece numbers, to
each district (or subdistrict in the case of large districts). In addition, the pages of the census are
numbered. There are both folio numbers and page numbers. Folio numbers run consecutively
through the whole of a bundle or piece, while page numbers begin again with each new
enumeration district.
Most census surname indexes give the bundle or piece number and folio number for each
surname listed. Some indexes also give page numbers.
A surname index the 1881 British Census, listing over 30 million names, has been produced on
microfiche. There is a national index covering England, Wales, Channel Islands, Isle of Man, and
Scotland. There are also separate indexes for each county and the Royal Navy.
The indexes are a cooperative product of the Federation of Family History Societies, the Scottish
Association of Family History Societies, the British Genealogical Record Users Committee, Her
Majesty's Stationery Office, the Public Record Office in London, the General Register Office in
Scotland, and the Genealogical Society of Utah.
The information given includes each person's name, age, gender, relationship to the head of
house, marital status, census place, occupation, county and parish where born, and references
needed to find the original census record.
Instructions for using this index are given in the Family History Library publication entitled 1881
British Census Indexes.
A version of the 1881 index is now available for purchase on 25 CDs for use on home computers.
Prior to the production of the 1881 census surname index, a prototype was produced for three
counties in the 1851 census: Norfolk, Devonshire, and Warwickshire. These indexes were first
produced on microfiche but are now available for purchase as one index on a single CD.
Tips
What if I did not find my ancestor in the index?
• Your ancestor may have been living, visiting, or working in another place. Search the indexes
for surrounding areas.
• The name may be spelled differently than expected. Look for spelling variations.
• Your ancestor may have emigrated.
• A female ancestor may have married or remarried.
• The person may have died before the census was taken.
If you believe your ancestor was in a particular census area, search the census even if your
ancestor is not in the index. The index might be in error.
England and Wales, How to Use Census Surname Indexes
Research Guidance
Version of Data: 08/10/01
4
Where to Find It
On the Internet
Family history societies have been formed in every county in England and Wales. These societies
are indexing records of genealogical interest, including censuses. Many societies list on the
Internet the indexes they have created and have made available for purchase. You may access
the lists through Family History Society Catalogs On-line. Select a society and look for its list of
publications. Indexes may also be listed at the GENFair website. Some societies may also offer
searches in their indexes for a fee. You may access most societies' websites through the
Federation of Family History Societies website.
You may also have someone search a census surname index for you through the England Lookup
Exchange. Select a county of choice.
Family History Centers
Some published census surname indexes are available in microform but most are not. Family
History Centers can borrow microfilms and microfiche from the Family History Library for a small
fee. To find the microfilm or microfiche numbers for those indexes available in microform, look in
the Family History Library Catalog. Go to What to Do Next, select the catalog, select a county,
and look for census surname indexes for the parish where your ancestor lived. Since some
indexes cover a broad area, you should look for indexes on both the county and parish levels.
If an index is not available in microform, you may request photocopies of pages from an index
from the Family History Library for a small fee. You will need to fill out a Request for Photocopies-
Census Records, Books, Microfilm or Microfiche form, which is available from the Family History
Centers and Family History Library. You must provide the library call number of the index and
your surname of interest. Send the form and the fee to the Family History Library.
Family History Centers are located throughout the United States and other areas of the world. For
the address of the Family History Center nearest you, see Family History Centers.
Family History Library
The Family History Library collects census surname indexes for England and Wales. Most are
available in printed form, and some are available in microform. There is no fee for using the
library's collection in person.
Census surname indexes are listed in the Family History Library Catalog. Go to What to Do Next,
select the catalog, select a county in England or Wales, and look for census surname indexes for
the place where your ancestor lived. Some indexes will also be found in the catalog on the parish
level.
Surname and street indexes are also listed in Jeremy Gibson, ed. Marriage, Census and Other
Indexes for Family Historians, 3rd ed. (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1989;
Family History Library book Ref 942 D22m). This can be purchased through the Federation of
Family History Societies.
England and Wales, How to Use Census Surname Indexes
Research Guidance
Version of Data: 08/10/01
5
Family Records Centre, London
Census records and their surname indexes for 1841 through 1891 can be searched at:
The Family Records Centre
1 Myddleton Street
London EC1
England
You will need to know the town or parish where your ancestor lived. At the Centre, determine if
there is a census surname index for the town or parish that you want.
Local repositories in England and Wales
Census surname indexes can be found at many of the county record offices and other local
repositories in England and Wales. Addresses can be found at the Archon (Archives On-line)
website. Use one of the two following methods to search:
• If you know the exact name of the county record office or local repository, click on "Repository
Search." Put in the name of the record office, and press "Search." The record office
information and address should appear.
• If you want to browse through the list of repositories, click on "Repository List." Select the
country in which the repository is found. A screen with an alphabetical list of repositories will
appear. You can shortcut the search by clicking on the alphabet bar at the top of the screen.
This will let you jump to the part of the index that you need.
When contacting or visiting a particular repository, you will need to determine if the local archive
has all of the census surname indexes for all localities or just for the local area.
Archives and Libraries
Archives and libraries elsewhere in the world may also have microform copies of census records
in their collections. Check with an archive or library near you (see Ready, 'Net, Go.)
Privately held indexes
Lists of indexes held privately are found in the following sources:
• Phillimore's Atlas and Index of Parish Registers, available at the Family History Library, larger
Family History Centers, and other record repositories.
• Jeremy Gibson's Marriage and Census Indexes for Family Historians, also available at the
Family History Library and other record repositories.
The individuals and societies who compiled and hold the indexes may search them for you for a
fee.

Donjgen 20:10, 24 August 2010 (UTC) I think that this outline should be put on a separate page.  I think that the content is good  for the census pages, but the organization is lacking.  Some of the content is placed out of context and some content should be rewritten and or deleted