Tag Archives: 1911 census

Updating my 1911 census images

8 Jan

I knew it was something I was going to have to do when the time came, but that hasn’t made it any less time-consuming and it has to be said any less tedious. It would have been nice if those little white rectangles had suddenly disappeared from the images I had downloaded, but that was never going to happen was it?

So this afternoon I have spent several hours updating all those 1911 census images that I had download over the last couple of years. As I write this I haven’t quite finished, probably another thirty images left to download, but so far it has been almost completely unproductive.

About eighty images so far have been saved to my hard drive and so far I have been rewarded with only two entries in that newly unveiled column sixteen. Horace DUNFORD (my 2x great-aunt’s husband) was a cripple from birth apparently and of course I didn’t need to 1911 census to tell me that George Thomas GASSON was a lunatic.

I suppose it is rather uncharitable of my to wish infirmity on my ancestors and relatives, even if they are long since departed, but it would have been nice to find more people with some sort of infirmity, or even one of those “funny” ones that get mentioned in press releases.

I hadn’t realised that I had downloaded quite so many 1911 census images and if I had thought about it I could have waited until the complete image was released, but greed and impatience took over and I had to have those images, now I am paying the price (thankfully in time, not money) having to download them all again when I could be doing other things.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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1911 census images on Ancestry.co.uk

24 May

When it comes to the Ancestry.co.uk website you never know quite what you are going to wake up to. This morning I took a look at the website and discovered that they have uploaded images from the 1911 census for England, Wales, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.

The images are not indexed yet, or at least the index is not online yet. I am sure we will hear more about this when the news is officially released by Ancestry but for now you will need to have an idea where you should be looking, possibly using their previously released Census Summary Books.

According to their source information page: “They can be browsed by county, civil parish, sub-registration district, and enumeration district.”

I am certain a lot of people have been eagerly awaiting this release and even if you haven’t it will be good to have another alternative index available when it does go live. Unfortunately we still have to wait until next year to view the contents of the infirmity column.

Copyright © 2011 John Gasson.
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NEWS: 1911 Census summary books on Ancestry.co.uk

9 Dec

You never know what you are going to find when you go poking about the Ancestry.co.uk, especially their Genealogy Databases Posted or Updated Recently page. Last night at the top of the list were entries for the 1911 Census summary books (Channel Islands, Isle of Man, England and Wales). Hopefully this marks the beginning of the promised release of the 1911 census on Ancestry.co.uk and The Genealogist.

I expect we will hear more about them in the next few days when they are officially announced. From what I have seen though they are nice crisp colour images of the pages, looking very similar to the Findmypast ones.

You might wonder why this is such good news, after all Findmypast.co.uk have had the images (both the household schedules and summary books) available for some time. For starters you never can have enough different indexes, just in case one of them is wrong, but more importantly (to me anyway) Ancestry.co.uk have made the summary books searchable for the first time (I think?).

Being able to search the summary books for the head of household has helped locate one of my “missing” families. Within about 10 minutes I had been able to locate the ANSCOMBE family in Cuckfield, Sussex, something which I had failed to do on using Findmypast alone, despite many previous attempts.

It wasn’t a straight-forward process, on Ancestry I searched for the surname ANSCOMBE in Cuckfield and found several likely households. After getting the schedule number from the summary book image and finding their neighbours on Findmypast, I was able to work out what the census reference should be for their household.

Searching on Findmypast using the census reference brought up a transcription without my ANSCOMBEs anywhere to be seen. I viewed the image and it all became clear, the cause of my inability to find them revealed.

The household schedule began with three individuals (a tutor and presumably two pupils), all described as boarders. Beneath them was a gap of two lines and then the six members of the ANSCOMBE family I had been looking for. For some reason they had not been indexed, just those first three unrelated individuals, no wonder I couldn’t find them.

I now need to find out how to report them missing to Findmypast, but this just goes to show the value of looking in multiple indexes. I am sure that once the household schedules are available on Ancestry that there will be similar examples of missing individuals, it is inevitable with any index of this size that there will be errors.

Sometimes all that is need is a little bit of teamwork (thank you Ancestry and Findmypast) and some creative thinking to get around a problem.

Findmypast.co.uk free access – my world cup warm-up

26 Jun

Could tomorrow be our last chance for free access to Findmypast.co.uk? I wouldn’t dream of making a prediction on the outcome of England’s match tomorrow, but I need to make sure I get the most out of the free 90 minutes.

The last time England played I was on my way back from walking part of the South Downs Way, and by the time I got home I didn’t really have the energy and wasn’t really prepared for my 90 minutes and so most of it was wasted. This time I need to be better prepared, it could be my last chance for another four years!

I have a subscription to the 1911 census (which will soon run out, but that is another issue I need to consider) so I can ignore that. I have been through the indexes for the Chelsea Pensioners British Army Service Records and I don’t think there is anyone there that I need yet, although I could do a bit more searching on some of my surnames and places just in case they turn out to be related in the future.

Although I have access to Ancestry.co.uk there are a few people I haven’t been able to find in their indexes. I might stand a better chance with different set of indexes, it is certain worth a try.

Similarly, whilst Ancestry have GRO birth, marriage and death indexes up to 2005, findmypast has the indexes up to 2006. It is probably worth searching the births, marriages and deaths for that extra year?

Now I am off to have another look around the findmypast website. Which other collections have I forgotten that I should be checking?

  • Passenger lists leaving UK 1890-1960 – were released several years ago now, is there anyone that might be in those lists that I have forgotten? Did any of my relations that left the country (or their descendants) ever come back to visit? On a similar track, I don’t think I have ever checked for passport applications, perhaps now would be a good time to have a look and see what is in that database.
  • Parish Records Collection 1538-2005 – findmypast have a large collection of parish register transcription, formerly on the Family History Online website and provided in association with the Federation of Family History Societies. Who might be lurking in those records? It could be worth looking again as my research has moved on since the closure of Family History Online.
  • Index to death duty registers 1796-1903 – I have never really looked at these death duty registers, so now would be a good time to have a poke around in these records to see what is included in them rather than just looking for my relations.

If you are not already registered then make sure you get along to their website and register by midnight tonight (26th June). You can find full details on their website, and don’t be blinded by the 1911 census and Chelsea Pensioners Records, there are plenty of other record types that could reveal far more interesting details about your family (the divorce indexes are another example).

Findmypast.co.uk gives non-football fans something to look forward to the World Cup for

11 Jun

UPDATE 16/06/2010:  Findmypast.co.uk have changed the instructions for free access, check out their website for latest details, and make sure you are registered before the 18th June.

I am definitely in the non-football camp, sure I would like England to do well, but I won’t be getting excited about the upcoming World Cup. However, findmypast.co.uk have given us non-football fans something to look forward to.

Findmypast.co.uk have today announced that for the duration of the England matches (starting 30 minutes before kick-off) access to their records (except Living Relatives searches and Memorial scrolls) will be free. This means you will be able to access their great collections, including the 1911 census and their growing Chelsea Pensioners British Army Service Records collection.

All you need is to be registered with findmypast to take advantage of this great offer, then book your seat in front of the computer for the first England match on Saturday evening. By my reckoning free access should start at 1900BST and according to the announcement should last for three hours.

Clowning around on the railway

22 Feb

It is not often that I find something in my research that makes me laugh out loud. Sure I find things that make me smile all the time, and occasionally something that makes me chuckle, but very rarely will I actually laugh out loud.

I don’t know quite why I found it so funny. I was searching in the 1911 census on Findmypast.co.uk, whilst investigating my 3x great-uncle Abraham Graham KINGHORN and what happened to his wife and children after his early death in 1886.

I had found his widow Sarah and two children living at 60 Rose Hill Terrace, Brighton, Sussex in 1911. They shared their house with two boarders, and it was the first of these that made me laugh.

His name was Frederick VOYCE and according to the transcription his occupation was apprentice clown. Like I said, I don’t know why that seemed so ridiculous to me. When I thought about it, I assumed that there had to be some clowns and circus entertainers listed in the census, and clowns had to learn their skills like anybody else, so why shouldn’t there be an apprentice clown.

Of course when I looked at the actual image, he wasn’t a clown, I am not sure what he was an apprentice of, the word is hard to make out, but he was working for a railway company, so I think it is safe to say they weren’t training many clowns at the time.

Looking at the occupation code (the three digit number) the enumerator has written on the schedule (512) it appears he was training to work on railway engines either as a driver, stoker or cleaner.

Have you found anything in the census that has made you laugh out loud during your research? Have you come across any clowns in the census?

Missing (but now found) from the 1911 census transcription

12 Feb

The birth certificate of Walter Henry BOXALL encouraged me to investigate what happened to his mother Alice Ruth and her husband Walter William WEST, one source I checked was the 1911 census.

It took me quite a bit of searching to find the couple and their five children. I had almost given up on finding them, even trying a search of the passengers lists to see if they had left the country. I found a death entry in the GRO indexes that seemed to indicate that Alice was still living in Sussex when she died in 1968, and this encouraged me to continue searching.

I tried so many different searches, it didn’t help from my side that I didn’t have a reliable date of birth for Walter William WEST, but it expected to be able to find the couple together in Sussex, somewhere near Chichester.

Eventually I found Walter William WEST, living in Cocking, Sussex, according to the transcription he had six children, but his wife was missing. Curiously there were two sons with the same name (Charles), age (9 years) and place of birth (West Dean, Sussex). I thought that a bit bizarre, but all was revealed when I checked the actual census page.

There was only one Charles on the page, and there was Alice the wife of Walter William. In the transcription Charles had been duplicated and somehow Alice had been missed altogether. I have submitted a correction, in fact six or seven corrections, so that hopefully anyone searching for Alice in future will not have the same problem as me.

Ironically, this particular page was one of the neatest I have seen in my searches, Walter William WEST had the sort of handwriting that I wish all my relations had, clear and legible, not what you would expect from a labourer on the railways.

Generally though I have found that the 1911 census transcription is pretty good, although I do find the odd mistake now and then, but nothing as major as an individual actually missing.

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