Free accesss to census indexes on the 27th March 2011

22 Mar

To mark the fact that Sunday 27th March 2011 is census day in the UK, will be allowing free access to their UK census indexes for the whole day.

After checking the census indexes however you will need a membership subscription, to sign up for a free 14-day trial or to use pay-as-you-go credits to view the actual images of the original pages (except for the Scottish ones that Ancestry aren’t allowed to display).

According to the post by Kelly Godfrey on the blog “census records are the perfect first step. They list everybody in each household all over the country, together with crucial details such as their ages and birthplaces. So, you can quickly and easily collect names and dates for several generations.”

Just don’t get too carried away and forget that you are also supposed to be filling in the 2011 census on the same day.

3 Responses to “Free accesss to census indexes on the 27th March 2011”

  1. Paul September 4, 2011 at 7:53 pm #

    Hello John, I’m Paul and I haven’t contacted you before. I’m new to this malarkey and I’m getting hooked! Discovering the expected vagabonds and the very occasional potentially rich ancestor.

    Trouble is I’m unemployed and can’t continue to subscribe to where I have developed 2 family trees. I do not have the £80 they want to resubscribe and wonder what the options are. I need an impartial view please – hope you may be able to give me a quick steer with your obvious experience.

    I’ve seen there is Ancestry Family Tree software out there and I’ve seen 2010 versions very cheap on Do you know if I could buy that before my sub expires (in 2 weeks) and then “rescue” my 2 trees?

    Hope you may have time for a quick reply and sorry to bother you.

    Best wishes

    Paul in Glasgow

    • Paul September 4, 2011 at 7:55 pm #

      OOPS – forgot to add the “notify me” stuff

  2. John Gasson September 6, 2011 at 7:27 am #

    Hi Paul,

    Thanks for your message and welcome to the addictive world of family history! I find time and money are the two main limiting factors when it comes to family history, there never seems to be enough of one or other of them, or both.

    My first suggestion would be to check out your local library if you haven’t already. I am not sure about the situation in Scotland but in England it seems that many public libraries provide access to through their library edition, some also have access to and other useful websites.

    From checking the help pages on it appears that you will still be able to access your family tree once your subscription expires, however you won’t be able to view any of the records that are linked to your tree, so you need to make sure that you have saved all the census images etc before your subscription runs out.

    It appears that you can still add to your family trees once your subscription has expired and still export the data. It looks like the export is a GEDCOM format which can be used with most popular family history programs, so no need to stick to a specific Ancestry program.

    There are several free programs about, I hear good things about RootsMagic Essentials and Legacy Family Tree although I haven’t used either of them. Although both of these are free they do have paid for versions as well, offering more features.

    So I would suggest exporting a copy of your family trees from and trying out one or both of these programs and see which feels best for you. Then make sure you have saved copies of all the documents attached to your trees on Ancestry.

    Good luck with your research,

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