Tag Archives: 1901 census

I just can’t stop filing and a couple of firsts for my research.

30 Aug

I did do some research yesterday evening, but I am slightly embarrassed to admit that by the end of the evening I was back filing and organising my paperwork again.

It wasn’t that the research wasn’t interesting, I had intend to use the marriage and death indexes on ancestry.co.uk to fill in some details on the children of George and Lilian Mary MITCHELL (my great grandparents) of West Dean, Sussex. I got distracted and started filling in some details on Lilian’s parents James and Caroline BOXALL, starting with the census.

James and Caroline had a lot of children, and several of the later ones didn’t survive very long. I wasn’t sure that I had found all the children and knowing James and Caroline were still alive in 1911, I decided to spend the money and get the census image for that year.

In 1911 James and Caroline had been married for 34 years and Caroline had given birth to thirteen children, nine of whom were still living and four who had died. From the West Dean parish registers and earlier census returns I had only come up with twelve. I wonder if the problem comes from Walter Henry BOXALL who in the 1911 census is listed as their son, but in the 1901 census he is shown as their grandson.

Interestingly Walter Henry is the first person in my family tree to have been born in Wales. Both census returns give his place of birth as Caerleon, Monmouthshire. I think it unlikely that James and Caroline made the trip to Wales and then returned to Sussex, so I believe that he is their grandson, but who his parents were is still a mystery (until I buy a birth certificate).

After this I moved on to the children of George and Lilian Mary MITCHELL, as I know the dates of birth for most of them I have been able to find quite a few in the GRO death indexes. I have also found some likely marriages for some of them and was able to fill in a missing spouse for Robert Charles MITCHELL. He married Emily S SMITH in 1932 in the Chichester Registration District.

That marked another first for my family tree, the first person with the surname SMITH. I am almost up to a thousand individuals but this is the first SMITH I have found, and I have yet to find a JONES either. On the whole I have been blessed with uncommon surnames to research!

It wasn’t long before I returned to my filing. I made a start on the TROWER surname folder, and weeded out lots of paper I don’t need, at least now I can close the folder properly. In fact I am enjoying being able to pull out a folder without the whole lot collapsing on me. It really is a great feeling!

Can’t find your ancestor in the 1901 census?

11 Aug

If you have been struggling to find you ancestor (or anyone else for that matter) in the 1901 census for England and Wales then it might be worth trying the brand-new version announced by Findmypast.com.

According to their blog, they are “confident our new transcription is the most accurate online and will reveal many individuals whose names have been wrongly transcribed by other websites”. Not only is there a new transcription to search but the census pages have been scanned at a higher quality as well.

Normally you won’t find me straying very far from their competition over at ancestry.co.uk when it comes to searching census returns, but it is always worth checking elsewhere when the individual you are searching for just doesn’t show up on one or other of the sites.

The history of genealogy websites

7 Jul

One of the items in my “crate of shame” was a copy of The Genealogist’s Internet by Peter Christian. I have the first and third editions of this book, partly for the reference material they contain, but mainly for the nostalgia element.

It is not really surprising that genealogy sites have changed so much over recent years, but it seems inconceivable that in the first edition (published in 2001) the ancestry.com website was said to hold “over 2,000 separate datasets” but that the “majority of these are of interest only to those with US ancestry …. there are a number which may be useful to UK genealogists”. How times have changed.

Of course if you are interested in looking at internet history then a trip in the Wayback Machine is essential. Whilst you should not expect much functionality from them, it is still interesting to have a look at some of the changing home pages from sites like ancestry.co.uk, where for example in June 2002 you could “unlock the Records to your Past for as little as £29.95”.

Whilst you are time travelling you could stop in on the infamous 1901 census launch, and re-live the frustrations of the early days of the site, when access was restricted or non-existent. Check out the archives for the beginning of 2002 to see what access to online census records used to be like!

Does anyone know if anyone is recording the history of genealogical websites? Is it only me who is interested in this sort of thing? Perhaps someone would like to create a family tree of genealogy websites, after all ancestry.com now has many offspring!

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