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Deciphering Census records - top tips - part 2

Following on from last weeks post about 1841 Census records; over the next few decades the government added more detail to the records.

By 1851 the data collected also included their relationship to the head of the family, whether they were married or single and also a space to record the town where they were born.



This new information is a huge help when researching your family tree. You now have an idea of the persons status in the household, and a location to search for any birth records. When searching for Thomas Evans (who can be seen on the above census) this led to the discovery that he had been married twice and at age 32 was already a widower!

This format stayed in use for the next few decades and changed very little. In 1861 a box was added to collect information about the houses in the street and whether they were inhabited or empty. This was expanded in 1891 to include the amount of rooms in each house, but was often left unfilled. Also in 1891 there was the addition of a couple of new columns for the collection of further information about a persons profession. Here we can find out whether a person was self employed, owned a business or was an employee. Great for getting a larger picture of your ancestors life.


In this 1891 Census we can see the information for a Pub called 'The King's Arms', all of the family as well as servants and employee's such as bar staff can be seen as well as their ages and where they were born. Helping to build a real picture for what life was like for this family and their employees. I had a quick google to see if I could find this pub but it was demolished in the 1970's and the site is now home to The Museum of London


The next set of census data in the early twentieth century saw more additions - look out for the next blog post to find out more!

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