Tuesday, January 13, 2009

1911 England Census Release

The 1911 Census Release site is a wonderful thing! I enjoyed using it, and found the records I was after very quickly. In a way, I'm glad it's not a subscription site, allowing me to limit my spending by purchasing credits to buy just the images I'm sure that I want. The searches are very intuitive and allow you to continue to narrow your search etc. In the 6 or so records I actually viewed, I found two transcription errors - which I am always quick to let someone know about and the site of course has a button to do this.

Once you've done the basic search (name & location) the database lets you know how many records it found but leaves the search entry screen up if there are many of them, to give you the opportunity to narrow it down by birth dates etc. Once you get to the results screen, there is actually a good bit of information provided on each individual. Then you can select the one you are fairly sure about and request to view either a transcript of the record (10 credits) or the actual image (30 credits).

After viewing several search results I selected one to 'buy' - Of course it was my Bellew line again. My Great-Great Grandfather Patrick and his wife Elizabeth were there in Preston, Lancashire, England in 1911. But, as I held the printed copy of this form in my hand I quickly realized something - it is in HIS handwriting. Patrick himself filled this form out for me! No middle man, no stranger's attempt at the spellings, just a form filled out by dear ol' great great granddad. The 1911 census had an individual form for each household. He even signed it at the bottom.

I have found 2 of my 2nd Great-Grandparents in the 1911 census. And I must say, the site is wonderful to use. Now that I've purchased access to those records, they will remain on the site in "My Records" and I can also save the images to my PC.

2 comments:

  1. "it is in HIS handwriting. Patrick himself filled this form out for me!"

    When I read that line I got the (good) shivers!

    Wonderful find!
    -Amy

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  2. Amy - thanks for your note. I know what you mean about the shivers, I got them when I saw the handwriting - every male in the family wrote the name the same way, so I recognized it right away.

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