Saturday, January 2, 2010

1911 Census Online For England And Wales

In case you are not aware, the 1911 Census for England and Wales is available online, but of course, at a price if you want to see the original documents in digital form. The website,, has a searchable database similar to the 1901CensusOnline site, although the site for the 1911 census records does not cover the same material as 1901CensusOnline, which allows searches from 1841-1901.

Both of course are pay sites, with costing 6.95 English pounds (approx. $11.24USD) to review the actual census pages online ~ it may save you a substantial amount to do research through your local Family History Center, and scour through the microfilm on your own. If you choose to purchase the credits needed to view the census pages, the 6.95 paid would give you 60 credits. Each page you look at will cost you 30 credits so this is a very expensive site in my opinion, but if you do know that you have found you ancestor, it is very tempting to see their information immediately, but if the name you are researching is somewhat common (yes, I have a couple of John Smiths I am tracing), then do more groundwork before making the purchase.

The high cost of these census websites is annoying, so if you do need to spend your hardearned money, be absolutely sure that you have the right family. There's nothing so irritating as getting a census page with the head of the family at the very bottom of the page and realizing that you will have to pay twice in order to see who else is in the household.

But ~ it costs you nothing at all except your time to search through the database. Try every surname variation you can think of because there are different spellings for even the simplest names. A name like Webster could be Webbster or Webber. Even Smith has a number of variations ~ like Smyth, Smythe, Smidth etc. I've seen dozens of examples of surnames misspelled due to poor handwriting and pronounciation. Remember, even if your family has "always spelt our name as ..." who knows what how the person hearing the name would spell your surname.

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