About the 1911 Census

The 1911 census of England and Wales was taken on the night of Sunday 2 April 1911.  Over 8 million schedules were delivered to householders around the country from Penzance to Berwick; from Aberystwyth to Great Yarmouth.

The completed forms provide us with personal details of the 36 million people who were living in England and Wales at the time, offering a fascinating insight into the state of the nation nearly 100 years ago.

The census shows the name, age, sex and marital status of each person, as well as giving details of their occupation, birth place and nationality.  The 1911 census also asks for additional information about married women: how long they have been married and how many children have been born to that marriage.

The 1911 census has been called ‘the fertility census’ as it lists the total number of children that a woman had given birth to; this information is especially valuable to family historians as it accounts for children no longer living at home as well as those who had died before 1911.

Census returns are a key source for people tracing their family history, as well as those studying local, social and political history.  For family historians, one of the main attractions of the 1911 census is that, for the first time, it is the original householder schedules that have survived so we can see our ancestors’ own handwriting, complete with any unsolicited additional comments that they might have made.

Information recorded for each person:

• Name and Surname
• Relationship to head of family
• Age and Sex
• Marital condition
• Profession or Occupation
• Birthplace
• Nationality
• Infirmity (eg. deaf, dumb, blind, lunatic, imbecile etc.) Note: this information will not be available to view until the census is officially opened in January 2012. At the request of the Information Commissioner these details have been obscured in the images that are made available prior to that date.

Additionally, details recorded for married women:

• Years married
• Children born to present marriage, living or deceased

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