Once a day on the Blair Archival Research Facebook page a new post is shared. There is a theme for each month and December’s was census records. This is the last post for the 366 Days of Genealogy.
In 2013 on the Blair Archival Research Facebook page we are doing 52 Weeks of Genealogy. Each Friday I post a tip and suggestions that follow a monthly theme.
The topic for December is census records. When people think about doing census research one of the first places they look is Ancestry where you can find census records for many countries.
For English census records check out Findmypast
In the United States there is FamilySearch which also has census records from other countries.
Cyndi’s List has a list of census records for the United States.
A Genealogy Research Guide has a list of free US census sources.
When you are researching US census records don’t forget to see if there are any state or territorial censuses taken between the federal census years.
You can find US census records on Worldvitalrecords.
The Census Finder will help you find free census resources for the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Native American, Norway and Sweden.
The Library and Archives Canada website have a list of all the places you can find Canadian census records online. Just remember that some of these records may not be complete yet.
Automated Genealogy is a good place to look if you can’t find someone in a census database somewhere else. This is a free website and the index is good. Right now you can look at the 1901, 1911 Canada census and the 1906 Northwestern Census, the 1851 census for New Brunswick and the 1852 for Canada East and West.
The 1851 Canada census had some difficulty getting started so some of it was taken in the first part of 1852.
Did you know that some areas of Canada including Ontario have census records earlier than 1851? They are usually head of household and may need to be viewed either locally or the Archives of Ontario. Some are available online.
Did you know that the 1871 Canada census has a mortality schedule and it lists the people who died in the previous twelve months?
You can also find out the lot and concession number for the land on which your ancestors lived in Ontario by looking at Schedule #4 of the 1871 census. You need to know the page and line number on the personal census to cross reference it. Each section of the census has mortality and Schedule #4 starting at the end of the personal census.
The 1901 and 1911 Irish census is available to search online for free. Don’t forget to check all the pages of the census that relate to your family. You might be surprised by what you find.
The Irish census records prior to 1901 were destroyed but some fragments still survive. Check out John Grenham or James G Ryan’s books for the county you are researching to see if any survive for that area.
For Scotland the first place to check for census records is Scotlandspeople.
If you want to save a little money in your search then Ancestry and FamilySearch have the indexes for the Scottish censuses online. You can check them out and if you find them then you have the reference you need to find them on ScotlandsPeople fairly quickly.
In the 1841 Scottish census they do not provide relationships or household connections on the census. The place of birth is either inside or outside the county where the census was taken.
Do you have family on censuses in Canada, the United Kingdom, United States or Ireland? Then you might consider using Lost Cousins. Read the instructions carefully as they use a specific format. It is free to upload your information but you pay a fee to contact a link. Sometimes they offer free access periods. The newsletter is full of useful information.
In a lot of early census records the ages might have been rounded up or down to the nearest five for adults. Keep this in mind when you are calculating ages.
Information found on the census can be questionable but it is a good place to start. Remember that the person providing the information might have guessed at ages and places of birth. If a father was giving ages for a long list of children he may have gotten a few wrong.
When you are doing census research find out the dates of enumeration. This can be important if you are looking for a family but they are not found. It could be they weren’t in the area yet or had recently moved on to a new place.
Try and think about what your family may have been doing during the time of the census. The 1901 Irish census was taken on 31 March 1901. My Great Grandmother was not found with her family because she married on March 12th.
I found one Irish ancestor who normally lived in Tipperary in the English census in 1901 because she was visiting her Aunt in Derby.
Don’t forget to check the FamilySearch Wiki for information on census records for all countries.
Did you know that there was an index for the 1841 New South Wales Australia census? You can search it online for free but if you want a copy it costs $15 AUS plus postage.
If you are searching for census records in New Zealand the pre 1966 records have been destroyed.
Familiarize yourself with the details and background as to how and why the census was taken. This will help you with your research.
Don’t just think of a country wide census. In Ireland the local churches often took censuses of their parish. I found one for 1831 which listed the head of the house and then the rest of the household were listed as: number of males, number of females, number of male servants, number of female servants. It also provided the townland where he lived. I have found church censuses in other countries as well.
Next time you fill out your census forms please remember the family members who may be searching for information on you in the next 100 years. In Canada this means ticking the little box that says you allow this information to be released otherwise it will never be released to the public.
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