1911 Census on Ancestry

Image available on Creative Commons Licence from Michael Kooiman, Flickr

If your family were living in Birmingham in 1911 you should now be able to find them on the 1911 census via the library’s subscription to Ancestry.co.uk. Up until now the only full searchable index to this census was on FindMyPast. Ancestry added the images and an index to the Summary Books earlier this year and are now catching up with the transcriptions – and hence a searchable database. 

These transcriptions are being added in batches – Wales, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands were first a couple of months ago. The latest additions which include Warwickshire and Worcestershire (but not Staffordshire) mean that over half the 1911 Census records will be fully searchable. The remaining counties will be added sometime in 2012.

Here’s a full list of the areas that are now searchable:

  • Channel Islands
  • Cheshire
  • Cornwall
  • Cumberland
  • Derbyshire
  • Devon
  • Durham
  • Isle of Man
  • Lancashire
  • Leicestershire
  • Lincolnshire
  • London
  • Norfolk
  • Northumberland
  • Nottinghamshire
  • Rutland
  • Wales
  • Warwickshire
  • Westmorland
  • Worcestershire
  • Yorkshire

The 1911 census records are the first where the images that you see are copies of the documents that your ancestors completed – rather than copies made from the originals by the local enumerators. This means that you can see your ancestors own handwriting plus any additional comments they may have added to the form. An interest in fertility and child mortality saw the introduction of new questions regarding length of marriage, and numbers of surviving children – all valuable information for family historians.

The library edition of Ancestry is available free of charge in all Birmingham libraries.

Liz Palmer

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