Monday, October 20, 2008

England and Wales 1911 Census

Welcome to the official 1911 Census website: "The 1911 census service will be launching soon and when it is available you will be able to search over 36 million records of people living in England and Wales in 1911."

The Scanning room at The National Archives in Kew:

NEWS from 1911 Census website: "The Women's Freedom League, a suffragette organisation, arranged a boycott of the 1911 census. We've already found three apparent sympathisers. One of them, who left the census return otherwise blank, has written:

‘No vote – no census. In view of restrictive legislation… I refuse to give details of my household asked for in this document'.

Another - who has partially completed the form – declares:

'If I am intelligent enough to fill in this paper, I am intelligent enough to put a cross on a voting paper.'

She also lists '6 females - addresses and names unknown' who, we can guess, were fellow suffragettes. Many attended all-night parties or stayed with friends to avoid participation."

MORE ABOUT the 1911 Census: "The 1911 census of England and Wales was taken on the night of Sunday 2 April 1911."

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.

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


  • The return for one household lists the family cat as a domestic servant, giving the feline's nationality as 'Persian'. We hope the enumerator appreciated the joke.
  • One householder, apparently objecting to the intrusive nature of the census, writes on the return:
  • 'Would you like to know what our income is, what each had for breakfast and how long we expect to live on anything else?'


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