Census records are the lifeblood of family history - it's hard to imagine getting started without them. These crucial documents provide a snapshot of your family's domestic life every ten years, listing everybody in the house, and providing details such as their ages, birth places, occupations and relationships.
We know how much you want it, so we're giving it to you. We've started putting the 1911 Census online. Soon you'll be able to bring your research forward another ten years, fill in gaps in your family tree, and uncover fascinating new details about your ancestors. Read more
We're delighted to announce the 1911 Census will be available as part of all our memberships. Essentials, Premium and Worldwide members will be able to search the records, read the transcriptions and view the original records – in your ancestors' own handwriting – at no extra cost.
We're working hard to transcribe the records as quickly as possible. We'll put each section online as soon as we finish it, so you can get started finding your family.
The 1911 Census is the first that lets you read the original household schedules your ancestors filled in. It also provides extra details such as the industries your forebears worked in, how long couples had been married, and the number of children born to that marriage, giving you crucial new clues to explore.
As the first part of our project to bring you the 1911 Census, we've completed the enumerators' summary books for the entire country. These let you take a walk through your ancestors' neighbourhoods, and provide a taste of what you can expect as we put the full records online.
The summary books tell you the name of the head of each household and the number of people recorded in each house – so you can see where your family was living, and work out if there are likely to be any new members.
You can also see the type of property your relatives were living in, examine the route the enumerator took around the nearby area – often with a map included – and get statistics about the local population.Search the Census Summary Books now
Family members often chose to live close to each-other. It's worth checking the heads of households near your ancestors' addresses in the 1911 Census Summary Books, to see if you have other ancestors in the same neighbourhood.
People in Britain have been recorded as far back as the Domesday Book in 1086. However, the first national census as we know it was introduced in 1801, with the aim of telling the Government how many mouths it had to feed in each parish.
Since then, censuses have been taken every ten years – except in 1941, because of World War II. The first three, up to 1831, were just statistical surveys, with no information on the people in each house. Since 1841, though, each census has recorded the names, addresses, ages and many other details of our ancestors, making them essential for family history.