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1911 census search tips

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Jonesey Report 22 Oct 2009 14:28

Genealogy can be an expensive hobby/interest. This is especially so if, having paid to download a transcription or original of the 1911 census you discover that it is the wrong person/family. Here are some tips which may help you to positively identify your ancestors before paying to download.

TIP No 1

Here is the tip for finding family members in the 1911 census without first having to pay for the privilege

How to try to find out which other family members were living in the same household as our ancestor in 1911.

The first thing is to try to find our ancestor.

1) Log on to the 1911 census site. ( (It is free to search)

2) Put into the search boxes everything that you know about them. I.E. Name, Year born (+/- 2yrs), Where born (Sometimes it pays just to put the county of birth in if nothing comes up for the place) ect.

3) Press search and see what comes up.

4) Scroll through to look for the most likely candidate. If you can identify your ancestor do another search by going back to the search page (Click "Search again") and remove all the detail except the surname. Put the ancestors names in 'Other Members' boxes and finally in the 'Location' boxes put the County/Town/Residential place in which the 1st search indicated that they were living in 1911. N,B. if the name or place was mistranscribed or mis-spelled type it in exactly as you found it in search No 1.

5) The result of the 2nd search should reveal any other members of the household who share the same surname E.G. Husband, wife, children ect.

The tip works for all names but works best for people with not very common names. Although this is not infallible it might reveal many facts which might help to verify that this really is your ancestor before paying to download a transcription. It may also reveal facts such as someone who married after 1901 or children born since then.

TIP No 2

Here is a possible alternative to find people with different surnames at a particular address:

It does depend on your relative having an unusual-ish name and preferably middle name/s.

1) Find your relative on the 1911 census, take a note of full name as spelled on the 1911 census site (including any mistranscriptions) and the county & district.

2) Go back to search (you need to be on the "full person search"), under last name just put *A* (star A star), and check the box that says "Wildcard name", leave all other fields blank except for the county & district ones which are the same as the ones you made a note of, then where it asks for "other members of the same household" put the full name of your relative as spelled on the 1911 census site and check the boxes that say "exact match"

3) This will bring up anyone in same household whose surname contains with letter "A". If that fails to find anyone you then need to repeat the step 5 times replacing the *A* with *E*, *I*, *O*, *U* and *Y* in turn. Since over 90% of surnames will contain one of these letters you should get a result.

There is also way of telling what relationship each person has with the head of the household E.g. Wife, Son, Daughter, mother, father, servant ect:

The advanced search has a relationship to head field, so you can try each surname with relation=head, wife, son, etc. On a separate note, you can also enter the keyword widow, single etc.

If you can't see all these fields on the search page, there is a button at the bottom to "show advanced fields"

I've done this myself numerous times and it doesn't take too long once you've got the hang of it.

TIP No 3 (Acknowledgements to Janet and to Richard in Perth)

If you have an address and you wish to discover who was living there in 1911 here is what to do:

1) On the Person search click on "Show advanced fields"

2) In the "Location" boxes enter the County, District/other and put the exact address into the “Residential place” box. E.G 22 Any Street.

3) In the "Last name" box just type *A* (star A star), and check (Click on) the box that says "Wildcard name", then click "Search".

4) This will bring up anyone at the address whose surname contains the letter "A". If that fails to find anyone you then need to repeat step 3) 5 times replacing the *A* with *E*, *I*, *O*, *U* and *Y* in turn. Since over 90% of surnames will contain one of these letters you should get a result.

Although this sounds time consuming once you have done it a few times you will realise that it can in fact be done very quickly.

Good luck with your research.


Travelman Report 22 Oct 2009 14:31

Brilliant Jonesey thank you - Bookmarked!



val1963 Report 23 Oct 2009 16:56

Thank You Jonesey

Bookmarked it for later



Jonesey Report 4 Jul 2010 21:05

Nudged for Joy

Joy Kentish Maid

Joy Kentish Maid Report 4 Jul 2010 21:08

Thank you :-)

This is so very useful, and I would recommend it for those researchers wishing to have a try at searching the census themselves :-)


SpanishEyes Report 5 Jul 2010 06:14

Jonesy, This sounds fantastic and I am going to try it.
Thank you for the time spent explaining this.


brummiejan Report 5 Jul 2010 10:11



TootyFruity Report 5 Jul 2010 18:15



InspectorGreenPen Report 5 Jul 2010 18:32

This has been posted before.

It sounds fantastic and works best when both the name and location is fairly uncommon. Otherwise you get far too many results. Also a lot depends on working out just how the various search fields have been indexed.

Do give it a go but you may find, as I have - and I do have uncommon names - but you often need a full look up to confirm you have the right result.

Joy Kentish Maid

Joy Kentish Maid Report 5 Jul 2010 19:55

Nudged - because it is fun and satisfying searching personally :-)

Joy Kentish Maid

Joy Kentish Maid Report 12 Jul 2010 18:57

Brought forward


TootyFruity Report 15 Jul 2010 22:42


Joy Kentish Maid

Joy Kentish Maid Report 19 Jul 2010 15:18

Very useful advice.

Joy Kentish Maid

Joy Kentish Maid Report 31 Jul 2010 08:37



Helen Report 2 Aug 2010 16:55

Hi Jonesey.
Thanks so much. this tip works brilliantly. Even on my very common name. Found just what I was looking for without having to pay!!


Joy Kentish Maid

Joy Kentish Maid Report 5 Sep 2010 14:08

Brought forward - have a go, it is fun and rewarding :-)

Joy Kentish Maid

Joy Kentish Maid Report 6 Sep 2010 16:49


Joy Kentish Maid

Joy Kentish Maid Report 12 Sep 2010 11:08

nudged :-)

Joy Kentish Maid

Joy Kentish Maid Report 8 Oct 2010 08:28



SpanishEyes Report 11 Oct 2010 17:47