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Access to the 1921 census

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date

Joy Kentish Maid

Joy Kentish Maid Report 29 Jul 2010 09:21

We shall have to differ in our opinions about certain things, Guy, including the Federation of Family History Societies; also, the ancestry site is uploading, as I said, the 1911 enumerators books on its site.


Guy Report 29 Jul 2010 14:45

Yes they are uploading the enumerator’s summary books but those are not the census.
If you think they are I am afraid you are in for a disappointment

The schedules are National Archives document reference RG 14.
The enumerator’s summary books are National Archives document reference RG 78.

The summary books are not the same as the census schedules.
They contain the enumerator’s instructions, the district boundaries details of buildings and their use etc. they do not contain the schedules


Joy Kentish Maid

Joy Kentish Maid Report 29 Jul 2010 15:45

I am aware of the content of the 1911 census enumerators books. Apart from other knowledge that I have gleaned, the following is from staff in the ancestry site:
"Our current plan is to launch onsite the 1911 Census Enumerator Books in 2010, which we are confident will be of terrific use to members, helping them to cross-track their ancestors through censuses, telephone book, military records etc during the early part of the 20th century.
The 1911 Census Enumerator Books will include the following:
The address
The head of household’s name
The respective number of males and females living in the house."


Guy Report 30 Jul 2010 00:11

Forum members may be interested to know that the UK has to comply with the EU legislation.
One such piece of legislation is the European Council (Framework) Census Regulation. Approved by the European Parliament on 20 February 2008.
This has to be compiled from census or alternative sources such as surveys and registers, etc.
The topics which are specified by the Regulation cover:

* Place of usual residence
* Size of locality of usual residence (urban/rural)
* Sex
* Age
* Marital status
* Economic activity status
* Occupation
* Industry
* Employment status
* Workplace
* Educational attainment
* Country of birth
* Country of citizenship
* Ever resided abroad and year of entry into country
* Place of usual residence 1 year before census
* Relationship within household
* Status within household
* Status within family
* Type of housing arrangement
* Tenure status of household
* Type of household
* Size of household
* Type of family
* Size of family
* Type of living quarters
* Type of ownership
* Location of living quarters
* Occupancy status
* Floor space/Number of rooms
* Density standard of accommodation
* Housing amenities (water supply, toilet facilities, bathing facilities, type of heating)
* Type of dwelling
* Period of construction

Intrusive, yes, covered by the 1920 Census regulations no.
Perhaps someone could explain to me why this country has to supply a group of foreign countries the above details (which comes under legislation with a 30 year disclosure limit, recommended to be reduced to 15 years) when the 1921 census is withheld for ever.


TootyFruity Report 30 Jul 2010 08:25

Perhaps then it would be better to lobby for a change in the EU legislation to protect ourselves and future generations.

Guy why are you so keen for the 1920 to be released when, as it has been pointed out before, the information is available via other roots, ie BMD's. I wonder if you are going to benefit financially or in some other way.

Joy Kentish Maid

Joy Kentish Maid Report 30 Jul 2010 08:29

I had asked a similar question on Family Tree Forum:
"As a matter of interest, Guy, why the rush from a personal point of view? Why would you not be content to wait?
Is it because the 1931 census documents were destroyed in a fire and the 1941 was not taken and, therefore, it may be the last one to be released in your and my lifetime?"


Guy Report 30 Jul 2010 14:36

Joy I answered your question on 28th July 2010 08:12 in this thread.

TootiFruity, I am keen to have the census released for a number of reasons. One being hundreds (if not thousands) of emails and letters asking for help from people who have lost their family such as the British Home Children.
For some such records will not help for others they are imperative.

As for the suggestion that I am going to benefit financially no, in fact I have spent a great deal of time and money in fighting to have the various records released.

Will I benefit in another way yes, guilty. I benefit from the letters of thanks I have received from people who have managed to discover their heritage due to records such as the 1911 census and the 1939 National Registration being released early. That is more than enough reward for me.


TootyFruity Report 30 Jul 2010 16:24

Guy thank you for your candid reply

However, as you are most probably aware the National Archive as a searchable database for British Home Children so the need for the 1921 census to be released is not necessary.

As this thread has shown that the opposition to the release is equal if not greater to the 1921 census release than in favour and this opinion should be consider and not discarded.

I would prefer to lobby parliament to put restrictions on personal information about it's living citizens being made available so easily. I am not impressed that information about me as been made available on the web without my consent.

Joy Kentish Maid

Joy Kentish Maid Report 30 Jul 2010 16:35

I believe I was answering the previous poster.

Guy, I am aware that you campaigned for early release of the 1911 census. However, although you speak in such a derogatory tone about the Federation of Family History Societies, it did campaign for the early release of the 1911 census.


InspectorGreenPen Report 30 Jul 2010 19:06

Guy, Your responses to arguments on here do come across as robust, no question about that, but some may find this rather daunting.

Whilst your efforts to assist research into genealogy are commended, can I suggest that your opinions are not necessarily those of all the members on this site, and they should be allowed to voice their opinions without being treated as though they are in a court of law.

~~~Secret Red ^^ Squirrel~~~  **007 1/2**

~~~Secret Red ^^ Squirrel~~~ **007 1/2** Report 30 Jul 2010 19:20

Echoing my views on your thread on chat, personally I'm opposed to the 1921 census and all subsequent census records being released early. I think this could serious implications on the privacy of living individuals.


InspectorGreenPen Report 30 Jul 2010 19:35

Well, uhm yes. Don't normally bother with Chat Board but I see what you mean, having taken a peek.

I'll steer clear for now.....!

Joy Kentish Maid

Joy Kentish Maid Report 30 Jul 2010 23:38

I agree with IGP and SRS.


Guy Report 31 Jul 2010 06:38

Secret Red I would be interested to know what serious implications on the privacy of living individuals you are referring to.
People mention such terms but never explain what they mean by privacy.

The 1921 census did not ask any questions that would not have been common knowledge in 1921 to the people in the neighbourhood.
As those facts were common knowledge they could not be regarded as private.

I will list the questions in case you missed them.

Name & Surname,
Relationship to Head,
Married or Orphaned,
Place of work,
Total Children Under 15,
Ages of Children

The Welsh schedules also asked if a Welsh language speaker or not.


Guy Report 31 Jul 2010 07:08

InspectorGreenPen thanks for your comment, I will try to amend my style of writing on the forum.


Guy Report 31 Jul 2010 07:34

The 1921 census will not be released without a change in the legislation to allow it to be released.
There is no legislation that allows the release after 100 years as some seem to think.

May I suggest anyone interested in getting the 1921 census released write to an MP or Cabinet Minister at the House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA.

In addition please visit the HMG Your Freedom suggestions site and add a comment and rate my suggestion at

Please remember I believe in democracy and welcome comments both for and against my suggestion. The important point is to make a comment.

Perhaps I should also mention I have had encouraging letters from both 10 & 11 Downing Street, The Prime Minister & Chancellor.


TootyFruity Report 31 Jul 2010 08:17

and may I suggest that on the same note anyone against it's release should also lobby their MP to this effect so they get a balance point of view from the electrorate

~~~Secret Red ^^ Squirrel~~~  **007 1/2**

~~~Secret Red ^^ Squirrel~~~ **007 1/2** Report 31 Jul 2010 09:10

Hi Guy,

How could you know with certainty what was common knowledge back then? People kept things secret from neighbours, even down to their names and true ages? Besides I'm not arguing from a legal point of view but purely from an expectation of privacy for specifically those who are living who don't want people TODAY to know their background. There will be some from that era who may not want their details spread across the internet.

You also mentioned (on chat) that you would be quite happy for the census details today to be released after it had been of some use with sensitive data removed .You mentioned 5 or 30 years? Personally if census records mirrored data in 1921 (which I know that they don't exactly) but I would not want anyone to see ANY of this data about me.

Name & Surname,
Relationship to Head,
Married or Orphaned,
Place of work,
Total Children Under 15,
Ages of Children

I'm quite adamant on this. What is the point of releasing this information apart to satisfy someone's desire to further a hobby. You may be putting people at risk in so many ways, people running away from others for whatever reason including domestic violence who may have settled somewhere else. Identity theft?

Also I may not want people to know that I was a stripper 5/10/20/30 years ago or a policeman or a prison officer. Indeed I may not want people to know that my mother was living in a brothel 90 years ago about the time that I was born.

You're very keen to bring up the legal aspects of this but I find you very reluctant to see things from people's point of view that may be hurt by the release of these documents. You champion those that would love to see the data but appear to cast the others aside.

~~~Secret Red ^^ Squirrel~~~  **007 1/2**

~~~Secret Red ^^ Squirrel~~~ **007 1/2** Report 31 Jul 2010 09:36


"The first census that included the promise the census returns would be closed for 100 years was the 1981 census"

You could also argue that people who were children when any census records were taken had no control over what was put down on census records. They could not object to their details being submitted for all the world to see. In fact probably most of the power lay with the head of the household.

Also, as census data didn't appear to be published until the 100 years was up (if it was, little was known about it) then most people completed their census records with the expectation that it wouldn't be released until 100 years. If they thought in 1970 that their records were going to be released in 2010, they may not have put the same data down.


TootyFruity Report 31 Jul 2010 10:37

Well said Secret Red Squirel I totally agree with you.