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Post Info TOPIC: 1841-1911 censuses online

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1841-1911 censuses online

In another thread on pre-1841 censuses, our discussion wandered onto later censuses.  Here I'm going to try to answer Linda's question "Do you know if each company does their own transcribing or whether it is a universal transcription and everyone is the same?"

I have been meaning to do a proper analysis of this, as I don't know the extent to which rival companies have shared info.  I believe that Ancestry and Findmypast transcriptions must be different, for sometimes people who seem impossible to find on one will just pop up straight away on the other.  I am not sure about 1881: I have a vague idea that Ancestry uses the FamilySearch data for that year.

I see that the 1911 census is on Genes Reunited now: it appears to be the same data as the official 1911 site to judge from the fact that my great-grandfather Robert J Cavell is listed as Robert Q Cavell on both.  Though the Genes Reunited search form (for unregistered users like me) is very basic, the search results very usefully show birthplace, which you don't get in "free" searches on the official site. However, you can extract a lot more "free" info from the official site using their advanced search facility.

It looks like the 1911 census will soon be available on Ancestry too.  It already includes details of heads of households, from the 1911 census summary books; the full 1911 census is due to be added 'over the next few months'.  The Genealogist (= UK Census Online) also says "coming soon" for the 1911 census. 

When the library reopens (next week) I'll try to do some tests to see if I can spot the differences between census transcriptions on different sites.  Also I'll have a go at putting together some tips for searching: tricks like using wildcards and doing generally "fuzzier" searches can find long-lost people.


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