Wednesday, June 10, 2009

1911 Census (UK) for Wales Now On-Line

Last October 20, 21 and December 27 I reported to teh JewishGen Discussion Group that parts of the 1911Census for England, Wales and Ireland being released before the 100-year rule (for background on why read the October 20, 2008 posting by going to the JewishGen archives). The National Archives developed an on-line 1911 census service with itsexternal partner FindMypast.com. (www.findmypast.com)

To access the records, Go to http://www.1911census.co.uk/click about the 1911 census" then on the left hand side click "The Welsh Records".

Every ten years the United Kingdom (for purposes of this posting, England and Wales) conducts a census. There is a long-standing rule that census information may not be released in less than 100 years. The 1911 census for Wales has just been released and posted on-line at FindMyPast.com. The census was taken Sunday, April 2, 1911 and covers 2.4 million people. The 1911 census is the most detailed census since the UK started to take the decennial census and the first in which the original census forms were preserved, therefore enabling the viewer to see the person's actual handwriting.

There are some unique challenges for the Welsh census. Prior to the 1911 census, only the enumerators’ books were retained, and these were completed in English. On the1911 census, householders were given the option of filling in the form in Welsh or English. Around eight and a half per cent of the population in Wales spoke Welsh as their first language, so a percentage of the forms were written in Welsh. The difficulty of searching Welsh records is compounded by the fact that a few common surnames account for a large percentage of the population, and you may need extra information to narrow your search. On the FindMyPast website under Welsh records, they have Welsh translation tables and search tips to assist you, as well as a sample of the census form.

Information contained on the census form includes: the name, age, place of birth, marital status and occupation of every resident in every home, as well as their relationship to the head of the household. Because these records were released in advance of the scheduled 2012 date, certain sensitive information relating to infirmity and to children of women prisoners is not yet available.

This is a subscription-based site; searches are free, but you pay as you go to view each record - 10 credits per transcript and 30 credits for each original household page. Visitors to the website can buy 60 credits for £6.95. Great News! FindMyPast.com will be one of the many available databases on the 28resource room computers at the 29th International Conference on Jewish Genealogy inPhiladelphia August 2-7, 2009! FindMyPast.com is making their databases free on theresource room computers- so take advantage while you are at the conference!

Jan Meisels Allen
Director, IAJGS and
Chairperson, Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

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