Person search 1911 census
For the first time ever, we've made the infirmity column of the 1911 census available for you to view. See how your ancestors reported your family's illnesses and conditions and the age at which these began. This can provide a revealing insight into the previously censored health of your family in 1911, as well as your ancestors' views of their relations' wellbeing.
On the 1911 census transcriptions, you'll also be able to see any recorded details of children born to women in prison who were aged three or under at the time of the census.
The 1911 census
The 1911 census for England and Wales was taken on the night of Sunday 2 April, 1911. The count included all individual households, plus institutions such as prisons, workhouses, naval vessels and merchant vessels, and it also attempted to make an approximate count of the homeless.
Searching the 1911 UK census
You can search the census for a person or an address. For a wider range of search fields, click the advanced search tab above. Completing more fields will narrow down your results, but we suggest that you begin your search by using only a small amount of information. This will allow for potential mis-transcriptions, and if you get too many results, you can always add more detail to condense them. For help with your searches, click the search tips tab above.
What is in the 1911 census?
In common with the censuses that preceded it, it recorded the following information:
- Where an individual lived
- Their age at the time of the census
- Who (what relatives) they were living with
- Their place of birth
- Details of any guests on the night of the census
- Details of any servants they had
Also, depending on an individual’s circumstances, additional information could include:
- Whether they were an employee or employer
- Precise details of the industry or service they worked in
- Details of nationality
- Duration of their current marriage
- Number of children born to that marriage
- Number of children still living, and the number who had died
- Details of any illnesses or conditions each family member had, and the date these began
Fertility in marriage and occupational data
In response to government concerns the 1911 census also asked additional, more specific questions to each household, about fertility in marriage and occupational data.
The 1911 census documents
Prior to 1911, the household schedules were destroyed once the details had been transferred into the enumerators’ summary books. But for the 1911 census both sets of records have been preserved, which means you can see the census documents filled out in your ancestor’s own hand (complete with mistakes and additional comments). The household schedules, plus their transcription, are available to view.The transcription will help you to locate your ancestors, but it is best to view the original images as well, to verify your findings.
The 1911 census and the suffragettes
Frustrated with the government’s refusal to grant women the vote, a large number of women boycotted the 1911 census by refusing to be counted. There were two forms of protest. In the first, the women (or their husbands) refused to fill in the form, often recording their protest on the household schedule. In the second, women evaded the census by staying away from their home for the whole night, and so did not lodge their protest on the household schedule. In both cases, any details relating to individual women in the households will be missing from the census. For the family historian, a refusal to fill in the form (accompanied by a protest statement) at least registers the presence of a woman, or women, in the household. But the women who evaded the count by leaving their home for the night are entirely untraceable via the census. The exact number of women who boycotted the census is not known, though some people have estimated that it may be as many as several thousand.
Find your ancestors
Less is more
Start your search with the basic information only. If you fill in too many search fields, the search results may actually exclude the person or place you are looking for, as one or more of the fields may not match your criteria exactly. If you get too many results, you can always complete more fields to condense them.
Even if you are sure you know the correct spelling of a name, it may not be recorded exactly as you’d expect. The spelling of a surname can change as it is passed down through the generations and your ancestor may have used a different first name in everyday life to the one used for official documents.
If you tick the ‘include variants’ tickbox, alternative spellings of the name you’ve entered will be included in the results. For example, if you enter Elizabeth you will also get matches for ‘Elisabeth’; ‘Smyth’ will appear alongside ‘Smythe’ and ‘Smith’; and ‘Sally’ alongside ‘Sarah’.
Broaden your search
If you are unsure of how a name was spelt or if you can’t find it with the usual spelling, the wildcard feature lets you broaden your search.
You can create a wildcard search by including a * in the search. It can be used within all alphabetical search fields, except those with drop-down menus.
For example, if you search for William Lancaster but enter ‘*caster’ in the last name field, your results will include names such as Doncaster and Hilcaster as well as Lancaster. So if the initial part of William Lancaster’s last name has been wrongly transcribed, the results may still lead you to the right entry.
The initial and/or last letters of names are sometimes mis-transcribed. You can use two wildcards in a search field to allow for these types of transcription error. For example, you could enter *ollin* if you were having difficulty finding a Rollind or a Collins.
Reverse the last name and first name
Most people were recorded on the census by first name and then last name. However, there are instances where the last name was recorded before the first name. This is particularly common for people in institutions.
You could try searching for an elusive ancestor by entering their last name in the first name field and their first name in the last name field.
Narrow down your results
Sort your results
If your search returns a large number of results, you may wish to sort them to help you read the list. You can sort via the name, birth year or registration district columns in the search results by clicking on the relevant column heading.
Other people living in the same household
You can enter the name of someone living in the same household to refine the results. Click the ‘advanced search’ tab to display the ‘Other persons living in the same household’ search fields.
Redefine your search
If your search produces over 1,000 results you will be asked to redefine it. Simply click ‘redefine current search’, enter more criteria into the search fields, and click "search" again. Don’t feel that you have to complete all the fields – it is best to gradually add information until you get the right results.