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  3. The 1921 Census of England & Wales

What's included in a 1921 Census transcript?

A transcript is the quickest way to read a record in the 1921 Census of England and Wales. It contains all the key information within a 1921 Census record in an easily legible transcription of the written text. 

A typical household return transcription will show the householder members table. This gives the names and key details of individuals in the order they appear on the original census record. Beneath the household members table, you will see a full transcription for the individual whose row is highlighted in the table. Simply click on a different person in the household members table to highlight them and switch to their full transcription. 

In addition to the fascinating information within the record itself - like the person's occupation, employer and address, you may also get several of the following:  

  • Access to a definition of your ancestor’s occupation  
  • Other people who did the same job or worked at the same employer  
  • A map of the area they lived in  
  • Statistics about the local region compared to the national statistics  
  • Access to a historical definition of the place your ancestor lived in  
  • A 1921 newspaper  

Only two fields have not been transcribed. These are the room count and minor dependency grid. This was because householders often filled them out incorrectly, in many instances you will see on the original images how enumerators or Census Office officials had struck out householder mistakes and re-entered the correct response themselves. As a result, the grid is often untidy and unclear. 

If you have bought the transcript and the image of the same record, you will also get access to the ‘transcript pop-up’ in the record image viewer. This will help you read the handwriting in the record image by showing you transcriptions for each row of census questions as you hover over it.  

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We have worked with a trusted transcription house on numerous projects for several years. When transcription of the 1921 Census took place, each digital image had to be broken up into segments so that the person transcribing it could not see a whole record or household. This was to ensure we complied with security and data protection regulations but also why you might see various spellings of the same surname or street address on one record because it has been transcribed by multiple people without the context of the whole record
Our aim when working on the transcription of the 1921 Census was to deliver a 98.5% accuracy rate across the 38 million individual records and from our initial quality control we believe we have achieved this. However, due to the secure nature of the 1921 Census project, the period of time in which we have been able to access and review the data ahead of launch has been limited and we have been unable to conduct the same level of quality assurance checks we would normally apply to such a major release.
To ensure the highest possible transcription standards we will be continually reviewing the data to correct any and all errors over time.

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