Tips for finding people seemingly missing from censuses

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mardler
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Tips for finding people seemingly missing from censuses

Post by mardler »

Dave asked me: One drawback I come up against now and again, is the absence of a particular Census Form. Often one can locate it because the transcription is incorrect. Sometimes I am sure that the page has been missed because there are several names that you 'know' for sure and all are not traceable for a particular year. My question is, do you know of any wheezes whereby one can look through the individual pages for a village or district in a similar fashion as we scan the Indexes?

After a bit of to-ing and fro-ing, we came up with the following tips/thoughts that work with Ancestry.com for the England and Wales censuses. Most will work well on other sites too or with other censuses on Ancestry.
- Note that using the green arrows at the top left of the census page screen you can go back and forth between successive pages in a village in the same order as the enumerator.
- When you get an actual census image on screen have you seen that at the top, there is a series of nested locations? You can use that as a means of going direct to a particular village and to the enumerator’s instructions rather than just the data. Click on the county to get a list of villages, for example.
- If you think the name you want might have been mis-transcribed, try the next-door neighbours! Look to see if the neighbours are still living next to the family you want in the next census. This isn't so useful in a town but in the country, fewer people moved around and this is a genuinely useful tip.
- There are some bits of the census that have gone missing and almost everyone I know has a missing family in the census somewhere. Sometimes these are missing bits of paper. Sometimes they are just really bad mis-transcriptions. Sometimes the people aren’t there: maybe a soldier with family off at war, or the family tried living in North America and didn’t like it so came back – quite a few did that though I’ve never seen an estimate of the numbers.
- I did once come across a group of pages that were genuinely missing. A note to Ancestry got the thing fixed within a week or so. Turns out the pages had been mis-indexed and I was the first person ever to notice, or ask!
- The only census with indexed addresses is the 1881. Go to that one specifically and you will be able to search on address fields. Failing that, http://www.familysearch.org has the same thing

Hope this helps someone sometime!
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