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Saturday 16 November 2002

Tracing your roots with the 1901 Census [beej]

Well, here's a valid use of the internet if ever I saw it - the 1901 Census results online and fully-searchable for the public. Old news? Yes, but the site is actually up and stable and the public hoo-ha is over, and there's been no previous blog about it :-)

So, what's it like? Well let's screw the serious genealogy and find out what 'Benjamin Preece' was doing in 1901 in the UK:

AGE BIRTHPLACE PARISH OCCUPATION ------------------------------------------------------------------------ 4 Staffs Lancashire St Helens 13 Bishops Frome Herefordshire Much Cowarne 13 Liverpool Liverpool C B Toxteth Park 15 Warwick Bham Birmingham Harborne Tube Drawer 23 Stoke On Trent Staffordshire Fenton Potters Tollier 28 Salop Salop Smethcott Navvy 30 Shrop Chester Monks Coppenhall Labourer Boiler Ship 34 Hereford Lancashire St Helens Coal Miner Hewer 36 Salop Salop Madeley Boot Maker & Boot Shop 36 Shrewsbury Liverpool C B Toxteth Park Hydraulic Crane Driver 48 Salop Derby Hartshorne Potters Manager Earth 50 Worcester Worcestershire Worcester Journeyman Baker 57 Bridgenorth Salop Dawley Bootmaker 58 Fleet Dean Hereford St Owen Iron Founder 40 Birmingham Birmingham Cop Wkr ------------------------------------------------------------------------

What an amazing insight into Britain 100 years ago. Let's get serious here, and if you think about, how long ago was 100 years? Not bloody long, I can tell you. And how filled with character are those occupations? 'Labourer Boiler Ship'! I think you'll find in 2001 that's now 'Marine Diesel Propulsion Assistant Supervisor'.

Some technical notes on the site though: Speed is good, just a five second turnaround on presumably a pretty heavweight db. Doesn't appear to be able to refine searches, or export in a data format. Oh, and data discrepancies - you can see quite a few historical problems with the data, such as 'Lpool' and 'Liverpool', and so on.

Looking for things to do with the family at Christmas? Talk about great-great-grandfathers :-D

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