John William Howes and family - 1911 Census
For family historians with an interest in the UK, the big event for 2009 has been the arrival of the 1911 census, for rather quirky British reasons being released slightly ahead of 100 years after collection. What makes this census particularly interesting is that instead of the enumerators' summary sheets, we will see instead forms completed by our ancestors themselves in their own handwriting.
One such is reproduced above, courtesy of Kevin Clarke, who sent me a copy, for which thanks are due. Sheer co-incidence that this is the same John William Howes whose nearest living relatives we traced for Norwich City Football Club.
Hard copies of the census forms have actually been available for about 18 months, provided purchasers knew the name and address of the person in the census and were prepared to pay Pds45 non-refundable for the privilege.
The online census will be available initially from one website only. It costs 30 credits (about Pds3.50) to download a single form. After some time (don't know how long) it will be available to people with a subscription to this site as a part of their subscription as most censuses are available on most sites today. Some time later, it will then be available to other sites, like ancestry and so on.
Although it's very interesting to see the actual forms our ancestors completed, I just can't help thinking that the whole process has been designed to milk the maximum amount of money out of the general public for a government eager to increase revenues from whatever source it can. But this is "our information" pressed from us with the threat of fines for non-compliance and now we're having to pay to get it back again! Apart maybe from my immediate family I will not be purchasing anything, and the website will have to wait!
However, if you purchase any forms for your own family because, like me, you can't wait, please do let me know what they contain! I am eager to keep the site as up to date as I can. Many thanks in advance
Paul. April 2009