Tips for finding people seemingly missing from censuses

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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 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, has the same thing

Hope this helps someone sometime!
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