If you’re trying to track down ancestors who resided in the UK at the turn of the century, this site, just opened today, is for you. http://www.census.pro.gov.uk/
Operated by the Public Records Office in London, the site contains the names and addresses of over 38 million persons who were registered during the 1901 National Census of England and Wales, and provides a useful start to the back-tracking so loved by geneologists.
Here’s how it works. I want to trace my family tree, but I’m stumped because I can’t get back any further than my paternal grandfather, Harry Hooper. I want details of HIS father, but he died well before even my own father was born, so unless I send a cheque for £20 for a copy of my grandfathers birth certificate which will show HIS fathers name –and risk having to do this several times because there are dozens of Harry Hoopers, I am in for a long protracted search.
Today all that has changed. Once I get onto the site, I simply type in Harry Hooper. Dozens of names do appear, but so do the towns in which they resided at the census. Aha! Bolton! Once I click onto that link I can see that he was 10 years old, and that there were many other Hoopers at the house in Plodder Lane. Eva, Bessie, and Olive, all Harry’s sisters, his Mum Alice and bingo! HIS father, listed as the head of the house, William John Hooper, plus HIS age, occupation and even whether or not he was deaf, blind, feeble minded or an imbecile.
So now I have a solid starting point to backtrack from. If you pay a fiver you can even download a copy of the actual entry as it was handwritten over 100 years ago. You can also find out who lived at your own house in 1901 simply by typing in your own address.
At the moment the site is well overloaded with UK users but that should change in a few hours and give the rest of the world a chance to trace any UK ancestors that they might have as the UK sleeps. ZZZzzz.
Bring on the dancing girls!