1911 census made available online

1911 census

Budding genealogists are currently having a field day as the 1911 census has been made available online.

Among the inevitable celebrity tid-bits that have emerged is that David Beckham's great, great grandfather was a London scavenger', Amy Winehouse's Russian immigrant ancestor was a hawker' and that Kate Moss' great grandmother was a widowed mother of five living in Brixton.

The contemporary celebrities (of the time) include a 29-year-old Virginia Woolf, who is recorded on the census under her maiden name of Adeline Virginia Stephen' and listed her occupation as a journalist'. Agatha Christie is recorded under her maiden name Agatha MC Miller' and was 21 at the time and living in Brentford.

The site is powered by FindMyPast.com, which has the seven previous censuses available, starting with 1841.

A spokeswoman for Findmypast.com told IT PRO that a separate site was necessary in order to cope with public demand.

"We wanted to avoid the 2002 fiasco when the site crashed. A micro site seemed like the best approach to deal with public demand. It gives easier access to the public and all of the current data on FindMyPast.com won't be affected by the 1911 searches."

This cautious approach was well founded, as on its first day, the 1911census.co.uk site dealt with a total of 3.4 million searches from 645,000 people.

Searches on the site are made on a pay-as-you-go basis from 6.95 for 60 credits or 49.95 for 600 credits.

The census for 1911 has been made available three years ahead of schedule after successful lobbying against the government rule that censuses have to remain closed for 100 years. However, in Scotland the 100 year rule remains in place for the 1911 census, so the site only contains records for England and Wales.

Genealogists will have wait until 2022 to see the 1921 census come online and that one will then be the last one until 2051 as the 1931 census was destroyed in an accidental fire and the 1941 census was not conducted due to the war.

The census is available at www.1911census.co.uk.

Benny Har-Even

Benny Har-Even is a twenty-year stalwart of technology journalism who is passionate about all areas of the industry, but telecoms and mobile and home entertainment are among his chief interests. He has written for many of the leading tech publications in the UK, such as PC Pro and Wired, and previously held the position of technology editor at ITPro before regularly contributing as a freelancer.

Known affectionately as a ‘geek’ to his friends, his passion has seen him land opportunities to speak about technology on BBC television broadcasts, as well as a number of speaking engagements at industry events.