Census returns are crucial when undertaking nineteenth century family history research, particularly as they can provide detailed information regarding place of birth. A town or parish in any given county can then lead to parish registers of that place to help research a family back in time.
One of our researchers this week was researching a family where the place of birth of “on the sea” was given.
Fair enough, we thought, perhaps the wife of a military ancestor was caught out by an untimely birth whilst crossing the Channel, or similar. However, it turns out his father was a publican, so who knows what the family were doing at sea – further research is clearly required!