News and Blog

The latest news and information from the Achievements team.

  1. Troubleshooting census addresses

    Sometimes the handwriting on census records is not clearly recorded.  Names and places of birth can be compared for the same family between census returns, but addresses may not be so easily identified.  Some websites include the address within their transcription of the household, but even that could be incorrect if the handwriting is hard to read.

    One such problem arose with the 1881 census of Poplar, where the following street was recorded:

    Pearl Street

    The initial and final letters of this word were not immediately clear, and it street name could be read as ending “earl”.  By moving between the pages, the census enumerator wrote the street name much more clearly on a previous page.  It clearly read “Reeve Street.”

    Reeve Street

    This is just one tip for troubleshooting specific census transcription problems!

  2. Missing in the census?

    Have you ever not found a person or family in a census?  No matter how hard you search, sometimes a family simply is not recorded.  It could be that the census simply doesn’t survive, and there are known issues with several census years.  It could also be that a name has been transcribed incorrectly in the indexes.  But sometimes it could be that they simply are not there.  Men could be working away from home, in the military, or away at sea.

    Today we found in the 1861 census at Astley in Lancashire a “family consisting of 3 persons gone off in boat”!  It would have been helpful to future genealogists if neighbours or the census enumerator had named the family . . . .

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