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© 2002-07 AFHS
30 Jan 2007



1901 English Census Demonstration

14 Dec 2002
by Rene Dussome

Effective November 21, 2002 the 1901 Census Online service became available 24 hours a day 7 days a week, as a full Internet service.

Log on to the PRO web site
  • Take the Tour
  • Read the Help file

Start your search

  • Select Person Search - change entries per page to 30
  • Look for Ivy Myers aged 2 - good idea to start with children first because one is more likely to know the age.
  • Use her information (i.e., same civil parish) to look for her father and mother:
Herbert Myers born 27 August 1875 Armley
Eliza Myers born 23 July 1874 Wortley
  • Can also search for all male Myers and then all female Myers, keyword Wortley.

Verify information from ID numbers before downloading image

With names displayed on the screen Save As (Myers males.htm) in Word
Open this file in Word (print file, if desired)
It can also be copied into Excel
Hover cursor over the name
Note the ID number and enter it into the printed Word file or into the Excel file
Repeat for all the names on the list
Sort the names into families by ID numbers
Repeat the process for female Myers

Other options for revealing ID numbers will be discussed later, if time permits.

  • Members of the same family should have consecutive numbers, starting with the head of the household:
    Herbert Myers aged 25 ID 24599018
    Eliza Myers aged 26 ID 24599019
    Ivy Myers aged 2 ID 24599020
  • Note: The appearance of the Word document is slightly different in Netscape. The information is shown on a dark background and the names are in royal blue.

Download an image

Click on the yellow box to the left of the name Ivy Myers
Open a new session or Resume current credit card or voucher session
Enter Voucher number and password
Note Session identifier 3281112 - this must be quoted if queries arise
Click Yes to install and run PRO Census Image Viewer
Image is displayed
Print it and/or save it to file - all images are in .tif format
Click Back to site
Check My Account to verify how much you have spent
Suspend the session

Example of a family found through ID numbers

The first search was for Moses Tunstall aged 26 born Leeds . Subsequent searches were for all male Tunstalls keyword Leeds, then all female Tunstalls keyword Leeds. By using ID numbers I was able to identify all members of this family:

Moses Tunstall aged 26 ID 8457014
Mary Tunstall aged 31 ID 8457015
Matilda Tunstall aged 6 ID 8457016

I assumed Matilda was a previously-unknown daughter of Moses and Mary. When I paid 75p and downloaded the image I discovered that Matilda was Moses's SISTER. It pays to look at the actual image. Do not be satisfied with identifying family members through ID numbers. Go that extra step and download the original image of the census entry.

Example of search by given name only

An earlier generation of Tunstalls in Leeds was transcribed incorrectly.

The way I found the family was to do a search using a given name only, not the surname. To do this you have to enter given name, sex, age (you can use +/-), and place of birth.

I searched for Benjamin, male, aged 12 +/- 1 year, born Leeds. I found him with the surname Timstall. It was then a simple matter to find the rest of the family with this surname.

Example of search by surname and birthplace

From Judith Doyle: One method I have learned that might help everyone find family members who moved around depends on knowing the birthplace. It will not work for common surnames. I searched on a surname (Stonebridge) and a birthplace (Blithfield, Staffs), and I found people still in the birthplace in Staffordshire, and brothers in London, Wales, Lancashire and Yorkshire. You must select a gender for this type of search.

A search for males found five brothers born in Blithfield but living in different parts of Britain. A search for females found three children born in Blithfield. No doubt a search for males and females born in other places would have found the offspring of the other brothers.

Using wild cards

  • An asterisk * replaces two or more characters.
  • An underline _ replaces one character.
  • You cannot use a wildcard until you get to the third letter in a name.

To report transcription errors

  • Census Home Page > Contact Us > Census Data Amendments
  • The information requested on the first row of the box can be found in the name of the downloaded image, for example:  RG13_Pc-4223_Fo-158_Pg-12.tif
  • The Schedule Number can be found in the first column of the image.

Advanced person search

  • You can search for head, wife, daughter, son or other (If you get a message that the search is taking too long or returning too many results, narrow the search by using a keyword - e.g., Wortley)
  • Two given names can be entered - example Mary Ann Thompson 38 Visitor born Beal (only the first name is displayed in the index). This is particularly helpful if the person you are seeking was known by his/her second given name.
  • Can specify occupation, marital status, etc. - example Pearce Optician
  • You can even search for persons on vessels only

Voucher Suppliers

  • Help > Voucher Suppliers > Canada > BIFHSGO
  • To date, there is only one supplier in Canada - British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa (BIFHSGO)
  • E-mail from Alan Cassley November 20, 2002 - Have just received 2 vouchers from Ottawa. Cost for £10 was $25 + $1 handling. (This will vary with the exchange rate.)
  • E-mail to ascertain the current cost

Credit Card

The minimum amount per credit card session (per 48 hours) is £5. If you state that you wish to open with say £10 and only use £5.25 then that is all you will be charged for. It is better to state a higher amount in case you end up getting more images than you first thought. For instance, one of your families might be on two pages of the census and it will cost you 2 x 75p to download both pages.

Session Limits

  • During a session (maximum 48 hours) you can go back to an image you have already looked at and you will not be charged extra.
  • Remember to Suspend your account rather than Logout if you think you may go back to the current session within the 48 hours. When you are satisfied that you have done everything you want to do then you can logout.
  • Even if you logout of a session you will still be able to access the voucher until all the money is used up or six months have expired, whichever occurs first.

Modifying Images

When the original image is downloaded from the PRO site it has a black border all the way around. In addition, it is sometimes tilted a bit. If you have a graphics program such as Paint Shop Pro you can crop the image to remove the black border and rotate it one degree (or so) to straighten it. You can also rotate it 90 degrees to make it easier to read on the screen.

Announcement from the PRO re Address Search (November 2002)

Are you interested in finding out who lived in your house 100 years ago? Our Address Search will be able to tell you. We hope this will be available in the next few months.

1901 Census Helps

  • Leeds Indexers 1901 GuessTimator (no longer available)

Direct Search

With this search you can view the cover page* for each Enumeration District (no charge) but you must enter a Piece number (e.g., 4213). This can be found on any downloaded census image. When the first cover page (e.g., ED 38) is displayed click on Next (under View Image of Same Type). The cover page for ED 39 will appear.
* Description of Enumerator's Walks.

Optional procedures for finding ID numbers

  • On the Person Result List right click on a name, select Properties and the ID number is displayed.
  • Paste the Person Result List of names from Word into Excel. Hover on each name to get the ID number and then type it into the last column.
  • Marg McCready's solution: Open Word
    Open 1901 website
    Search for names
    Highlight one name
    Right click and select Copy
    Paste into Word
    Return to the list of names
    Highlight the same name
    Right click and select Copy Shortcut
    Paste into Word
    The ID number is revealed

    Repeat for each of the names on the list

Tip for printing a census screen without the green box down the side:

Click File, Print and under Print frame select "Only the selected frame"