The 1911 census of Wales has gone online today. ‘Wales’ includes those areas of England (such as Lydney and Coleford in Gloucestershire) that were enumerated with Wales (in these cases with Chepstow and Monmouth). The following information has been made available by Find My Past:
2.4 million people were recorded living in Wales in the census taken on the night of Sunday, 2 April, 1911. Today, after nearly 100 years, the Welsh census records are available to the public at www.1911census.co.uk.
Due to public demand for access to the 1911 census, the records have been released as soon as each region’s records have been digitised. Following the initial release of 1911 records in January 2009, the records of people living in Wales in 1911 are being made available today for the first time.
The 1911 census records contain details about the lives of the ancestors of many of Wales’ famous sons and daughters, such as Richard Burton, Dylan Thomas, Kylie Minogue and Tom Jones.
The census covered Wales, England, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands, as well as recording those aboard Royal Naval and Merchant vessels at sea and in foreign ports and, for the first time in a British census, full details of British Army personnel and their families in military establishments overseas. It is the most detailed census since UK records began and the first for which the original census schedules have been preserved – complete with our ancestors’ own handwriting – providing a fascinating insight into British society nearly a century ago.
Debra Chatfield, Marketing Manager at Find My Past, says: “This latest release from the 1911 census offers a crucial new entry point to Welsh family history research for a wide range of people, from novice family historians to seasoned genealogists who have hit a ‘wall’ in their family tree research. As well as helping people trace their Welsh ancestors, these records shed more light on our predecessors’ day-to-day lifestyles, providing a snapshot of a day in their lives, with details of their occupations, housing arrangements and social status.”
Completed by all householders in Wales and England on Sunday, 2 April 1911, the census records show the name, age, place of birth, marital status and occupation of every resident in every home, as well as their relationship to the head of the household.
People will also have unique access to their ancestors’ handwriting as the original householders’ schedules were preserved and used as working documents rather than copying the details in to summary books as was the case in previous census years. The launch of the records also creates a starting point for people to trace their own family tree by looking up their parents, grandparents and great-grandparents who were alive in the year 1911.
The 1911 census was the first to ask questions relating to fertility in marriage. Married women were asked to state how long they had been married and how many children had been born from that marriage. The census also provides a fascinating snapshot of the population of the country just a few years before a whole generation of young men perished in the Great War of 1914-1918.