Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Sharing BMD information

The really useful free BMD site to obtain the GRO reference for birth, marriage and death certificates has an often unknown free feature. “add a postem”

This is where individuals can “donate” and “view” information about a certificate. If everyone who purchased a certificate at £9.25 put the details on a postem it would be accessible to others. Of course most people would want to obtain the certificate but it would help fill in gaps on distant ancestors.

If you see an envelope next to the entry someone has added details which you can access. If you wish to post details:

First click on the red INFO symbol next to the entry                 

and then click “add a postem” which reveals a text box of up to 250 characters. Then click “create”. This will post an envelope next to the entry later for others to access.

This would help so many people in their research and also avoid the possibility of ordering the wrong certificate. If everyone filled these in for the certificates they held it would be an extremely cost effective way of conducting preliminary research for your family tree.

Family Tree Folk

Thursday, 16 December 2010

What information is on a UK census?

Each of the census returns from 1841 has a varying level of useful information for the family historian. The first useful census was the 1841 with limited detail but this requirement for additional information developed every decade and continues to do so. The last released census of 1911 provides so much additional information compared to the 1841.

So what does each census offer?

1841 (June 6th)
Address: often quite vague with just the name of the street or village
Name & Age: those over 15 years of age were rounded down to the nearest 5 years
Sex, Occupation & if born in the county: this only gave you a Yes or Scotland, Ireland or foreign parts

1851 (March 30th)
Address, Name, Relation to Head of Household (Head, wife, son, daughter, nephew, visitor, lodger etc)
Marital Status: (married, unmarried, widow or widower)
Age, Sex, Rank, Profession or Occupation, Where Born
Whether blind or deaf and dumb

1861 (April 7th)
The same as 1851

1871 (April 2nd)
The same as 1851 and 1861 but with the addition in the last column asking if the individual is blind, deaf and dumb an imbecile or idiot or a lunatic

1881 (April 3rd)
The same as 1871

1891 (April 5th)
In addition to the 1881 census householders were now asked
How many rooms in the house were occupied and if individuals were
Employer, employed or neither
The Welsh census also asked Language spoken Welsh, English or both

1901 (March 31st)
In addition to the 1891 census the additional question was asked of whether they worked at home

1911 (April 2nd)
There were major additions and changes to the 1911 census and this was the first census that was filled in by someone in the household. This person also had to sign the form so it shows the handwriting and signature of your ancestor.

In addition to the questions on the 1901 census women were asked to declare
The number of complete years their current marriage had lasted
The number of children born alive within this marriage
The number of children still living and how many had died
People were also asked
The industry in which they worked
Number of rooms occupied
Ageat which deafness, blindness or other infirmity began (however this information is currently blanked out until 2012)

Family Tree Folk

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Rossbret Institutions

This website is a free online gazetteer and has a mass of useful information to the family historian. It contains details of British institutions such as asylums, hospitals, dispensaries, workhouses, almshouses and orphanages.

There is also an interesting section on occupations and a group of images that can be viewed of certain buildings. In the main it is more useful for England as the information for Scotland and Wales is not as comprehensive. The level of detail in some instances is quite informative. The site can be searched by using the access menu on the left of the page. This can be narrowed down by country and county.

Unfortunately the site has not been continually updated since 2008 but since April 2000 has had nearly seven million visitors.

Family Tree Folk