I haven’t written a tip for a while because I have busy researching the American branches of my family, and I have been searching in so many collections that I didn’t know which collection to focus on. Now that I am back to researching the UK branches, I am going to write about the collections I use for this research.
England and Wales hold censuses every 10 years, and the ones that are available online are 1841, 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901 and 1911. FamllySearch has transcripts, but to view the images you need to use one of the subscription sites; the main three are FindMyPast, Ancestry and MyHeritage. Since I find that Ancestry has more of the parish registers that I need, I use Ancestry for the census records as well. I have a membership to the State Library of Victoria, so I can currently access Ancestry for free from home through the Ancestry Library Edition.
Census records are useful in placing the families over time and sorting out the relationships. The only census that doesn’t provide relationships is the 1841. Since my ancestors came to Australia between 1841 and 1863, most of them were on the 1841 census, and some were on the 1851 census as well. Two families were on the 1861 census as well – my great grandmother Sarah Jane Sharp and her parents Henry Sharp and Jane Elizabeth Oldroyd, and Maria Louisa Doyle and her parents Thomas Doyle and Catherine Mills. I have used the censuses more to trace their parents, and their parents’ descendants.