Investigating 1911

The 1911 census is a record of everyone who lived in England and Wales in 1911. 36 million people were recorded in the census taken on the night of Sunday, 2 April, 1911 and provides a unique snapshot of the lives of our ancestors. You can access the 1911 census online, search it and simply and quickly discover how your family lived in the past.

The census covered England, Wales, 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.

Follow this link to search for people and places in the 1911 census for England and Wales on the website. FindMyPast is a family website and the company that partnered with The National Archives to make the 1911 census available online for the first time for the public to search in January 2009. This was the largest online family history project ever undertaken, using state-of-the-art technology, a team of 400 people and costing millions of pounds. It involved scanning 16 million paper forms completed by our ancestors 100 years ago, transcribing all the information they contained and producing a fully searchable database.

Have a look at what a typical 1911 census return looks like and an example of a census return for the Morgan family. What will yours look like?

Adobe Reader What does a 1911 census return look like? (pdf)
Adobe Reader The Morgan family census, 1911 (pdf)

The following documents will help you with your searches on the 1911 census:

Adobe Reader Searching for a person in the 1911 census (pdf)
Adobe Reader Searching for a house in the 1911 census (pdf)

A good starting point to understand how a census works and that can be compared to the 1911 census is by looking at the 1901 census.

1901 census online:

On the official 1901 census site you can  view 1.5 million original census documents of England and Wales online detailing 32  million people.

How does it work?

  • Search the name and approximate birth year of the person you are looking for.
  • View transcribed details of your ancestors and the original census images.
  • Discover where your ancestors were living, who with and what they were up to between 1841-1901.

It’s not just people you can also…

  • Address search – find out who lived in your house in 1901.
  • Place search – look at who was in which enumeration district in 1901.
  • Institution search – see who lived in hospitals, barracks, orphanages etc in 1901.
  • Vessel search – locate a naval or merchant vessel in 1901 census.
  • Reference number - Use this search if you know The National Archives census reference number.

More census records now available