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Census address search


  • Census address search

    Sometimes you may wish to find a specific address on a particular census. For example, if you have been unable to locate a person via a standard name search then you may wish to check their "last known address", which you may have obtained from a BMD certificate or from the previous or next census.

    Online Address Indexes:

    England & Wales

    1841-1911: FindMyPast (pay per view)
    1881: Ancestry (free index)
    1901: National Archives 1901 Census Online (pay per view)


    1841-1901 Ancestry (subscription or pay per view)

    Note that for Ancestry, the address search facility (where available) is given on the standard search page, in the box labelled "Address".
    For FindMyPast and the National Archives site, there are specific address search pages.

    Search by Enumeration District

    After locating a particular parish you will be able to view each census image for the entire district. An entire parish may be covered in one district, a large parish may cover more than one district if it is within a large town or city. By viewing the images one by one it is quite easy to see and record each and every household within the district. Streetnames, family names, occupations and relationships for an entire village or section of a town or city are just a few mouse clicks away.

    By studying the households you may discover that an area is populated by people in one type of employment, discover siblings living in adjacent houses or streets and extended family living within the same district. Did your grandparents or great grandparents live in the same district before they married? Perhaps they met because they lived close to each other? Public houses may appear quite often, an old local pub can help locate a house if you plan to visit the area.

    The district description

    The district description lists the streets within the boundaries of the district. Local landmarks and buildings may also be mentioned (useful information for local research!). You may well find a factory name quoted, often these establishments provided employment for large numbers of people close by.

    By using the district description and the information from the census images it is possible to learn quite a lot about the neighbourhood your ancestors knew and give some useful pointers for those wanting to research the area in more depth.

    If you cannot locate an address from one of the indexes listed above, you may need to search through the entire district until you find it. This is most easily done on Ancestry. Select the required census from the main search page. Then look to the right of the page and select the county that you require. This will give you a list of the civic parishes in that county. Select the parish and this will give you a list of each enumeration district (ED) in that parish.

    You will then need to look at the description page for each ED - this describes the part of the parish that was included in that ED. Usually only the major roads are listed in this description, so you may need to refer to a contemporary street map of the area if your desired street is a minor road.

    Once you have found the likely ED for the street, click on the "District No." link to the left and this will load the first image for that ED. You will then need to go through each image in turn, using the forward arrow at the top of the screen, until you locate the street. Needless to say, this method can be quite time consuming, and it would not be advisable if you were using pay-per-view rather than a subscription!

    Find the neighbours!

    If you have located the address on one census and wish to find the same place on the previous or the next census, then have a look up and down the street to see which families were there. Try searching for these families on the census in question and sooner or later you may find a family that stayed in the same place (i.e. in the street that you're trying to locate). You may need to try several different families until you find one that hadn't moved - but this method, whilst not guaranteed to work every time, is generally much faster than trawling through the entire district page by page.

    Maybe it didn't exist?

    Remember that many towns were expanding rapidly in the 19th century. Perhaps you're trying to find a street on an earlier census that hadn't in fact been built at that time. Also, many streets were re-named several times as towns expanded. A contemporary street map may help to ensure that the street you're looking for did actually exist at that time.

    Back to FTF Guide: The Census
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