Census Substitutes | The Nosey Genealogist's: Help Me With My Family Tree
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Census Substitutes

by Nick Thorne, The Nosey Genealogist on July 1st, 2012

Directories1869 at TheGenealogist.co.uk

I am sure that, like me, you have found an ancestor that doesn’t appear in the census collection for some reason or another.

The case, that I’ve been looking at this week, seems to have been absent from the country on more than one occasion when the census was being taken. In fact I only found him as a schoolboy, when he was enumerated in his parent’s home at the time. From other documents (in my ancestor’s case it was Hart’s Army Lists) you may be able to find a reason why your person is absent from the country and indeed I was able to pick mine up on findmypast’s passport applications, even though a passport was not a required document for people to travel with, as it has become today.

It would seem that my great-great uncle returned to the country at various times, resigning from the East India Company’s army, joining the British Army as a junior officer before resigning again after 2 years.

I was able to use the resources of post office directories on www.thegenealogist.co.uk to locate my ancestor and you may be lucky to find yours there, or in one of the ones available at www.historicaldirectories.org.

The outgoing ships passenger lists at Find My Past cover 1890 to 1960 and is another resource I’ve used to pin down my forebears with itchy feet.

A trip to the local county record office can provide you with the opportunity to take a look at Electoral Registers. If your ancestor was in business then you may well find that they had the vote not only in the ward where they lived, but also in the place where they carried out their business! This was the situation up until 1948 and university students could also vote at home as well as at their university address.

Other means of finding ancestors places of abode have been from birth, marriage and death certificates. I have tracked one ancestor’s house from the address he gave when reporting the death of his parent.

So just because a forebear doesn’t appear in the census doesn’t mean you can’t necessarily track them down and pin them on a map.

 

 

The websites that I use the most are Findmypast.co.uk and TheGenealogist.co.uk. Take your family history further by considering a subscription to these websites:

 

The Genealogist - UK census, BMDs and more online

 

 



Disclosure: The Links in the above are Compensated Affiliate links. If you click on them then I may be rewarded by Findmypast.co.uk or The Genealogist.co.uk should you sign up for their subscriptions.

 

 

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  1. James McLaren (CIFHS Jersey) permalink

    Hi Nick,

    Couple of other things to throw your way. If you are looking in London (by which I mean the 1889 London County Council London, not the post 1963 Greater London), the Land Tax assessments and the Electoral Registers (both supplied by Ancestry) are a fantastically useful resource. And as you will know, for Jersey the rate lists are similarly useful (they get more detailed as they go along – the early ones (1860s) in the Archive just give name and Vingtaine, but later you will get a fuller address.

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