Frequently Asked Questions

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What does it cost?
Searching the index is FREE. Viewing transcribed data costs 50 credits for an individual and then 50 credits for a list of all other people in that person's household. Viewing a digital image of the census page costs 75 credits.

How can I pay?
We expect most users will use their credit/debit card to pay for viewing images or transcripts. 500 credits cost £5.00 and your credits will last 7 days.  If you do not own a credit or debit card you can buy 1901 census vouchers.  Please see the relevant section below.

Are credit card transactions secure?
The system for handling credit card transactions has been set-up using the highest level of security.

Do you have to have cookies enabled to access the online service?
Yes. For more details on the technical requirements for using this service please see our technical help.

What information do you get on a census return?
The entries for households on the census returns for 1901 fall under the following headings and are generally the same for 1851 to 1891: Road, street, town or village, number or name of house, Whether the house is inhabited or not, Name and surname of each person, Relation to Head of Family, Condition as to marriage, Age last birthday, Profession or occupation, Whether employed or not, Where born, Whether deaf and dumb, blind, lunatic, imbecile or feeble-minded. Also crews of Vessels and residents of Institutions.

What does digitising/digitisation mean?
There are 3 elements: Scanning the microfilms of the original census returns and creating an electronic image of each page of the returns. Transcribing the information from the returns and creating a database with an index which can be searched by name, place, address, institution or vessel. The index will link directly to the images of the returns. Making the images and database available over the Internet.

What does the digital image contain?
The image covers the whole page from the census enumerator's book on which the individual's entry appears.

What is the image size?
About 250 kilobytes.

Can I print an image?
Yes if you have a printer, but note that the images are large and print best on A3 size paper.


Do I need to go to the transcription before I can see the image?
No. You can go direct from the index to the image or direct to the transcript. These options are clearly explained on the screen.

I have difficulty in reading the font used for displaying search results.
Displaying a lot of information on a screen does require a small font. Users should investigate options provided with their browsers, which will allow them to increase font sizes but for help on the most commonly used browsers please see our technical help.

I have downloaded transcripts to 'favourites', but when I attempt to view them, the data has gone and I'm returned to the payment screen.
'Favourites' simply saves the URL of the page you were looking at. The data is dynamically produced and displayed for each search and as such it cannot be saved as a page in favourites. To save a page as viewed you need to go to 'Save as'. Save the page as type 'web page, htm'. You can then subsequently open this page through the browser, whilst off-line.

Why don't the "person" details include date of birth and maiden name of women?
This information was not collected in the 1901 Census. We have only transcribed what was on the original census enumerator sheets.

Is the 1901 Census for the whole of the UK?
The 1901 Census was taken separately in Scotland and Ireland. The National Archives is the custodian of the census returns for England and Wales (which include the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man). This service contains returns for England and Wales.

Are any parts missing on the 1901 returns?
Parts of Deal, Kent. You may also find that the odd page has suffered damage and so certain information is missing.

Why is some of the information crossed out on the original census page?
Information was sometimes crossed out by an enumerator where he had made an error. As far as possible the crossed out information will have been transcribed in full. Information was sometimes crossed out by a Registrar or Superintendent Registrar where he felt that the enumerator had completed the relevant item incorrectly. Again, the crossed out information will have been transcribed in full where possible. Information often appears to have been crossed out but these are check marks made by clerks at the General Register Office in the process of abstracting information for statistical purposes. The AGE and OCCUPATION columns are particularly prone to these check marks. Also each OCCUPATION was categorised for statistical purposes and the categories into which each OCCUPATION was placed were added (usually in abbreviated form) next to the original information.

Where can I see earlier censuses (1841 to 1891)?
The full set for England and Wales is available on microfilm at the Family Records Centre, Islington but local libraries and record offices usually have the returns for their local areas.

How will I make a comment or complain about the service?
There is a 'Contact Us' facility from the menu bar.