The 1901 Census

Midnight Sun/Mon 31st March/1st April 1901

Old Herts

How To



Available online at Ancestry, findmypast or The Genealogist and other collaborating web sites - index and enumerator book images.

Enumerator book images available on CD (for Hertfordshire Unions) from British Data Archive

A simple example - for all people called Dolphin Smith



Where Born


Civil Parish


Dolphin Smith


Herts Wheathampstead


Ayot St Peter


Dolphin Smith


Rainsbury Wilts




The older Dolphin Smith was the son of my ancestor, Dolphin Smith, and was born in Ramsbury, Wilts.

Retrieving the members of a household

See MASCALL, Sawbridgeworth, circa 1900 for a worked example where, starting from a comparatively rare name, an individual is identified, together with the main members of his family - and from there the location of his parents in the 1881 census is established.

Warning about Searches

See the detailed examples in My Ancestors in the 1901 Census

Some years ago I carried out a One Name Study of the surname Phipson and I decided to test the system by looking for all people with this surname. It came up with 55 which is about the right number, and I have not yet checked if there are any definitely missing. However the search showed how serious the mis-spellings can be. I knew that there should be 3 people called Weatherley Phipson - and the search for "Phipson" found all three. However their given names were recorded as Whaterley, Werthesly and Weatherby. As the system only searches on direct matches - with no phonetics or common variations - the chances of finding them on a search for "Weatherley" is zero. I also noted a Ryland Phipson recorded as a Byland Phipson, and a number of people born in Derbeyshire. Edward Arthur Phipson, who went by the name of Evacustes Phipson (see Watercolour Paintings of Hertfordshire by E A Phipson) was recorded as Evacustus Phipson. Because my old files are detailed I have been able to identify 2 year old "Ezzie" Phipson as Hezebiah Phipson.

I have also carried out searches for a Catherine Bennet, as part of the answer to BENNET, Redbourn, circa 1900 but was unsuccessful, perhaps because I didn't try all the possibilities - Catherine, Cathy, Katherine,  Katy, etc., with Ben(n)et(t). Because of such errors, and the fact that searching software is much less powerful than the software provided by the LDS in the 1881 census, or IGI, the best one can say is that if one finds exactly what one is looking for, OK, but otherwise the individual may be lost in a spelling mistake or transcription error.


Census Home Page

Page updated September 2007