Tuesday, 5 April 2011

1911 Scottish Census now online

The 1911 Scottish census has now been published online at www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk. With its 11am launch, we’ve had to adopt the Braveheart strategy for its launch “Hold....hold....HOLD....NOW!!!!!!!”

This release now completes the 1911 census for all constituent countries of the United Kingdom. For England and Wales entries see www.1911census.co.uk, and Ancestry and The Genealogist over the next few months, whilst for Ireland visit www.census.nationalarchives.ie.

Unlike the rest of the UK, the Scottish household schedules have not survived; instead, the presentation of the records continue as with the previous censuses through the use of enumerators returns, though in this case through two page long returns, instead of the previous one. ScotlandsPeople has advised the results are best printed onto A3 paper if you have that capability – though I suspect most of us don’t!

Audrey Collins from the National Archives at Kew has posted about the census on her blog at http://thefamilyrecorder.blogspot.com/2011/04/1911-scotland-england-and-wales-nearly.html, which includes a discussion about aspects of recording criteria for place of birth and naturalisation.

Ken Nisbet has also been in touch to share some conclusions from work carried out by the ScotlandsPeople User Group which tested the system before it went online. The key points:

1) You can’t scroll through an entire district in this return (as with previous censuses, at a cost of additional credits), only the enumeration district or institution.

2) There are many references to adopted children in the relationship column- significant as the Adoption Act was not actually passed until 1930. Useful in that it may redefine a member of a household you have previously assumed to be a full-blooded member of the family.

3) In some cases an enumerator has overwritten the entry in the marital status column with a number – 1 = single male, 2 = married male, 3 = widower, 4 = single female, 5 = married female, 6 = widow

4) If the husband is not present in the house, the fertility census questions on length of marriage, number of children and those still alive will normally not be filled in. In other words, this does not just apply to those widowed. At the same time, a married woman away from the household will still have answers to these fertility questions recorded against her entry.

There is a full guide to the site now online at http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/Content/Help/index.aspx?r=554&2064

So what was it all about and what were its conclusions?! The Preliminary Report on the 1911 Scottish census can be found on HistPop at http://tinyurl.com/5r6w3cd, whilst the final report, published in 1912, can be found in two parts at http://tinyurl.com/5tcufng (Parts 1-23, City of Edinburgh – Kirkcudbright) and http://tinyurl.com/5ts5qcp (Parts 24-37, Lanark – Wigtown).

For an account of how the census recording occurred in Glasgow and surrounding area, read the Glasgow Herald account on Monday April 3rd to discover how Glaswegian suffragettes enjoyed house parties to try to avoid being recorded! The article is at http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=GGgVawPscysC&dat=19110403&printsec=frontpage&hl=en – see page 9.

I have also transcribed a short fictional account from the same edition about a young girl recording her dog in the census, which is a bit of fun and reminds us not to jump to conclusions about people we may not immediately recognise! See http://walkingineternity.blogspot.com/2011/04/recording-sandy-on-1911-census.html

Although the next census, for 1921, will not be available until 2021, do remember that the National Register, recorded in 1939, is accessible from the National Records of Scotland. This was effectively a census at the start of the Second World War drawn up for the issuing of identity cards and a prospective draft. Entries cost £13 per person, and you will only need to supply the person’s date of death. Unlike the English system, you will receive information only for the person, not the household. Further information on this is available on my previous post at http://scottishancestry.blogspot.com/2010/01/1939-scottish-national-registration.html.

Finally – hats off to all the folks responsible at ScotlandsPeople and Brightsolid for getting yet another crucial Scottish resource online.



Sheena said...

In relation to Ken Nisbet's point 4 - that might be what was SUPPOSED to happen, but we all know that rules were made to be ignored by some.

I've just come across an Aberdeen sailor's wife who's listed as married and head of the household with no husband at home. She's completed the fertility section - married 17 years, four children born - all still alive.

Chris Paton said...

Ken's original point was actually longer - he also cited some entries filled in by widows which were crossed out by an enumerator.

Sorry, I was trying to sub it down so the post didn't end up as long as the Bible! lol