Tracing Your Ancestors Using The Census

Tracing Your Ancestors Using The Census

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The Pen & Sword guide to the census is detailed, accessible and authoritative, and it is one of the most comprehensive on the market. It has been written with the family historian in mind, and it is packed with advice on how to explore and get the most from the census records. As well as describing the modern censuses, it provides information on the less-known censuses dating from before 1841, and it covers the records of all the constituent parts of the British Isles. It is an essential introduction and tool for anyone who is researching the life and times of an ancestor. Emma Jolly describes how and why census records came to be created, then looks in detail at how to search the main censuses from 1841 to 1911. Each chapter covers the relevant historical context, compares online and other sources, identifies problems like lost or damaged records, and shows how the specific information in the census concerned can be interpreted effectively. While the censuses of England and Wales, Scotland, Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man are all examined, the main focus is on the English and Welsh census, with differences noted for other areas. An extensive appendix and bibliography, which, for ease of access, gathers together all the key resources in one place, is also provided.

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Emma Jolly

I am a professional genealogist and author. I specializes in writing history, and my work has been published in a variety of journals. Current publications are Family History For Kids (PQ Publishing, 2007), Tracing Your British Indian Ancestors (Pen & Sword, 2012), and Tracing You Ancestors Using the Census (Pen and Sword, 2013). My latest book, My Ancestor was a Woman at War, was published by the Society of Genealogists in January 2014.

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Q: Hi Emma, I'm working on a novel partly set in India 1900-1940 about notions of identity & Independence. Do you think some aspects of the old way of life remained? Or did everything change? JGH

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J.G. Harlond, 16/10/2013 15:33

A: Hi Jane, If by the 'old way of life' you mean India under British rule, there are still aspects that remain. Most evidently, the Anglo-Indian community retain much of past culture and practices. However, life became difficult for Europeans during the Quit India campaign and after Independence, leading to high emigration. One novel that looks closely at these changes is Staying On by Paul Scott.

Emma Jolly, 17/10/2013 10:28

Other Books by Emma Jolly:

  • My Ancestor was a Woman at War
  • Tracing Your British Indian Ancestors
  • Family History for Kids