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The Complete Census Guide: Supreme Searches on

Head to TheGenealogist to find your ancestors with ease

Searching for a person on the census can yield thousands of results, making it difficult and time consuming to find your particular relative. However, when you trawl through the massive collection of census records on TheGenealogist there are a variety of simple tools you can use to quickly find the family you’re looking for, even if they’ve got a popular name like Smith or have been recorded incorrectly. Whatever additional information you have can help you quickly pinpoint forebear.

TheGenealogist has the full set of English, Welsh, Isle of Man and Channel Island censuses from 1841-1911, which you can search using names and addresses, and refine using census year and county. However, the real advantages for users at TheGenealogist are the Family Forename and Keyword Master Searches that make it so easy to narrow down your results, providing you have more than just one name to go on.

Say, for example, your looking for an ancestor with the surname Smith, Jones or Williams, you could be faced with hundreds if not thousands of results for each census – there are 29,775 John Smiths in the 1901 census. However, if you know that John’s wife was called Emma and their son was Mark you can input these names into the relevant boxes on the Family Forename and pinpoint the family.

Similarly, if you know the John Smith you’re looking for was a carpenter, or was born in a different country to where he was living, you can input this information into the Keyword box on the Master Search and refine your results even further. You can use keywords to identify forebears from their area, address, or even mother’s maiden or the name of the house they lived in! Whatever piece of information you have you can use to isolate the record you want.

Step-by-Step: Search for a job on the census

MASTER SEARCH: The beauty of TheGenealogist's keyword box in the Master Search is that you can put whatever information you have to pinpoint the person you're looking for. Here we're looking for Thomas Owen, a very common name in Wales, so we enter his occupation of Blacksmith in the keyword box to help us find him.

ACCURATE RESULTS: Even though we haven't specified a specific year to search, the keyword has helped us narrow down the results to just 15. We can see three relating to our Thomas, living and working in Cardiff from 1871 to 1891. This is a great option for tracing an ancestor through several censuses using just one search.

NEW AVENUES: Let's take a look at the data transcribed from the 1891 Census. Here we see Thomas, recorded as a blacksmith, as well as his family, which includes his eldest son, Thomas, who is a young railway fireman. This means we can perform exactly the same search again, but with a different occupation, to trace Thomas Jr through the years.

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