Revisiting Census Information


I've spent the past week or so with half an eye on the cricket (England vs New Zealand) and now the ICC Champions Trophy. Cricket, for a Kiwi like me, is one of the "sounds of summer" as it used to be called when we listened on Radio Sports whilst we played as children, gardened, painted the house, lazed in the sun, went to the beach, or whatever else. There's something soothing about cricket commentary, be it on radio or television. The habit of a lifetime.

I should be working on further IHGS assignments. I am, sort of, but have reached a stage where I need to go to England again to visit more archives. I have found information about, and written parts of, the three assignments I have on the go at the moment. Procrastination is the thief of time, as they say.

But I digress…

I have been revisiting census data on my family tree, prompted by having to write about occupations for one of my assignments. It occurred to me that, whilst I had gathered census data and transcribed it into my Reunionprogram, I hadn't taken the extra step and listed occupations in a separate fact field. What a mission!

I have 9,237 people on my tree. Of those, about one-third have census data. Given that most of those 3,000-odd people have more than one census entry, be it United Kingdom or United States of America, it is proving to be a lengthy process. I've been working through by census date, starting with 1841 (415 entries), 1851 (591 entries), 1861 (694 entries), 1871 (802 entries), 1881 (849 entries), 1891 (951 entries) and am now up to 1901 (1,167 entries) before I tackle 1911 (1,476 entries). I'll then have a crack at USA data.All of that before I have a look at New Zealand Electoral Roll entries (census data in New Zealand having been destroyed once relevant information had been extracted by the various government departments). New Zealand Electoral Roll data is available from 1853 (for men) and 1893 (for women), up until 1981, so that will be quite some task.

My hoped-for outcome is to enable easy searching, finding patterns in the changes in occupations, and seeing people's progression up and down the social scale over the decades. Should be interesting if what I have found so far is anything to go by.

Till next time…

Jan Powell