Wednesday, March 9, 2011

UK Census Time

Where were you when the censuses were taken?

Here in the UK, we have had a census taken every 10 years since 1801 (not that I've been around since then!) which has taken a snapshot of our lives for others to see. So, I thought it would be a good idea to take a peek at what our future descendants will see..

1991 - I was 6 years old, living with my parents and 2 brothers. Although my sister did join us that year, I wonder if it was after the census was taken? I'm pretty sure my Dad would have filled in the forms. We'll find out in 2063!

2001 - I was 16 years old, a high school student, living with my parents, my 2 brothers and my younger sister. I think I remember helping my Dad fill out the forms at the time. We'll find out in 2073!

That's only 2 censuses that I've lived through and another one is to come. As we all know from the TV adverts that are popping on all channels, the 2011 census is set to take place on 27 March 2011. This year there's even an option of completing the form online and I understand the form is available in more languages which is costing us lots of money. Even though most people seem to be thinking of how costly it all is and it's value, I'm really excited about it (which shows the genealogist in me!).

Do you consider the census to be a valuable tool? Does the information from the censuses give you much of a family history? Or do we need personal accounts of people's lives to really understand our ancestors? Ofcourse, the census data will provide us with dates and names but do we need to record our lives in other ways?

What do you think? Post a comment or email me at pakistani_g[at]

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