census transcript gives more detail than a simple name index and
allows greater flexibility in searching. Sites that only have name
indexes force you to view thousands of images to find the person
you are looking for.
Look for John Smith on other sites and you will be overwhelmed
by the number of results whereas on TheGenealogist you have the
Advanced search to enter other facts apart from his name and year
of birth. You could search on his occupation, address, relationship,
or even other family members in combination.
On the results page of a search you can view the transcript of
the family or household and view the original page image. The transcript
can be saved in your research log or added to the online family
tree facility TreeView.
A brief history of the census
The census has been taken in England and Wales every 10 years since 1801, except for 1941. From 1841 onwards, the census returns, contain the names of all individuals in the household not just the head of the household.
The 1841 census recorded each person's name, approximate age, occupation and whether or not they were born in the county. From 1851 to 1891 exact ages, relationship to the head of the household, and birthplace were added to the census records. In 1891 the census also shows the number of rooms occupied by a household and whether each person who is working is an employer, an employee or neither.
The country was divided into Districts and Sub-districts. These were further divided into Enumeration Districts. An Enumerator was put in charge of each of these, and his job was to deliver a form called a schedule to each household or institution in his Enumeration District. This was to be filled in by the householder, giving details of everyone who was in that household.