England Census Records and Indexes Online
The 1841 and subsequent censuses are all indexed online and can be searched by name, age, birthplace, or locality. Most of the commercial companies also have images available for download. The indexes can be problematic in that names can be spelled in various ways and indexers sometimes failed to interpret the spellings correctly. If you cannot find a person it means you need to vary your search parameters. The information in an index may be incorrect or incomplete. If you believe your ancestor was in a particular census area, search the census even if your ancestor is not in the index.
A collection of British census records that can be found at subscription websites:
- www.findmypast.co.uk (1841, 1861, 1871, 1891 are indexed with images. Searching by address is possible. 1881 is an index only, without images. 1851 and 1901 are near completion. This is a pay-per-view website. It is available for free use at the Family History Library and all family history centers.)
- www.ancestry.co.uk or www.ancestry.com (All censuses for England and Wales between 1841 and 1901. No search by address is possible. Requires either a subscription to www.ancestry.co.uk or an international www.ancestry.com subscription. The library edition of the international subscription to www.ancestry.com is available for free use at the Family History Library, regional family history centers in the western part of the U.S., and at the London Family History Centre. The institution version of Ancestry is available for free at all family history centers, with the ability to access the indexes, but not the images.) Follow this link for more information on searching English censuses on Ancestry.
- The Genealogist (All censuses for England and Wales between 1841 and 1901. Search by address or keyword or for a specific county only is possible. Requires a subscription. Volunteers may transcribe census records in exchange for search credits. Free at family history centers and the Family History Library.)
- Britishorigins Censuses for England and Wales for 1841, 1861, and 1871.
- The 1901 census online site contains a free searchable index. Not only does this site contain the 1901 census, but it contains the 1841 - 1891 censuses as well. There is a fee to view transcriptions and images.
- The 1911 census online site contains a free searchable index. There is a fee to view transcriptions and images. The 1911 census is available to search at no cost at any Family History Center and the Family History Library, this includes access to the transcriptions and the images.
A collection of British census records can be found at various non-subscription websites: (Volunteer driven websites)
- Volunteers have been indexing the 1841 to 1891 census for many years at FreeCen. Check to see if your county and or parish has been indexed. If it has then this site will be of value to you. Volunteers are always needed to keep the site growing. Complete transcription of households are on this website.
- The 1841 and 1861 England and Wales census indexes can be searched for free at www.familysearch.org. This is a volunteer driven website. This website only indexes individuals and their birthplaces and does not list places of residence.
- A full transcription and index to the 1881 census of England, Wales, Isle of Man, Channel Islands, and the Royal Navy is online at www.familysearch.org. A compact disc version of the 1881 British Census and National Index is available for purchase. An explanation of the census index and microfiche version is online. The Family History Library has an online tutorial for the English census available at www.familysearch.org.
- The 1851 census for the counties of Devon, Norfolk, and Warwick is transcribed and indexed. This index is available at the Family History Library on microfiche and for purchase on compact disc.
Tips for Searching Census Indexes Online
Here are some tips for searching in online indexes.
- Searching online census indexes using wildcards wildcards wildcards is essential for success. Not every website may utilize the exact same wildcards. You may have to experiment with it.
When searching census records, consider the following:
- Names may be misspelled. Try spelling variations. Even consider different first letters.
- Ages are prone to be inaccurate.
- Birthplaces may be misspelled or inaccurate.
- Find the family in every possible census and compare information.
- Consider using street addresses to locate people in the census. A relative may be living at a previous or future address.
- Click here for more tips.