Tips from the Pros: Census Tip–The Bonus Summary

View All Census Recordsfrom Sherry Irvine, CG, FSA (Scot)

Most of us are slow to read everything on a computer monitor, so it was quite a while before I noticed three small words just above the results table of my searches in the English censuses, They are blue and underlined–All Census Results. (Click on the image to enlarge an example.)

Obviously this is a link, and I discovered it leads to a table showing a list of the number of hits in any available census return matching the criteria I had specified.

During a search for William Nuttall in the 1841 census of England, the All Census Results link took me to a table of censuses for England. Above and to the left was another link, All Results, and this went to a much larger listing of results, mostly in UK databases.

The table is available whether you search with a full name, surname only, first name only, or geographic location without a name. The patterns of listings vary depending on the breadth of your initial search and where you start (e.g., a U.S. search, England/Wales search, Canada search, or global search). Working within census records, you end up viewing a demographic table that provides a good idea as to how common a name is across one country or several.

I enjoy playing with the tool and checking out the numbers. For example, a search for anyone of the surname Bird in England in 1871 and born in Canada turned up two results. Selecting the All Census Results link took me to a table telling me there were 146 in the United States in 1870, nine in 1891 in England, plus totals from twenty-nine other major and minor census databases within the site. Why not try your luck with some of your family surnames?

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5 thoughts on “Tips from the Pros: Census Tip–The Bonus Summary

  1. The hint was new to me thank you, i do have one question, was the census taken in every city that was known at the time, say Lorain, OH. 1900 or did persons have to go to Cleveland Oh. to give their info.? What i am trying to get at is that when i say i want the census from the Lorain area, all i get is Cleveland wards. Could this have been the case? Thank you, Sylvia

  2. Great observation. I never saw/knew that “All Census Results” was another link.
    Thank you for sharing this.

  3. This is another example of a need for a flow chart from to provide simple instructions on accessing all the features that are available from their website. I don’t know why flow charting has fallen into disuse or why navigating should be an exercise in discovery, but for the money we pay to use this site, I think we all deserve something more than user articles to help us navigate.

  4. Sherry: The William Nuttall you mentioned – is he the one born Manchester 1836 and was very active in the Co-operative movement in Lancashire & elsewhere (Australia 1884-1900?). If so, he is my great great uncle & I wrote a brief bio of him for the Oxford DNB. Just checking.

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