Free access – 1911 & 1901 Census Records – All Bank Holiday weekend!
Many of my earliest memories centre around my grandparents. I remember their enormous conservatory, the ancient grandfather clock that woke me up every time I stayed over, and especially their unruly pack of long-haired dachshunds.
But despite all the time I spent with my grandparents, it never occurred to me to ask about their memories. When you’re young, you assume that your older relatives have always been old. You don’t think about what their childhood was like.
As I got older, I did start to wonder. I would have loved to hear about the people, places and pets they grew up with. Sadly they weren’t around anymore to ask.
I know I’m not alone. I must have spoken to hundreds of family historians who berate themselves for getting into the hobby too late – when all the first-hand knowledge has disappeared.
That’s why the 1911 Census is so important. It lets many of us see our grandparents – or even parents – as children, and explore the memories we never asked them about.
Far more than birth certificates or any other recent records, the census tells you about the homes they lived in and the lives they created there.
Most importantly, you can discover the people your grandparents shared these memories with – perhaps their own grandparents, your 2x great-grandparents. And of course, once you’ve found these older ancestors in 1911, you can go back and explore their earlier experiences in the 1901 Census, before working your way back to the first census in 1841.
Start discovering your family’s memories with free access to our entire 1911 and 1901 census records, all Bank Holiday weekend. You can find your relatives, read about their homes, occupations and relationships, and see the original records, written in their own handwriting.
To get started, simply think of a relative who would have been alive in 1911. Perhaps you have your own favourite grandparent, who you wish you’d asked about their memories while they were still alive?
Emma Pulman is a Social Media and digital Marketing Executive for Ancestry.co.uk. Based in Ancestry's London office in Hammersmith, Emma regularly tweets and posts on Ancestry's Facebook page.