My ancestor is not in the Census!

My ancestor is not in the Census!

My ancestor is not in the Census!


It is only within the last 100 or so years that travel both internally and internationally became cheap enough that ordinary people could take advantage of it. This means that short of migration or a job that involves travel, most people should almost certainly be home on census night.

If however, you still cannot find your ancestor:

1.      Check every name variation you can think of ( for ideas please see my post on name variations) with first and middle names if you know them,

2.      Use every bit of information that you are aware of in the search criteria and failing that slowly remove pieces of information to cast a wider and wider net,

3.      Check the address of all known relatives: parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins (including those of the spouse) as they may be staying with them,

4.      Check the address for neighbours,

5.      Could they be in jail? Check for criminal records,

6.      Could they be in a hospital or a poor workhouse? Check the records for hospitals and workhouses in their local area,

7.      Is there any reason they may have changed their name? It makes it a little harder but not impossible if you have their other vital records (birth date and place, occupation, spouse, children etc).

Hopefully, there are enough ideas here that will help you locate your missing ancestor and allow you to move on in your research.

If you can think of any other way not mentioned here to find your ancestor in a census, please let me know.

Happy Hunting!


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My ancestor is not in the Census!