Geography & Family History

By Stanley Merridew

In tracing your ancestry obviously a grasp of history, historical dates and facts can be useful but it is worth taking into consideration that geography, economic geography in particular, plays just as an important part in our research.   Some researchers are fortunate in finding a family stayed in one parish for generations but they are in the minority.  For the majority our forebears flitted from place to place leaving no apparent trail.  

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Wills, Probate & Death Duty

By Stanley Merridew

Whilst on a visit to The National Archives I overheard a conversation regarding probate.  A researcher was saying that their ancestors had not left any wills as they had searched the index at TNA without success.  I didn’t get the chance to put my oar in before they had moved on.  When searching any index the researcher needs to be aware of the extent of the index and in particular what is doesn’t contain.  Wills and probate are possibly the most complex of the subject matter we tackle as family historians and without some understanding success will be limited.

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Census Details

I would like to acknowledge that this work is not my own.  It is an amalgum of many other web sites visited that together have helped me to create this information.

The Census in England is taken every ten years and has been since 1801; the only exception being during World War II (1941). Most pre-1841 census were not kept and therefore only a few pre-1841 census returns have been found.

Census in the UK was conducted on the evenings of the following dates:

1801 – 10th March
1811 – 27th May
1821 – 28th May
1831 – 30th May
1841 – 6th June
1851 – 30th March
1861 – 7th April
1871 – 2nd April
1881 – 3rd April
1891 – 5th April
1901 – 31st March
1911 – 2nd April
1921 – 19th June (Expected to be released by TNA in January 2022)
1931 – 26th April (Destroyed during WW2)
1939 – 29th September (WW2 National Registration)
1951 – 8th April
1961 – 23rd April
1971 – 25th April
1981 – 5th April
1991 – 21st April
2001 – 29th April

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Epidemics Timeline

The following information was compiled in 2011 for the Australian Institute of Genealogical Studies (AIGS) and is reproduced here with permission.

It is a living document which is based on writings from the 1700 and 1800s that were available, as such it is not presented as being complete.  If you are able to add to the timeline please advise the Web Manager who will include the information here and update the author.

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Getting Started

Whilst we would like to lay claim to the content on this page, it has been put together using snippets of many other similar web pages which can be found on the Internet. Although many, we would like to particularly acknowledge the Federation of Family History Societies web site for the basis of this text. 

Where do I start? 

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