The National Archives
Search The National Archives
Advanced search

1911 census launched online

Return to latest news

1911 census launched online

Records from the 1911 census are available online at

Records from the 1911 census are available online at

13 January 2009

Records from the 1911 census are now available online at, after an ambitious project undertaken by owned by brightsolid, in association with The National Archives.

Thirty-six million people were recorded in the census taken on the night of Sunday 2 April, 1911. It was the most detailed census since UK records began and the first for which the original census schedules have been preserved, complete with our ancestors' own handwriting. It was also the first time in a British census that full details of British Army personnel and their families in military establishments overseas were included.

Over 27 million people's census entries – 80 per cent of the English records – are now online. A further nine million records of people from the remaining counties of England, Wales, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands, as well as the naval and overseas military records, will be made available over the coming months. 

With the census team working around the clock to enable the early release of the 1911 census, Oliver Morley, Director of Customer and Business Development at The National Archives, said the digitising of the 1911 census was a 'major achievement'.

'By teaming up with, we are bringing history to life for millions. This remarkable record is available online to researchers and family historians all over the world for future generations. The 1911 census is a poignant reflection of how different life was in early 20th century Britain, before the Great War,' he commented.

A snapshot of life in 1911

The records reveal details such as the name, age, address, place of birth, marital status and occupation of every resident in every home, as well as their relationship to the head of the household. They are invaluable in helping us to trace our histories, offering a fascinating insight into what life was like in 1911.

Elaine Collins, Commercial Director at, said: 'The 1911 census offers a crucial new entry point to family history research for a wide range of people, from novice family historians to seasoned genealogists who have hit a "wall" in their family tree research.' 

A number of interesting entries were discovered by the 1911 census team:

  • A mother of five children whose occupation is listed as 'slave to family'
  • A household return completed by the enumerator with a supplementary note explaining the sole occupant was: 'Found dead in chair in house. Monday 3rd April '11.' 
  • A comment from an enumerator asserting that seven child household members are the illegitimate offspring of the housekeeper.
  • A Suffragette sympathiser who left the census return otherwise blank, had written: 'If I am intelligent enough to fill in this paper, I am intelligent enough to put a cross on a voting paper.'

Historical figures

The records also contain details about the lives of many important British historical figures, such as future Primer Minister David Lloyd George, the contemporary Prime Minister H.H. Asquith and 'Bloomsbury Set' author Virginia Woolf.

Return to latest news