The 1911 census was more comprehensive than earlier ones. For the first time it recorded nationality. There was also expanded information relating to occupation.
Married women were also asked specific questions. This was essentially an attempt to understand why the birth rate was falling, indeed it had been since the 1870’s. The questions were:
- Duration of the current marriage
- Number of children born within the marriage
- It also counted those that were still living and those that were deceased.
The 1911 Census was also the first census where the government required the original forms to be retained. Those in the Army who were serving overseas were also recorded. The Great War begin in 1914, so this census is an important marker for those researching families where there was a loss within the family.
Following on from the last census (1901) where we saw my great Grandmother (Granny, as we all called her), Annie Prudence and her husband, my great Grandfather, Charles Butcher, we are now a decade on.
Here is the family – Charles and Annie, with their children, Rose who was responsible for sharing the stories and details of my family, Gladys, Percy, Arthur, George and Ellen. George was my Grandfather and I have written quite a lot about him over the years.
My Grandfather, George was aged three. He had not met my Grandmother, Lilian Matthews, which he obviously did, as they married in 1939 (sadly after the 1939 Register), though my Grandmother was not born yet, she arrived in December 1912.
What has become apparent to me as I have written this series, is how little I have researched my great Aunts and Uncles, and despite taking such an interest in my family, I have missed opportunities. Over the coming weeks and months, I intend to rectify that, in addition to researching the Butcher family in Alfold which I mentioned in the 1901 post. The Alfold Butcher family do connect to my Grandmother’s family though she did not know that, and there is still a connection between the two Butcher families, but that is something to unravel another day.