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Census: The Expert Guide [Paperback]

Peter Christian , David Annal
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
RRP: 17.67
Price: 14.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

2 Sep 2008
The National Archives' authoritative guide to its most popular set of records. The census has long been an important resource for family, local and social historians, yielding key information about our ancestors including their names, addresses, ages, family relationships and occupations. When the 1901 census went online in 2002 the demand from researchers was phenomenal, and the 1911 census planned for release from 2009 to 2012 - the first to feature our ancestors' own handwriting - is set to be still more popular. This one-stop guide covers everything you need to know about the 1841-1911 censuses in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland, from the days of the enumerators knocking on everyone's doors to the modern privilege of internet access. Much of the book focuses on getting the best results from online research, given issues like competing websites and variable index and image quality. Other ways of accessing the census - from original records to microfilm, CDs and DVDs - are covered in full. Complete with illustrations, photographs, screenshots and case histories, Census is essential reference for anyone seeking to tap this unique resource, whether researching an individual or a locality.

Frequently Bought Together

Census: The Expert Guide + Wills and Probate Records: A Guide for Family Historians (Readers Guides) + Tracing Your Scottish Ancestors (National Archives of Scotland)
Price For All Three: 33.17

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: The National Archives; First Edition edition (2 Sep 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905615345
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905615346
  • Product Dimensions: 2.3 x 15.9 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 319,302 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Subtitled 'The expert guide' - this is no idle boast considering the book's pedigree. Co-authors David Annal, key census expert at The National Archives for the last ten years and the renowned The Genealogist's Internet author, Peter Christian, are both strong contenders for the title of leading expert in the field. --Family History Monthly<br /><br />The definitive guide to what the census is, what it was meant to do when it was created and its value to family historians. --Who do you think you are magazine<br /><br />This is a fine book, handsomely produced with much of interest --Ancestors

Peter Christian and David Annal have written what appears to be the definitive guide to UK census records...Not only is this book a time saver, but Census: The Expert Guide is also a great reference book. This book will help you discover how to get the very best from online research, selecting the most useful websites and best quality images, as well as the experts' techniques for searching original records, on microfilm, CDs and DVDs. --Dick Eastman, Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter

This is a fine book, handsomely produced with much of interest --Ancestors

About the Author

Peter Christian is highly regarded in the world of online genealogy and has published many books and articles on the subject. He is the author of The National Archives' market-leading title The Genealogist's Internet, which has sold over 100,000 copies. David Annal was originally a professional genealogical researcher. Since 1998 he has worked at the Family Records Centre and The National Archives, where he has been a key expert on census records. He is the author of the highly-successful Easy Family History for The National Archives.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A genealogy book worth the price 14 Sep 2009
I have been working on family history for 36 years and during that period I have purchased a number of books on the subject. Most of them have been disappointments, but this one is an exception. It is well written, timely and - so far as I can determine - accurate. Within the first half hour of opening it I had found some information about the 1841 census that cleared up a puzzle that had been frustrating me. The only complaint that I have is that this book will probably cause me to buy others, which won't be as useful as this one.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A useful addition 20 Oct 2009
A useful addition to my collection. Quite a lot of the book is spent covering specific individual family history websites. This means that unless you are using them those particular chapters are not going to be relevant to you. Comparisons between the sites are perhaps useful in helping you decide which to use but some of the data (eg prices) will probably quickly date.
The history of the census is one of the best aspects - bringing home how it was completed and the resultant limitations in the records now available to us.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cenus The Expert Guide Review 3 Oct 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book which gives a comprehensive guide to understanding the various census returns and gives excellent advice on interpreting the different levels of information that are given from the earliest to the latest available census returns. I would highly recommend it for both serious genealogists and those who just want to dip into the census to find their grandparents.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Census 10 Aug 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have been researching my own and other ancestries for fifteen years but have still learned much more than I expected from reading this publication. It is full of useful guidance on the different ranges of information in each of the available census years, and to the numerous places they can be found. This has been a very worthwhile purchase.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A book in two halves, with three aspects? 4 April 2012
This book has three aspects: chapters one to three contain very interesting and informative accounts of the history and carrying out of the censuses of 1841 to 1911. I found these chapters very useful and well written, and they make this book worth having, though at 14.99 an expensive option.
They were illustrated with case studies,aspect two: always readable,using some well known families, the Darwins and Thomas Hardy, as well as less illustrious lineages .
The third aspect of the book is concerned with an introduction to the various on line census websites, followed by chapters about CD ROM and microfilm.This major section occupies chapters four onwards, from page 80 to the end of the book. Whereas the first chapters are a 'good read', this later part is not so readable, and is already dating, in 2012.A chart of the various sites would cover much of the same ground more accessibly.If someone was really stuck as to which of the sites to honour with a subscription, a read of this section might be one way ahead. However, it might well be better to go along to the local library and have a play with whatever they have, Find my Past, perhaps, or Ancestry.These sites do have introductory packages before the money demanded becomes too great.
Personally I find a mix of Ancestry and The Genealogist a good combination.
Although expensive if you are only going to have lasting use from the first 80 pages, I was fortunate to be bought the book as a welcome birthday gift!
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