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Census: The Expert Guide Paperback – 2 Sep 2008


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Census: The Expert Guide + Wills and Probate Records: A Guide for Family Historians (Readers Guides) + Genealogy: Essential Research Methods
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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: 15.5 x 2.3 x 23.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 273,899 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Robert H. Clinton on 14 Sep 2009
Format: Paperback
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 By John Digswell on 20 Oct 2009
Format: Paperback
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 By R. Blanshard on 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 By W. C. Robertson on 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.
BillRob.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Field Marshall Haig on 4 Jan 2012
Format: Paperback
There are various reasons why people cannot be found in the censuses, sometimes because they were not enumerated, sometimes because they were incorrectly enumerated, and in other cases because they were enumerated in a non-standard format. The latter mainly applies to people in institutions, such as workhouses and lunatic asylums, who were often not enumerated under their full name, but under first initial and surname or just initials. After discovering this (long before reading this book), I was able to find an individual in a lunatic asylum (as they were called at the time) in one of the censuses listed only under their initials, who I had previously been unable to find. However, there seems to be no information on this topic in this book, and there are no entries for 'lunatics' or 'lunatic asylums' (or their modern 'politically correct' equivalents) in the index.

Although this is a detailed description of the censuses from 1841-1911, there is perhaps too much detail on the characterisitcs of various online services (which very soon gets out of date) and insufficient or no information on how the various censuses dealt with 'unusual cases' that can result in people not being found (the criteria for which varied from one census to another) such as soldiers, sailors, merchant seamen, pauper lunatics and inmates of workhouses. This book is a good comprehensive introduction to the censuses, and the online services that were available at the time the book was published, but cannot really be described as 'the expert guide'.
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