5 Extraordinary Census Discoveries Important to Me

August is National Family History Month (NFHM) in Australia . As noted on the NFHM website, during “August events will be conducted across Australia and online that focus on genealogy, family history, heraldry and related subjects.” One of these is the NFHM Blogging Challenge. The challenge is to post a blog once a week on a suggested topic. This first weeks topic is “census” owing to the Australian census, which will be on Tuesday 9 August 2016.

What extraordinary things have you discovered about your family history in census records?

I am not quite sure if these are extraordinary discoveries yet they are important to me. They either helped me discover more to research or enlightened me on my ancestors lives. I even blame one of them for getting me further addicted to this family history stuff, if that is possible. Here goes…..

Helpful Census Recorders


1861 – Elizabeth Kitto was cited as the head of the household which sends me looking for the husband’s death records. Or relatives census records as my ancestors do often stay with other family members. In this case the kind census recorder put in Elizabeth’s “Rank, Profession, or Occupation” – “Miners wife Husband abroad”. This broadens my search for Sampson beyond  just searching further in the 1861 records.

Found Another Frances

1871 – My mother told me Frances is a family name on both sides of the family. Only a family historian will know the feeling when I discovered another Frances, in census research. Meet my great, great grandmother, Frances Edmonds, nee Monger. Plus thanks to websites for indexing. This makes it easier for me to find more ancestors with the name Frances.


Love it When the In-Laws Visit on Census Day

1881 – As noted in the 1861 example, my ancestors frequently were visiting or living with relatives on census nights. This does help my research.  This example has a cousin, Emma K Dawson and a sister in law, Martha Gibson staying at Edward and Jane Dawson’s dwelling on census night. Having in-laws visiting can help with confirming maiden names too.

1881 Census Extract


Politically Incorrect Times Aid Research

1891 – Politically correct was no where to be seen in 1891. Joseph Kitto at age 28 was listed as an imbecile. 1871, aged 8, Joseph was listed as a scholar. So to the 1881 census to recheck what I may have missed yet not expecting to find out  details. Again the recorder helps by including ” Imbecile for 6 years”. Wonder what happened to him?


1871 – part 1


1881 – part 2


1891 – part 3

Census Record Causes Addiction

1901 – Probably  the first census records I discovered was for my Nana, Grace Shepherd. I knew her maiden name and date of birth and where she came from in London. This made the discovery quick and easy. It made researching my family history in depth even more addictive.

1901 Census Extract


As you have read, my family is not extraordinary. My ancestors census records are just ordinary. Yet every small discovery is extraordinary to me.

Look out for the next weeks post on remembering your working forbears and the challenges cripthey faced.

Where to Find Out More

More details and the links to other bloggers family stories can is  found at Family Tree Frog Blog.

For Family History Month 2016 on social media use the hashtag #NFHM or #NFHM2016.

To find my blog posts check out the National Family History Month tag, NFHM.

Or read other bloggers posts:

9 thoughts on “5 Extraordinary Census Discoveries Important to Me”

  1. What a tantalizing clue for Joseph Kitto at age 28 was listed as an imbecile for the last 6 years. Very intriguing, if he didn’t have an accident maybe he got one of the diseases of the time that made people very, very sick – maybe there was an epidemic going through the area.
    Your post made for great reading.

  2. I see from that last census extract that that your great grandmother was also a Frances.

  3. Fran – your posts always make me smile….political correctness…imbecile for 6 years….yes, it is fabulous when you find in-laws visiting on census night. Thanks for participating in the blogging challenge…now to get through the other 3 posts!

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