Researching your ancestors from Great Britain and Ireland

A guide to researching your ancestors in England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands, using resources at State Library Victoria.

Census records

A census is an official list of the population of a country or district, recording details of household members.

Census records contain a wealth of information for family historians. Such information as names, addresses, relationships, occupations, birthplace and age will help you form a picture of your ancestors and can help provide clues for locating other records.


1911 Census entry for the dramatist Sir. W. S. Gilbert (click to enlarge)

 Ancestry Library Edition. '1911 England Census for W.S. Gilbert' in Ancestry Library Edition [online database], accessed 12 January 2015. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2013. Original data: Census Returns of England and Wales, 1911. Kew, Surrey, England: The National Archives of the UK (TNA), 1911. Data imaged from the National Archives, London, England.