Mark your family's progress with 1901 & 1911 Census returns

The 1901 Census is now available online. For anyone interested in their family roots, this is a great addition.

Now you can actually compare the census returns from 1911 with those made 10 years earlier. Maybe you'll see little of interest or more likely you'll find something wouldn't seem interesting normally but it is of interest to you because it's your family.

For example, on my great-grandfather's 1911 Census form he indicated that only he and his wife could speak Irish. Yet, on the 1901 Census return he indicates that the two of his sons could speak Irish.

Or does he? The more I looked at the two returns the more likely it seemed to me that he didn't fill out the 1911 form. The handwriting is different. I suspect that one of the sons or daughters filled in the '11 form. Obviously not of much interest outside my family, but it's a minor mystery as to why two of my grand-uncles were listed as Irish-speakers in 1901, but not in 1911.

Also, as I said when I first brought up the 1911 Census, don't ignore the House and Building Return. Through those details I was able to see that my great-grandfather had added a room to the house {photo} and replaced the thatch roof with a new slate one during those 10 years. Sounds like things went well for him during the decade.