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The 1911 Census for England was taken on the night of 2 April 1911. The following information was requested: Name of street, place, etc.; house number or name; whether or not the house was inhabited; number of rooms occupied if fewer than five; name of each person that had spent the night in that household; relationship of person enumerated to the head of the family; each person's marital status; age at last birthday (sex is indicated by which column the age is recorded in); each person's profession or occupation; whether they are employer, employee or working on own account, whether working at home, and exactly what nature of work; person's place of birth; and whether deaf, dumb, blind, or lunatic (this last information has been suppressed in the published records).

Additional information requested in the 1911 census was the “fertility census,” and occupational questions. Fertility questions included how long the present marriage had lasted, the number of children born alive to the present marriage (including children no longer living in the household), and number of children who had died. Questions about employment were meant to give the government a general idea of which industries were in decline and which were growing.  This added data can be immensely helpful to genealogical researchers in providing an entire family count, a number of children both living and deceased, names of step children under other marriages, and facts about the culture and living conditions of their ancestor.

In some places information is missing because many women boycotted the 1911 census — refusing to be counted— in response to the government’s denial of the vote to women: either the woman (or her husband) did not fill out the census form, writing only her complaint on it, or they stayed away from the house the entire night of the census taking. In both cases details on women of these household will be missing from these records.

To collect the information, enumeration forms were distributed to all households (including temporary dwellings) a few days before census night and the completed forms were collected the next day. All responses were to reflect the individual's status as of 2 April for all individuals who had spent the night in the house and were alive at midnight or who arrived the next morning having not been enumerated while travelling.  The 1911 census is the first census where the householder's schedule has remained the master entry, rather than the enumerator's notes, so you will be able in most cases to view the householder's handwriting when looking at 1911 census entries.

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