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How to search for census records

If you have so far traced your ancestors using birth, marriage and death records and you have drawn up a family chart of key dates and individuals, your next step should be searching the census returns, as this is the information that will help bring your ancestors to life.

Census returns can not only help us determine who our ancestors were, but they can also tell us.

•Where our ancestors were living
•Who they were living with
•What their occupations were
•If they had any servants
•Who their neighbours were
•If they had any brothers and sisters
•What their ages were at the time of the census
•If they had any disabilities.

To find these records you would select 'Search' from the top navigation bar and then select 'Search A-Z of all Records' from the drop down menu. You can then filter by country on the left-hand side and search the word 'Census' and the year you are looking for.

The earliest national censuses date from around 1820 but these earliest ones generally only record the head of the household. More detail starts to appear from around 1840 with even more in 20th Century censuses. If you are searching for UK ancestors the census will be one of your most useful resources. 

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