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2011 census

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2011 census

Postby Editor » Mon Jun 07, 2010 8:25 am

I'm meeting someone from the 2011 census next week. Thought I would ask if anyone from the forum has any questions or opinions about what should be in the 2011 census. They want to know genealogists opinions.

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Re: 2011 census

Postby paulberyl » Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:25 am

Parent's names; grandparent's names; great grandparent's names - OK that's not going to happen.

I think we have to remember that as useful as censuses are to genealogists this is not the main purpose of a census, and it is not the government's job to collect genealogical information if it is not relevant to a census. If I was running the 2011 census my main concern would be how to ensure as many forms were completed as possibly - as accurately as possible. The more questions there are the more daunting the form and the greater reluctance to complete it fully and accurately. Also with concerns about human rights I can imagine an outcry if censuses were seen to pry too much into people's personal lives.

Because we have seen the value of censuses to genealogical research I would like to see an optional page on genealogical information which people can choose whether or not to complete, and can choose the level of information they are happy to provide. For example this could include such things as employment history, and perhaps a basic family tree. This information would not be recorded by the government but would become available to family historians in the future. Also if the census form can be submitted electronically it would be good if a copy could be saved to an individual's PC making the census information available to members of the family without waiting a 100 years. I just do not know how practical this would be.

I would be interested to know what other people think.

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Re: 2011 census

Postby Guy » Mon Jun 07, 2010 5:55 pm

A consent to reveal column to enable the release of information.

Since census are being covered by retrospective legislation governing release (formed due to lies being told to the House of Commons, see Hansard).
I feel it is not only courtesy but a basic right that the population is allowed to give their consent to the release of their information.
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Re: 2011 census

Postby callbrian » Tue Jun 08, 2010 9:58 am

Hi Sarah,
Trouble is I can't remember if any changes were added in previous censuses, since 1911. I know we will only get info from 1921 then not until 1951 (not sure I will be worrying about those).
I think this census will be quite interesting regarding partnerships and which surnames are submitted (probably the same could have been said in 2001, can't remember). Could perhaps the wife's maiden name could be included.
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Re: 2011 census

Postby Walter Williams » Wed Jun 09, 2010 5:06 pm

I believe a column for father and mother that could be ticked if they are deceased would be helpful. This would alert you as to wheather to look for a death certificate.
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Re: 2011 census

Postby debsstock » Wed Jun 09, 2010 5:37 pm

I seem to remember that in the 2001 census there was no question about the actual place of birth - it may just have said country of birth, or nationality, or something like that. If my memory is correct this was a glaring omission from a genealogical point of view, and must not be repeated in the 2011 census - and statistically I would have thought that it would be interesting to be able to establish population migration from birthplace to place-of-residence.

Also, questions about number of children born/living/died, and number of marriages should be included.

And I agree with Guy that people should be able to agree to the early release of their information if they want to.
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Re: 2011 census

Postby abcdemma » Wed Jun 09, 2010 5:51 pm

I too like the idea of an optional, additional information form, perhaps on the reverse side of the actual census form so people don't feel bogged down by paperwork. For instance, being able to add maiden names, places of birth, place of work, any previous marriages etc would be good.
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Re: 2011 census

Postby rachelpreece1 » Thu Jun 10, 2010 7:59 am

I like the idea of optional genealogical information on a separate sheet. Something that would be useful is to include the name of the company or organisation along with occupation. In today's society where several people have occupations that could span a wide range of industries it would be useful to know the name of the company or organisation in order to conduct further research. For example, my current occupation is academic librarian, but just that alone gives no clue as to whether I work in a school, college or university.

I am also in agreement with the suggestion of consent to early release.

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Re: 2011 census

Postby Annie08 » Tue Jun 15, 2010 7:31 pm

I can't remember exactly what was in the last census (why didn't I keep a copy?) Was there anything about the size of people's gardens - with gardens strinking to make way for more housing it would be good to see 'what we've lost' in years to come.

Places of work, with years worked there and job titles. If retired then when retired and then details of previous sentence.

I like the idea of a separate geneology sheet and also an optional box to tick to say if you consent to your details being released early, perhaps even a box for 25 years, 50 years, 75 years, etc. and also one 'just immediately family'. Also grandparents details, and if anyone in the household deceased since previous census.

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