How to search the UK census by address

Find out how to search the UK census by address and discover more about your house and the homes of your ancestors

Gold Hill, Shaftesbury

Whether you want to find out who lived in your house a hundred years ago or you are looking for a family address to track down your ancestors, the census is a fantastic resource. However, the websites that host UK census records are set up for searching by person more than address. This is particularly true of FamilySearch which does not let you search the UK census by address at all. Below we show you how to search the UK census by address online:

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Search the UK census by address on Ancestry

Ancestry is one of the worst genealogy websites for allowing users to search the UK census by address, however you can find streets in both the 1881 census and 1911 census. First you need to select ‘Search’ and then ‘Census and Electoral Rolls‘ from the home page. This takes you to a central search page. In the right-hand column select the specific census collection you want to search (remember this only works for 1881 and 1911).

Ancestry census address search
You can search for a street name in keywords for 1881 on Ancestry

For 1881 write the place (e.g. Liverpool) in ‘Lived in’ and the street name in ‘Keyword’. Only add the first part of the street name initially (i.e. not Road, Street or Place) to see how many results you get. If the street is named after a place e.g. Aberdeen Road or a personal name e.g. Penny Lane, then you will have to include ‘Road’ or ‘Lane’ to restrict results.

If you find someone on the right street, then click on that entry and ‘walk’ the street by clicking the left or right arrow next to the record.

This system also works with houses that have a name, although it is dependent on the enumerator recording it.

For 1911, you can use the census summary books. From the 1911 census home page, scroll down and open the relevant summary book search page. This lets you search by address making it much easier to track down a street. The summary books only give the name of the head of the household, but once you have that, you can go back to the main 1911 census search page and use the same tactic as 1881 but with a name added.

Search the UK census by address on Findmypast

UK genealogy website Findmypast has a much better and simpler way to search UK censuses by address. From the home page, click on Search and then select ‘Addresses‘ in the bottom right corner. From here you just need to type in the street name and place and the website searches across all of the UK censuses from 1841 to the 1939 Register.

Census address search on Findmypast
The census address search on Findmypast is simple to use

Findmypast is currently the only website that offers the 1921 census for England and Wales. However, there are additional costs involved in accessing the 1921 census as it is not included in any of the subscription packages.

Search the UK census by address on TheGenealogist

TheGenealogist also has an excellent address search facility. From the main search page, select ‘Address’ from the drop-down menu and then select the census you are interested in followed by the county.

Search census by address on TheGenealogist
You can search for streets on individual censuses using TheGenealogist
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Using these simple techniques, you should be able to track down an address on all the UK census collections. Good luck!