The following is an announcement from 1837online.com:
The oldest census available online is set to fuel the UK's passion for family history research
For the first time ever, the entire 1861 census for England and Wales is being made available online by the family history website www.1837online.com making it the oldest, fully searchable, census on the internet *.
The 1837online.com launch, starting with the census records for the South East **, provides a detailed picture of what life was like for people living in Victorian England. Not only can you now search online for relatives who lived over 140 years ago but the website also allows you to see who lived in your house in 1861. This will be big news to the 1.2 million people who visited the 1901 Census website on the day it launched in 2002.
1837online.com is confident that the launch of the 1861 census online will draw significant interest from the growing number of family and house historians who have made genealogy the third most popular hobby on the net.
Colin Miller, Managing Director, 1837online.com said: "By making the 1861 census available it allows people to search further back than ever before online. This move opens up the records to many more people and will undoubtedly add fuel to our existing appetite for all things family history."
The 1861 census provides detailed information about all the people occupying English and Welsh households, vessels and institutions on the night of 7 April 1861. By logging on to 1837online.com, people will now be able to discover where their Victorian ancestors lived; who they lived with; how old they were in 1861; their occupations; any disabilities they may have had; and who they shared their homes with.
Beginning today with London, Middlesex, Kent and Surrey, the website aims to upload the entire 1861 census - more than twenty million records - over the coming months. Not only will visitors be able to view the original 1861 census documents as they were written, but 1837online.com has also fully transcribed the data for every household, vessel or institution that was enumerated on the night of the census, making the records much easier to decipher and search.
Placing these records online is of particular advantage to those people living outside of the capital or even abroad, as they would previously have needed to visit the Family Records Centre in London to manually search through this data.
The addition of the census records to 1837online's existing datasets - births, marriages and deaths in England & Wales from 1837 to date; WW1, WW2 and overseas birth, marriage and death indexes - reinforces the company's position as the UK's leading family history website.
Colin Miller, adds: "The ability to locate different sets of records in one place on the internet is something that our customers will welcome. If you have so far traced your ancestors using birth, marriage and death records and drawn up a list of key dates and individuals, the next stop should be to search the census returns as this is the information that will really help bring your ancestors to life."
* 1837online.com is the first website to put the 1861 census images online whilst also fully transcribing them, making them fully searchable.
** Census records for London, Middlesex, Kent and Surrey