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  1. #1
    Super Moderator - Completely bonkers and will never change.
    Join Date
    Oct 2004

    Default 1921 census, search tips, report errors etc

    The other night I attended an extremely interesting Zoom talk on the 1921 census given by Mary McKee who is Head of Content Publishing Operations at FMP.

    Members of Lincolnshire Family History Society can log in to the members-only area on the website and view it until 26/27 January.

    If you are a member of another FHS I would suggest that you check their website and see if they have already had a talk from FMP, or will do so in the future. Norfolk have one on 7 February, and then available to view for a while on the website. The Society of Genealogists are hosting a talk on Thursday 27 February starting at 2pm. £10 for non-members, £6.50 for members.

    I have just remembered that FMP have a load of videos on YouTube, and they have some on the 1921 census, though I haven't checked them out.

    FMP also have a 'your questions answered' page at https://www.
    Very useful when you want to know about institutions and searching by address, amongst other things.

    Mary began her talk by explaining how the images were filmed, and then about the transcribing. Because of confidentiality, complete transcriptions for each household were only available fifty days before the release of the census so then there was a considerable amount of work to be done to join all the pieces together.

    Since the release, work on 'cleaning-up' errors and anomalies has continued.
    For example, one person has listed all the institutions. The list can be found via the 'How do I search for residents of an institution' in the above link.
    'Institutions' covered large establishments such as hotels, lodging houses, shelters, etc, as well as universities, religious communities, charitable institutions, prisons, workhouses, and hospitals.

    Not everyone in an institution is listed by their full name.
    26,214/0.0683% - only last name abbreviated. (e.e. John S.)
    369,523/0.9397% - only first name abbreviated (e.g. J. Smith)
    16,354/0.0426% - with initials for both first and last names.

    Some of the records for Lancashire, Yorkshire, Durham and Wales were water-damaged, but specific places weren't mentioned.

    It's been found that some records have had first names and surnames transposed in the transcript, so instead of looking for Walter Smith you need to search for Smith Walter, though FMP are correcting those errors as they find them.

    When you purchase an image, at the top of the page there's a 'report error' button, but this is only for reporting an error with the image. e.g. it's upside-down.

    For errors in the transcription you have to send an email to transcriptsupport @
    (Squish the letters either side of the @ symbol so it looks like a normal email address.)

    Corrected details are updated every Monday.

    Not listed in the census are people on board Merchant Navy and fishing vessels (i.e. civilian ships) which were not in port on census night, nor due to return for several days.

    Also missing are soldiers stationed in Scotland. They will appear in the 1921 Scottish census when it's released.
    For other servicemen see

    Vulcan XH558 - “Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.”

  2. #2
    Super Moderator - Completely bonkers and will never change.
    Join Date
    Oct 2004


    Can't believe I never posted this earlier.

    If you purchase only images for the 1921 census you don't get the census reference which is only available if you buy a transcription. However, you can work it out for yourself.
    The finished article looks something like this
    RG15 PN17853 SN376 RD651 RS4 ED3

    RG15 is the reference at The National Archives for the 1921 census.
    PN - piece number - specific to this entry
    SN - schedule number - specific to this entry
    RD - number of registration district
    RS - number of registration subdistrict
    ED - enumeration district

    When you access the household schedule, the schedule number (SN) can be found in the top right-hand corner of the form.

    Then about two-thirds of the way down the page, to the right-hand side, you have thumbnails, extra (address) and transcripts boxes. Click on the Extra (address) box.
    Then click the 'cover' option.

    In the top left corner you'll see RG15/ followed by some numbers. Those numbers are the piece number (PN).
    Immediately underneath is a box with details of the registration district, including the RD, RS, and ED numbers.

    Clicking the 'Address' option then shows you the name of the person responsible for completing the schedule and the relevant address. It also repeats the RD, RS, and ED numbers.
    Vulcan XH558 - “Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.”


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