I was invited on Friday to try out the latest beta of the 1911 census website run by FindMyPast. The temptation was too great to resist, so I headed over to the site.
I searched first for my grandfather Henry Hedges, who would have been 14 in the census. As it is in beta, the site doesn’t have all the counties available, even so it still returned four Henry Hedges’ aged 13-15. Unlike the 1901 Census results, there is no indication of where the person is born, so you have to buy a view of the transcription to see if it the correct one.
When the 1901 census was released, nearly 7 years ago, it cost 50 pence to see a transcription and 75 pence to see an actual image. If you buy the largest package of credits for the 1911 census available, it will cost you 10 credits (80 pence) to see a transcription and 30 credits (£2.40) to see an image.
Needless to say after a couple of hours of searching I had exhausted my 280 credits (£24.95), with next to nothing to show for the outlay. The thought of potentially repeating this for every person in my family tree, with the same results is just not financially viable.
I did find my grandmother on my mum’s side, and have a copy of the actual household return. It is different from previous censuses in that the original household returns have been scanned not the enumerators log. This means that I was looking at my great grandparents’ handwriting, Carrie Moulden I think. Much as I want to search for my relatives, I can see me waiting until this is available on one of the subscriptions rather than pay-per-view. For me this is just too expensive as it stands.