Census Records

Census records are an invaluable aid to researching your Staveley family genealogy.  The census is a critical tool for helping to determine where a family lived, occupations, education, the number of children in a household, disabilities, social status, even clues to a criminal past may be discovered by searching through census records.

It is most useful to begin with the death and birth certificates of your parents or grandparents. With the information contained on these certificates, you can then look at the most recent census data available to you (as of this writing 1901 in England, 1930 in the US).  Pay careful attention to all of the individuals in the household, and then progressively work backwards, through each of the earlier census transcripts, and attempt to locate all of the individuals that were in that household that were more than 10 years old.  If for example you search the 1901 census and find there are five children over the age of 10 in the household, try to find all five of those children in the 1891 census.  Note that not all the children may necessarily be living at home.  You might discover that one member of the household is visiting a grandparent, or an aunt or uncle, or even away at boarding school during a census period.

If the head of household had an occupation that necessitated traveling, he or she may be absent from home during a census, and locating them elsewhere in the census records can give you some insight as to the type of life that individual may have lead, and whether or not they remained within a particular profession for their entire lifetime or not.

Sometimes you will locate an older child living at home in an earlier census that wasn't seen in any subsequent census records.  If an individual is absent from later English census records, be sure to search the GRO Register of Deaths to see if that individual survived to adulthood.  In the case of an older female child, it is important to also search through the GRO Register of Marriages, as she may have taken another name by marriage and may only be located in the later census records via her married name.

Occasionally an entire family may be missing during a census period, only to return again in a later census.  The enumeration system was not perfect, and some families were indeed missed.  To be sure the family is not located in the census, try searching under different variants of the Staveley name.  Handwriting is sometimes difficult to read, and occasionally a Staveley family could have been indexed as Stanley or Stabler for example.  It is always important to read the microfilmed enumerator's original transcript, not just an electronic transcript of a census entry.

Lastly, if a family disappears from the census completely, or is frequently missing from local census records, don't forget to check immigration, military, and overseas census records.  During the 1800-1900's a number of Staveley families emigrated to the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and beyond!  If you are unable to locate your Staveley ancestors in the British Census records there is a good chance they may have left England for distant shores...


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