What is a Census?
A census is a count of the inhabitants of a country. Details are recorded for every member of the population, including their age, sex and occupation. In the UK a census is usually taken every 10 years -- the census taken in 1801 is regarded as the first national census. This census was no more than a basic headcount, and recorded no names. With each subsequent census the information collection became more sophisticated, with more information noted and a more detailed breakdown of the information
The 1911 Census
The 1911 census is a record of everyone who lived in England and Wales in 1911 -- including all the residents of Pettaugh. It provides a unique snapshot of the village 100 years ago,and makes for very interesting reading! A census was taken every ten years from
The 1911 census data was released earlier in 2011 (The Government keeps all census data 'secret' for 100 years, so the 1911 census data is the latest available to the public), and makes for interesting reading. The size of families, the overcrowding with large families in small cottages, the large number of men employed in 'farm work', infant mortality, the 14 and 15-year old girls 'in servive' -- all these details of Pewttaugh lives are exposed in the statistics. In 1911 there were more members of the Page family than any other, and there are still Pages in the village today!
The 1911 census was the first to be completed by the householder who had to provide names, ages and occupations of the inhabitants, plus the length of marriage, the number of children of that marriage, how many of those children were still living and how many had died. In Pettaugh many of the houses had three or four rooms only, likely to be a small kitchen or scullery, one living room and one or two bedrooms, and were frequently overcrowded.
The surviving 1911 census pages consist of the original household pages and the enumerators’ summary books. The household schedules were the forms completed by each household. Every person who stayed in the house that night (household members and guests) in theory was included on the form. Enumerators’ summary books (ESBs) were the books completed by each enumerator from the information provided in the household schedules. The ESBs contain summaries of several households on one page — usually on the same street.
The 1911 census for England and Wales was taken on the night of Sunday 2 April, 1911. The count included all individual households, plus institutions such as prisons, workhouses, naval vessels and merchant vessels, and it also attempted to make an approximate count of the homeless.
What is in the 1911 census?
In common with the censuses that preceded it, it recorded the following information:
Also, depending on an individual’s circumstances, additional information could include:
The world in 1911
The 1911 census was taken at a time of rapid change, both in Britain and the rest of the world. International politics was becoming increasingly turbulent as relatively young nations such as Germany and America underwent rapid industrialisation, and Japan’s economic power grew after the end of 200 years of isolation in 1853. All posed a threat to Britain’s economic supremacy, which was reflected in an increasing sense of nationalism both in Britain and abroad that was to culminate in World War I.
Great Britain in 1911
British industry suffered a year of industrial unrest with several strikes in key industries, such as shipping, mining, and the railways. There was also political unrest, with a political power struggle between The Liberals and Conservatives over Asquith’s programme of social reform.
Life in 1911
The coronation of George V and Queen Mary - who would become the first of the Windsor monarchs - takes place at Westminster Abbey on 22 June.
Arts and culture
In January 1911, three policemen are killed and two injured after trying to arrest a group of Latvian anarchists trying to break into a jeweller’s shop. The event becomes notorious when the gang hold off 300 police in the ‘Siege of Sydney Street’. Winston Churchill, the Home Secretary, attends the scene and refuses to let the Fire Brigade intervene when the building catches fire. Two bodies are found, but a mythical third man, ‘Peter the Painter’, escapes.
OK, so that's the 'big picture', but what of Pettaugh? Go to Pettaugh in 1911 and 2011
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