Some of the nineteenth century censuses of our area have been indexed. Details of the piece numbers, etc which have been covered are available under the Sources section of this website
The 1851 Census Index Project.
This project was one of the earliest, and Project Leaders over the years included John Scoltock, now Honorary Vice President of the Society, Ian Haddrell and John Watts. The project is complete, however it should be noted that Volume 19, covering Bristol, Bedminster and SS.Philip & Jacob, was published in its unchecked form, due to the pressing need for it to be made available sooner rather than later.
Gordon Beavington, a freelance family history researcher in Canada with a deep-rooted interest in our area published 'complete transcripts' of many of the 1851 Census Returns for our area on CD-ROM.
Several different web sites now offer indexed transcripts as well as actual images of census returns 1841-1911 including the 1851 census and these are far more convenient to researchers. The value of our 'Surname, Forename and Age' Indexes has therefore been reduced, although it could be argued that our indexes, compiled with the aid of local knowledge, may be more accurate than the others. Perhaps there is a good case for using all, since several indexes are probably better than one, and certainly better than none at all.
For many years, Society members provided a follow-up Service in conjunction with the Society's 1851 Census Index. They extracted from the microfiche copies of the original Census Returns the full details of specific references identified from the index by members, in particular those overseas, who did not have ready access to the microfilm or microfiche versions of the full 1851 Census. Thanks are expressed to those who provided this service over the years, including former Chair, and now Honorary Vice-President, Janet Hiscocks, Chris Hulbert, Megan Edwards, Geoff Roberts and the late Esmay Langley.
(Edited May 2011 DAN)