Over the past 10+ years, I have had access to census data via the mediums of Ancestry & FindMyPast.
If you want to see what is actually on the census, then you will need to subscribe to Ancestry or FindMyPast.
I will explain in some detail below how it is that this is a derived dataset, not a plagiarised transcription, which has taken a very long time for me to compile. I’ve colour-coded the headings so you can see “raw” data, transcription-derived data, and totally new data.
Below is a breakout of those fields in the dataset:
Order – this is the order in which the names appear on the census, and I created my own ordering id, with the possibility of up to 30 names on a census page.
uid – This contains the unique identifier:
1 to 7999999 – serving with the SWB at the outbreak of war
8000000 series – elsewhere, no service record found.
9,100,000 series – elsewhere, records in both WO 97 and WO 363 via FMP
9,200,000 series – elsewhere, records in WO 96
9,300,000 series – elsewhere, records in WO 97
9,400,000 series – elsewhere, records in WO 364
9,500,000 series – elsewhere, records in WO 363
Forename, Surname – This is derived from my legacy data list, and may not reflect the actual name recorded on the census.
Rank – I have gone through the list and manually taken this down. It is a shame that this does not appear in the transcriptions, but it makes for yet another example of value-add from me,
Number – If I know the service number, it is recorded there.
Born – This has not been changed. That said, it is always worth checking other sources, given that so many soldiers gave a false age at attestation. Where known, I record the “true age” on the legacy sheets already on here. 5555 Thomas William Stratford is but one example who gave a false age.
Settlement – Where known, this level of granularity will be recorded by me. If my research on a soldier has unearthed this, but it is not on the census, it is recorded here. One example is 9475 Arthur Hall. His census transcription states he was born in Portsmouth. This son of an artilleryman was in fact born in the settlement of Gosport, within the registration district of Alverstoke which is neighbouring Portsmouth.
District or Town – This is a higher level of geographic granularity. It may be the person was born in a small market town that is also a GRO registration district, and this is the lowest level of detail. There is scope for differences. Aldershot is in Hampshire, yet it was associated with the Farnham district, itself within Surrey. Knowing this should help with further genealogical research into a particular soldier.
County – The next progressively higher level of geographic granularity. This is dictated by the settlement, where this is recorded, i.e. Aldershot in Hampshire.
Region – The country within Great Britain, or further afield in some isolated cases.
Grouping 1914 – The soldier was in one of 4 locations in 1914
- In China with 2nd Bn,
- in F&F with 1st Bn (and therefore on the “Mons Star” roll),
- with the Depot pending deployment elsewhere, or
- elsewhere and no longer serving with the SWB
Archive reference – If this person fought in WW1 with the South Wales Borderers, their medal roll archive reference is recorded. If they were elsewhere but I found a service record, the pertinent archive reference is recorded, within WO 96, WO 97, WO 363 OR WO 364. Else, NULL is recorded. I may have matched the wrong David Williams from Swansea, but all being well, it will be correct in most instances.
ONS id – I have tried to match the place of birth with the ONS Index of Place Names, and the associated ONS id. If I could not find a match, I have a dash.
ONS Place – The official place name, which is stated in both English and Welsh in some instances. If I could not find a match, I have a dash.
LAT, LON – This looks like the easy part. I get the coordinates from the ONS Index of Place Names in theory. In practice, I have looked at a given location where a man was born in, say, 1890, and I have not been satisfied that I can definitively pick out the modern location. When this happens, I have tried to find the birth place on an antiquarian map, and have looked to then derive the LAT LON coordinates. It has been very time consuming. Not only does it take a long time, it turns me into a frustrated Basil Fawlty. In the same way that thrashing an Austin Maxi with a branch fails to produce material results, the similar infliction of expletives at the computer screen similarly failed to deliver the goods when struggling with the geographic intricacies of Leicester and other towns of which I have no geographic knowledge.