If you have come across this article by chance, you might wonder why a Genealogist is writing about the Scottish Census.
Census Returns are something that Genealogists use in their research as they provide an insight to where our Ancestors lived, their age, marital status, place of birth, occupation & who was living in the household with them.
At present the earliest Census of value to the Family Historian was taken in 1841 & with a 100-year closure period we currently eagerly await the 1921 Census being released.
The Scottish Census should have been taken during 2021 but was postponed until 2022 due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, it records everyone living in a household on the 20th March.
Regardless if you research you family history or not have you given some thought to keeping a copy of what you record in this year’s Census? I kept a copy of what I recorded in the last one in 2011 & was able to add the details to my family tree software.
As there is a 100-year closure period it means that anyone who comes after you & wishes to consult the Census for research purposes will not be able to view the details until 2122!
So, what is the Census? It is an Official Count of Everyone Living in Scotland & by law you are required to complete the Return. The Census allows the Government to make decisions in relation to services in your area & how money will be spent on housing, education, healthcare etc.
What Information do we each need to provide?
As the years have gone on more & more information is being requested, it will be a joy for Genealogists in Generations to come!
So, what questions will we be asked this year?
Who lives in the house:-
· Both permanently or temporarily
· Is away from home at present
· Are visiting or on holiday
· Are living as lodgers or flatmates
· What are their names & relationship to the main householder
Household Questions: -
· Type of accommodation
· If the property is rented or owned
· If it is owned by a private or local authority landlord
· The number of bedrooms
· Type of central heating
· The numbers of vehicles available to the household
Individual Questions: -
· Each individual is asked their date & country of birth
· Marital status
· What your address was 1 year ago
· If you were born outside of the UK when you moved here
· If you are a schoolchild, student or in full-time education & if you lived at a different address during term time
· If you give help to ill or disabled family or neighbours & for how long
· To rate your own health, if you have suffered from any conditions such as Deafness, Blindness, learning, mental or health conditions over the last 12 months & if this limits your day-today activities
· If you can understand, read & write English,
· If you can understand speak, read and write Scottish Gaelic or Scots
· If you use sign language
· What your main language is
· Your ethnic group
· if you hold a passport
· what you feel your national identity is
· what qualifications you have
· Your work status, if you are waiting to start a job, your main employment status, the name of the business you work for, your job title, description of what you do in your job, where you travel to for work & how, what type of industry you work in, if you oversee employees, how many hours you work in a week
Additional Persons: -
If you have family or visitors staying with you overnight you are asked to include their name, address, date of birth & sex.
There are a lot of questions, though thankfully most are multiple choice!
But, lets be honest here. If you were to recount this information for, say a child or grandchild who takes an interest in family history in the years to come would you really remember all these facts? I know I wouldn’t!
So how can we save this information for future generations?
At present there are two options, you can either complete the Census online or fill out a paper questionnaire.
If completing this online then you will be able to take either screen captures or use the snipping tool available on most computers.
If completing the paper copy then why not take a scan or image of each page.
Bingo, you have saved your information. Why not combine this with additional information such as an image of each person on that day, a copy of a diary page, your child’s favourite toy…really think about what else you can save for prosperity.
Please remember to fill this out, it is such an important thing to do! I have spent countless hours & money trying to find relatives in the Census when it looks like they could not be bothered to complete it!
Did you know you can download a variety of Census Data from the 2001 & 2011 Census Returns?
Find out more about the Scottish Census
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