Wednesday, 8 May 2019

FamilySearch adds Scottish 1901 census

FamilySearch ( has added a new collection, Scotland Census, 1901, available at

Although listed as part of the New Free Historical Records on FamilySearch: Week of May 6, 2019 release (, the records do not seem to be searchable as yet, although the page is live.

I do have to take FamilySearch to task on one point, however. As part of the description, FamilySearch notes that "This collection is located at The National Archive (England) and the archive series number is RG 13.The archive uses a unique two-part reference number combining the Series Number and the Registration District Number (RD). Each unique reference number corresponds to a distinct piece reference in the series. For example, RG 13/70. The index was provided by and Images are not available at this time".

Cue a big sigh...

I have raised the erroneous source citations of the Scottish censuses as held on FindmyPast in the past, and they either simply do not want to know, or cannot be bothered to do anything about it - but I do hope that FamilySearch might be a little more open to constructive criticism.

The 1901 Scottish census - and indeed ALL Scottish censuses - are not held in England at the National Archives, they are held at the National Records of Scotland ( in Edinburgh (pictured right). They are not catalogued by the NRS under RG13, that's the English records classification at TNA. The Scottish census is not even collected on the same legal basis as the English census, and has not been since the 1861 census was the first to be carried out through the authority of the Registrar General for Scotland.

It would be great if FamilySearch could amend this.

FamilySearch has also added England, Northamptonshire, Non-conformist Records, 1840-1894 (

UPDATE: Actually, I should probably take them to task on the following bit also:

"These records are comprised of Enumeration forms that were distributed to all households before the census night and the complete forms were collected the next day by the enumerators."

They aren't. The records are the enumerators returns which were copied from the original enumeration forms, which were subsequently destroyed. But let's not split hairs!


My next Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the OPRs course starts May 13th 2019 - see Details of my genealogical research service are available at For my Scottish and Irish themed books, visit Further news published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.

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