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1901 Census

1901 Bicycle

The UK Government decided to make the 1901 Census data available to all via the Internet with Index searches being free and a charge made for household information and views of original census forms. They established a company, Qinetiq, to carry out the work and anticipated a release date early in 2002. Sadly, Qinetiq failed to act upon the advice given by many genealogy organisations with experience of transcribing such records and, appearing to put profit before performance, they out-sourced much of the work to India.

Therefore we ended up with inexperienced workers grappling with the peculiarities of early 20th century writing, English surnames and place names. Needless to report the project failed to commence on time and the errors in transcribing left much to be desired. I have closely searched the Census Index and examined original census images and have now located most of our Family members alive at census date, 31 March 1901.

Alongside is an extract from the Bosham returns with fairly easily deciphered christian and surnames despite the late additions of second christian names. The only difficult one is Frederick George, step-son to Mark Reeves. His surname has been transcribed as 'LEARD' and it is not impossible to see why. However his surname is 'KEARVELL' and, when you know that, it is again possible to read it as such. By the way, Female ages are not missing from the Census data - they are in a column to the right of male ages.

Of the 100 entries found only 57 were transcribed as KEARVELL. The others were tracked down under KEARVILL, KEARSELL, KEARRELL, KEARBELL, KEAWELL, KEARWELL, KEARVAL, KERVELL, KENNELL and even ..... LEARD and REAWELL! Those known to be missing from the list include 3 serving soldiers, 1 Royal Navy seaman and 7 Family members known to be alive after 1901 but not yet found on the Census Returns. There are also a further 11 Family members on our Family Tree, not in the Census records, who I anticipate will be found to be already dead (lack of marriage and other census data), although no formal death/burial record has yet been found. There were also 12 KEARVELLS in Australia who had emigrated about 1892. A known Family total in March 1901 of 123.


The spread across 7 English Counties is similair to the 1881 Census with Sussex having 51% of our Family members, Surrey 15%, Hampshire 15% (Isle of Wight 3%), Middlesex 12%, Berkshire 3%, Buckinghamshire 3% and Worcestershire 1%.


Male occupations seen were Wheelwrights, Carpenters, Bricklayers, Shipwright, Farm Carter, Brass Turner, Paper Hanger, Blacksmith, Joiner, Agricultural Labourers, Bricklayer's Labourer, Head Gardener, Garden Labourer, Grocer's Assistant, Grocery Manager, Baker, Baker's Assistant, Commercial Clerk, Bank Clerk, Railway Clerk (retired), Metropolitan Police Constable, Innkeeper and Pedlar.


Female occupations seen were Domestic Servants, Dressmaker, Draper's Assistant, Kitchen Maid, Cook, Nurse (Domestic), Housekeeper, Housemaid and Charwoman. In all 11 female Family members were in paid employment.

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