Recording from a Census Record


It is recommended that you use Ancestral Sources to capture Census Records. This program makes entering Census details much easier and quicker, and helps to organise your Family Historian data in a logical fashion. It is recommended that you have a good understanding of Source Records before using the program.

Also see about utilising the Family Historian Census Event for UK 1939 Register.

Capturing Census Details

There are two standard facts associated with Census Records; namely the Individual Census Event and the Family Census (family) Event. It is recommended that the Census (family) Event is IGNORED, as it is not supported by the standard Census Report nor the Ancestral Sources program. Also the Census (family) Event only applies to the family couple and not their children or any other relations in the Census household.

Typically, each Individual in the Census household will have a Census Event with a Citation to the same Source record. If the Census record has Birth or Occupation or other significant details, then matching facts will also have a Citation to the same Source record.

Usually a Method 1 or 'source splitters' Source record will be created for each household and have a meaningful Title, a transcript in the Text From Source, and an image linked to the Media tab. Alternatively, a Method 2 or 'source lumpers' Source Citation will have one Source record for the whole Census year, and each Citation will provide specific household details.

Automatic Source Citations could be enabled and each household Individual created with their Birth, Census, and Occupation facts, but Ancestral Sources is far more convenient.

Method 1 Source records offer a rapid way of listing all members of a household. From any Census Event click the blue Go To Source Record arrow in the yellow Sources For pane, and in the resulting Census Property Box click the Go To Record disk icon in its toolbar at the top. Now that the Census Source is selected, use the Tools > Where Used Record Links plugin to list all members of the household in a Result Set. Single click any Record Where Used cell to show their Property Box.

Note that the Lookup Missing Census Facts Plugin and Internet Data Matches both normally focus on the Individual Census Event.

Census Witness Roles

Users migrating from products such as TMG and Legacy may have used Witness Roles for all except the Principal or Head of household Individual or Family, but this technique is inconsistent with the Census Report, the Lookup Missing Census Facts plugin, a Property Box Tab for Census Events, and the Ancestral Sources program as mentioned above.

Also from the perspective of the Witness Individual, those Roles are not easily included in the Individual Records Window, nor any Query or Diagram or Report, except for Narrative Reports.

Another drawback is the Age recorded in the Census has no specific field, and can only be added to a Note, whereas separate Census Events each have an Age field.

Witnesses employ a non-standard GEDCOM structure not recognised by most other products, although this is partly mitigated by the Export Gedcom File plugin that creates synthetic facts for the Witness Roles.

To list all members of a household, right-click a Census Event and choose Witnesses, but it then requires the use of the Go To button and Locate Event for Witness to show their Property Box.

Census Dates

It is possible that the Dates entered for Census Events may be wrong or incomplete, especially if imported from another product. Ancestral Sources has a convenient Census Date Check feature for converting such Dates to those defined in its Census Grid Templates for each country & year. This can be used even if Ancestral Sources is not used to capture the events initially.

  • Give Witnesses Their Own Facts converts Census Witnesses to Census Events from either principal Individual Census Events or Family Census (family) Events.