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3 Oct 2010

Mystifying motives: the 1911 census index

Interestingly the 1911 census has twice listed relatives on the form and then these were crossed off so they DON'T appear in the index! One of these was Ellen Elizabeth Cooke (really Cook) who was a nurse in Stoke on Trent living with her aunt Hannah. Ellen must have got called in to the hospital or something as she is deleted from the form and missing entirely from the indexed census. Very strange. Without that deleted line I would never have found Ellen's lovely granddaughter a piano teacher in Derbyshire who has her photographs and stories.
Ellen was born in 1881, and her parents died shortly afterwards. She isn't living at home in 1891 nor in 1901, so without the 1911 census, we'd never have known about her.

Reply from BrightSolid 18 Sept 2010
Good afternoon,

Thank you for your email.

If the entries are crossed out on the original page they will not be included in our transcript as the individuals would not be present when the census was being recorded.

Best regards,

FindMyPast Support Team

Here’s my gruntworthy reply from the usually on-the-money bright solid. The whole point of the index and indeed the interest family historians have in the data, isn’t to know precisely whether a given relative was at home though this is nice, nor to have an exact list of who WAS at home (with the implicit assurance that those who bedded down elsewhere must strictly be omitted). No! It’s to capture all and sundry data which could be useful genealogically. An index which omits this data to satisfy notional and conflicting criteria does not serve the genealogical community well!

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