Family and house stories from the 1900s can be harder to piece together than those from the 1800s, because our old friend the UK census stops in 1911. What to do? Here are some great resource tips to help you make swift progress!
If you have an address, electoral registers are a great place to start. Find them at the County Record Office for the place you want to search. They are available for most years – not 1917, 1919 and 1940-44 – but remember that, in the early 20th century, not everyone was entitled to vote. Start with later years and work backwards.
The Absent Voters’ Registers of 1918 onwards are great for finding servicemen who were serving away from home as they give details like rank and regiment/battalion. Again, the local History Centre or Record Office is the best place to look. Use TNA’s“Find an archive” search toolfor this and search by county name.London Metropolitan Archiveshave produced a useful online guide to the electoral registers they hold and this gives the boroughs and dates for which they have absent voters’ lists.
Hard copies are great for flipping back and forth between…
pages by street name,
pages by surname and
advertisements for ancestors’ trades or professions;
…great for tracing the history of a house that used to be a business premises. If you are looking for someone who was in business, check out TNA’sDiscoverypages to see if company records are at the County Record Office. NB: to search for records held locally, don’t tick the two boxes below the search box, as that will restrict results to material held at TNA.
Find My Past has a great collection of British Newspapers for 1710 to 1953that are well indexed and an excellent way to find stories about your ancestors and things that happened to them, even if, back then, their names were in the paper for the wrong reasons!