A Needle in a Haystack? 1911 Census on Ancestry

You may well have spotted that Ancestry has added many new Counties to its 1911 census collection. In my area of interest, Norfolk is now noted as one of the searchable ones. You would be forgiven for thinking the area is ‘fully searchable’ having read Ancestry’s blog (without the associated comments!), but that’s not yet the case.

This blog is not to cast judgement, but simply to provide a couple of pointers that may be useful when searching 1911 summary books and the census as a whole while on the website.

For Norfolk only, to save you the trouble, I have trawled through all the civil parishes listed and believe the following to be the parishes (or parts of parishes where Norwich is concerned) currently searchable via indexing (I make no comment on the current quality of that indexing!)

Civil ParishSub Registration District
Brundall and StrumpshawBlofield
Burlingham St Andrew and Burlingham St PeterBlofield
Great Plumstead Little PlumsteadBlofield
Hemblington Ranworth with PanxworthBlofield
Lingwood BuckenhamBlofield
Postwick WittonBlofield
Thorpe Next NorwichBlofield
Barford, Carleton Forehoe and WramplinghamCostessey
Barnham Broom and CostonCostessey
Bowthorpe and BawburghCostessey
Brandon Parva, Welborne and RunhallCostessey
Easton Colton MarlingfordCostessey
Arminghall and BixleyHenstead
Framingham PigotHenstead
Kirby Bedon BramertonHenstead
Rockland St Mary and HolverstoneHenstead
Saxlingham Thorpe and Saxlingham NethergateHenstead
Shotesham All Saints and Shotesham St MaryHenstead
Stoke Holy Cross and Caistor St EdmundHenstead
Trowse with Newton and WhittingtonHenstead
Bracon Ash and HethelHumbleyard
Cringleford IntwoodHumbleyard
East CarletonHumbleyard
Great MeltonHumbleyard
Keswick SwardestonHumbleyard
Markshall Swainsthorpe DunstonHumbleyard
Newton Flotman FlordonHumbleyard
AcleSouth Walsham
Cantley Southwood LimpenhowSouth Walsham
Freethorpe and WickhamptonSouth Walsham
Halvergate South Walsham MoultonSouth Walsham
ReedhamSouth Walsham
Upton with FishleySouth Walsham
Norwich: City RoadWest Wymer (38) 
Norwich: Lakenham RoadWest Wymer (35)
Norwich Bowthorpe WorkhouseWest Wymer (39-43)
Norwich: Queens RoadWest Wymer (37)
Norwich: Trafalgar StreetWest Wymer (36)
Crownthorpe WicklewoodWymondham
Hackford KimberleyWymondham
Morley St Botolph and Morley St PeterWymondham
Brighton, Burlingham St Edmund and Hassingham


Other things to keep in mind:


  • Many of the parishes appear with one, two or three others – if you’re browsing and you don’t find it listed on its own then it is probably one of these cases (e.g. Crownthorpe and Wicklewood).
  • Some of the parishes have been given the wrong names. Heard of Helmingham, Norfolk? No, it’s actually Felmingham – Suffolk is the one with a Helmingham. Watch out for this – I’ve reported some to Ancestry so hopefully these will be changed. 
  • A couple of Suffolk parishes are listed within Norfolk, and not just because of changes to County boundaries. Another thing to look out for in Suffolk is Kettleburgh being referred to as “Nettleham” on the summary book but “Kettleburgh” on the census proper – I am sure there are others where this came from but again, hopefully they will be fixed soon.
  • Norwich has been partially indexed, but only very partially. I did not go into every single ED within the city but I have sampled them and I am fairly confident that most if not all of the EDs indexed are included above under the name of the first street on the first schedule in that ED. The brackets show the ED number.


Helpful general point for all un-indexed pages, whatever the County, – you can use the 1911 summary books to calculate the corresponding schedule.


  • If you find the person you want in the summary book, but the full census for that person is not yet indexed, take note of the schedule number of the person you are interested in as well as the County, Civil Parish, Sub Registration District and Enumeration District (the “breadcrumbs” along the bar above the record)
  • Now go to the 1911 census proper and browse to the right County, Parish etc.
  • When you have navigated as far as Enumeration District, double the schedule number and use it as the page number. If you are lucky you will have gone straight to the right schedule. If not, then you should be in the right ball park – go forward and back a page or three as necessary.


Here’s hoping this is helpful – it took much longer to do the research than it did to write the post!

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