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 Parish Sub Registration District
Blofield Blofield
Brundall and Strumpshaw Blofield
Burlingham St Andrew and Burlingham St Peter Blofield
Great Plumstead Little Plumstead Blofield
Hemblington Ranworth with Panxworth Blofield
Lingwood Buckenham Blofield
Postwick Witton Blofield
Thorpe Next Norwich Blofield
Woodbastwick Blofield
Barford, Carleton Forehoe and Wramplingham Costessey
Barnham Broom and Coston Costessey
Bowthorpe and Bawburgh Costessey
Brandon Parva, Welborne and Runhall Costessey
Costessey Costessey
Easton Colton Marlingford Costessey
Arminghall and Bixley Henstead
Framingham Pigot Henstead
Kirby Bedon Bramerton Henstead
Poringland Henstead
Rockland St Mary and Holverstone Henstead
Saxlingham Thorpe and Saxlingham Nethergate Henstead
Shotesham All Saints and Shotesham St Mary Henstead
Stoke Holy Cross and Caistor St Edmund Henstead
Surlingham Henstead
Trowse with Newton and Whittington Henstead
Bracon Ash and Hethel Humbleyard
Cringleford Intwood Humbleyard
East Carleton Humbleyard
Great Melton Humbleyard
Hethersett Humbleyard
Keswick Swardeston Humbleyard
Markshall Swainsthorpe Dunston Humbleyard
Mulbarton Humbleyard
Newton Flotman Flordon Humbleyard
Wreningham Hunbleyard
Acle South Walsham
Cantley Southwood Limpenhow South Walsham
Freethorpe and Wickhampton South Walsham
Halvergate South Walsham Moulton South Walsham
Reedham South Walsham
Upton with Fishley South Walsham
Norwich: City Road West Wymer (38) 
Norwich: Lakenham Road West Wymer (35)
Norwich Bowthorpe Workhouse West Wymer (39-43)
Norwich: Queens Road West Wymer (37)
Norwich: Trafalgar Street West Wymer (36)
Crownthorpe Wicklewood Wymondham
Deopham Wymondham
Hackford Kimberley Wymondham
Hingham Wymondham
Morley St Botolph and Morley St Peter Wymondham
Wicklewood Wymondham
Wymondham Wymondham

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!