1911: How many?

While this might seem a simple question, the impact of surname variation and transcription error means that there’s no simple answer!

My study deals with a relatively small population, which means that I have been able to start compiling a master index of every individual born before 1911 with the surname Walne (or who used it later in life), starting in England and Wales. Part One of this endeavour involved working through the 1911 census. Each individual in the 1911 census with the surname spelt W-a-l-n-e is automatically part of that index.

Having completed the 1911 work, I moved back through the birth indexes 1911-1901 and then the 1901 census. These record sets have already led me to further individuals in 1911 who were not found initially, usually for one of the following reasons:

  • The major subscription websites had significant mistranscriptions of the name written on the schedule
  • The name was spelt differently in 1911 to 1901. As a general rule, anyone enumerated as a Walne on the census at least once in their lifetime appears on the master index.

There is also one case of an individual in 1901, known to be alive in 1911, that is still outstanding after a thorough search – he is currently not therefore on my 1911 index but might ‘turn up’ in the future. Other individuals from 1901 known to be alive in 1911 have been found to have married (and changed their name), emigrated, or travelled abroad with the forces. The nature of the research means that the figures I have now are unlikely to be the final ones.

So, after all that explanation, I can tell you that as the research stands at the moment, there are, right now, some 263 people in 80 households in my 1911 index for the One-Name Study.

That breaks down to (honestly!) 131 men and 132 women….! If I could find my missing man, it would amount to 132 men and 132 women. Nothing if not equal.

Further analysis will follow in future posts.


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