Hidden Histories - Jason Gunn - Day 9

One of Jason's ancestors told us exactly when he was baptised and where in England he was from (in a newspaper article).  But sometimes working out where our ancestors came from can take intensive research (Jason has a few of those too). 


Beyond Our Shores
– Researching Outside of New Zealand

Once you trace your ancestor to a place outside of New Zealand then your research does change a little. You will still be relying on “the bones” of birth, baptism, marriage, death and burial records to support your family tree, but you also have access to different types of records.

One of the main record collections for United Kingdom research are the 1841-1911 censuses.  These can be searched on Findmypast and will often allow you to find family groups living together (and if you’re lucky that will include elderly parents).  The census records give you an increasing amount of information as time progressed:

1841 British Census

Where they lived


Age (rounded down to the nearest 5 years for adults)


Whether they were born in the county they were enumerated in

Whether born in Scotland, Ireland or Foreign Parts

1851 -1891 British Census

Relationship to the head of the house

Condition – married, unmarried, widowed


Whether Blind, Deaf or Dumb

1901 UK Census

Whether they were an employer, worker or working on their own account.

If they worked from home.

1911 UK Census

Here we see the original census form filled out by the person, rather than a schedule filled out by the enumerator.

How many years married

Number of children born alive

Number of children living

Industry that they work in



To help you keep track of your ancestors, you can download our free Census Check Form.

Census records are just one of the records that can be used to research your family further. There are many other collections that you can search for your ancestors online, but don't forget to also look for records that may not have been digitised yet. 

There are some links to other useful websites on our Pinterest page. Have a look. 

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