Round the bend

4 November 2014

Sometimes I really wonder whether it’s me or you who is ’round the bend’, ‘crackers’, ‘a few planks short of a load’…. I thought it was normal to look up eccentric entries in the censuses on Ancestry/FindmyPast, but apparently (in discussions with fellow genies) there aren’t so many people who regularly do so. Not saying that no-one else does but I think a survey would probably put me in the minority. Oh well. I’ve never been very concerned about being an individual in this world. How many 20-something year old people would step up and be on a Committee in the world of family history, for example? Yes, that was me, twelve years ago….. anyway, I digress.

In the 1911 census for England and Wales there are 222 animals. Various animal trainers and such like, including the Royal Italian Circus at the Skating Rink, Aylestone Road, Leicester (below) who are living at the Skating Rink, although the census schedule states that it is not normally used as a dwelling:



Over the years, many people have found interesting census completions in 1911 relating to the fact that women were not entitled to vote. Searching for ‘vote’ in 1911 returns 50 hits, though seven were people with Vote as a surname. One of the more detailed ones was completed by the enumerator for 25 Wimpole Street, Marylebone:


No vote – no census‘ and ‘I absolutely refuse to give any information‘ was recorded against anonymous visitors to the address. From peaceful campaigning to militant tactics, the fight for women’s voting rights lasted many years. Their goals were achieved, with full equality with men finally being won in 1928.

There is so much more to family history/genealogy/call-it-what-you-will than just searching for the names of our ancestors in the census, eh!? I would recommend being slightly round the bend ….! It’s good fun!

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