The UK 1851 Census

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Census CDs

If trawling through reels of census microfilm in a windowless, airless basement in the old PRO or in a record office, library or family history society isn't your favourite pastime, why not browse through those records in the comfort of your own home?

With the use of personal computers becoming more widespread, the ideal solution to making the census records easily accessible to the general public was to transfer those records from fiche (reduced images of photographed documents) to CD-ROM.

One of the pioneers in this field is
S&N Genealogy Supplies/British Data Archive,
a UK-based, family-run company.

The CDs are very simple to use:
The census images can be viewed using the Adobe Acrobat browser provided with the CDs. They are bookmarked by piece number, and street or area indexes are also provided, enabling the user to locate their particular area of interest and the sub-district or piece number which covers that area. Once images are displayed on your screen, you can zoom in and out, move the image around, and even rotate the image 90 degrees, something that can be useful when printing.

What sets S&N out from the competition is the quality of their products. They use expensive silver microfilm masters which, when scanned in greyscale, give much greater detail. Difficult pages are scanned several times to get the best possible results. If some pages are missing or unreadable on the microfilm, those images are obtained from the PRO and included, where relevant, in their correct position on the CDs.

The census CD sets cover all English and Welsh Counties, even if some of those counties are not economically viable.

To learn more about those products, click here.

Census CD Reviews

March 2011

Lancashire 1841 Census (DVD)

This useful seven-DVD set consists of images of the 1841 census enumerators' books for the historic county of Lancashire. This differs from the modern county and includes some towns which are no longer part of Lancashire, such as Warrington and Barrow-in-Furness, as well as the cities of Manchester and Liverpool. READ FULL REVIEW...

January 2011

Jersey 1901 Census & Devon 1857 Gazetteer and Directory

William Humphries reviews this month's data CDs for family historians. READ FULL REVIEW...

November 2009

Lancashire 1861 Census

This four DVD set comprises images of the enumerators' books for the 1861 census of Lancashire, and also includes a places index and street indexes to the larger towns and cities. READ FULL REVIEW...

(Reviews from