World Collections Resources

From Mok the gorilla to Viking rings - fascinating objects from around the world


First World War Centenary led by IWM

Skip to main content
Accessibility Options | About us | Site Map

Investigating the History of a House

Activity 3: Exploring Census Returns

The census return is a great document for helping us piece together our family story.


The image on this page is an 1891 census return.


The writing here is difficult to read. People who look after and preserve these kinds of documents are known as Archivists. 


Archivists look after many types of documents including handwritten ones. This means reading lots of different handwriting which they sometimes have difficulty deciphering/understanding.


Look at this census return to find about the lives of the Beresford Peirse family.


Also look at the occupations - do you know what they all are and if not can you guess?


Written sources


If you think the census return is hard to read, click on the worksheet link below (Deciphering handwritten documents) to see a really amazing document where every centimetre of the paper has been used. Can you make out what it says?


What reasons could there be for creating such a document?

(There are details with the source to help you with this question).

Document icon Learning article provided by: North Yorkshire County Record Office | 

Comment on this page

This content is licensed under Creative Commons BY NC SA
RSS SubscribeXHTML CompliantCSS 2.0 Compliant
Accessibility Statement | Terms of Use | Site Map
Copyright © My Learning 2014. All Rights Reserved
Website by: The Digital Learning Agency