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?
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).