The 1841 UK Census and Interest In It

According to Maija Palmer of the Financial Times, half a million genealogists visited Ancestry.co.uk after they placed the 1841 census. Apparently this was the first “comprehensive” census in the UK, which led to this rush.

About 500,000 amateur family historians flocked to the Ancestry.co.uk website after it unveiled an online version of the UK’s first comprehensive census from 1841.

Visitor numbers to the genealogy website almost quadrupled from normal levels as people logged on last Monday to see what their great-great-great-great grandparents had been doing on a particular night 160 years ago.

Just kind of interesting how high the numbers were. As it’s the first comprehensive UK census, it’s probably an important one for many people. The article mentioned this as well:

According to ComScore, the market research company that tracks internet usage, visits to family history websites have almost doubled over the past year in the UK, with more than 4m visits in January against 2m in January 2005.

That’s some substantial numbers. If somebody magically came up with the 1890 census in the US, and put it online, I think it would bring whatever site that’s hosting it, to it’s knees. Regardless, it’s a good indication of just how popular genealogy is.

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