Filling the Gaps – Part One.

In my first blog, “A New Year Dawns” (published 26 January 2023), I mentioned Direct Ancestors and their families – so how do we fill in the gaps?


There are numerous records available online through many Genealogy platforms. If you want to know more about these, please ask me a question. I am and or have been a member of many.

NOTE: I will be mostly referring to UK records.

I shall list them, not in any specific order, then briefly give you some idea on how to fill in gaps in your research or if you are starting out, some tips on how I use them to gain the most benefit.

Census Records – England & Wales.

The most helpful record is the 1881 Census. Usually, it can be accessed for free on most sites. It should provide details of those living at a particular address on the night/day the census was taken. You should be able to know the Location (sometimes, the street address), Age, Relationship to the head of the household, Occupation, and Place of Birth (town and county). Please remember, your ancestor may not have told the truth. One of my ancestors said he was born under a haystack in a field – was it true or not…

Checkout Lost Cousins and join…

The 1841 census doesn’t provide many details – ages were rounded up or down, and exact birth locations were not given.

Look out for my future writing on Census details where I will provide more information that will assist with filling the gaps and adding context to your ancestors.

1939 Register.

This register was taken in September 1939 and was to list every person living in the UK (name, DOB, age and much more). If a person wasn’t on the register, they most likely couldn’t access rations in World War Two. Please note: not all records are available. – you will see records blacked out. It’s all to do with the privacy of the living. There are ways to lift the record redaction – (discussed at another time…)

BMD Certificates.

These refer to “vital” records – birth, marriage and death. England and Wales registers commenced in 1837. Scotland commenced in 1855. I believe it took some time, in the beginning, to get “things” recorded. If you can not find a record look for a baptism – check parish records. The same goes for marriages and deaths.

With deaths – you may find details don’t add up. You need to remember some did not know the details of the deceased. Or the grieving relative advised what they thought was correct. Sometimes cemetery records, if you can find them, give other details.

Directories & Electoral Rolls.

There are a variety of directories out there. You just have to know what you are looking for. They can provide details of the area, list details of farmers, shopkeepers, masons, carpenters – the list goes on and on… Almanacs are very useful.

Electoral rolls, particularly the Australian ones, list those who can vote. Remember, women weren’t allowed to vote at times and fought to get the right to vote. I have come across some UK rolls but not many. If anyone knows more about them, please let me know by making a comment.

This ends part one…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s