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Queen Victoria in the 1841 England Census


Census records are a wonderful resource for family historians and help you discover details like the names, ages, birthplaces, occupations and relationships of your ancestors.

Even Queen Victoria herself was included in the 1841 England Census along with Prince Albert at Buckingham Palace (record shown above). Also present in the Palace on the night of Sunday, June 6th 1841 are the Earl of Aboyne whose occupation is listed as “Lord in Waiting”, a number of Queen’s messengers, valets and footmen.

Uncover the different generations of your family in census records from England, Wales, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, covering every decade from 1841-1912. Start searching.

Historic Law Breakers and Mischief Makers Revealed

We recently added over 67,000 prisoner records and mug-shots of Victorian criminals with the Dorset, England Prison Admission and Discharge Registers 1782-1901 and Dorset, England, Calendar of Prisoners, 1854-1904.

These records provide a vivid glimpse into the world of Victorian crime with the prisoners included convicted for a variety of offences.

Those convicted of minor crimes such as petty theft and drunkenness were forced to face the wrath of the Victorian judicial service - crimes which today would likely receive a far lesser sentence. Examples include -

  • Samuel Baker ­– aged 73, Samuel Baker was sentenced to nine months’ hard labour after breaking into a house to steal two brushes, some vests, and a pair of stockings in 1893.
  • Charles Wood – this unemployed local drunk was sentenced to one month in prison for ‘refusing to quit the beer-house’, in 1872.
  • George Pill (shown above)– aged just 18, soldier George Pill stole a donkey from neighbour in 1894, resulting in a punishment of six weeks’ hard labour.

Examples of dangerous criminals in the records guilty of crimes such as arson and murder include:

  • James Seal – in 1858, labourer James Seal was found guilty of the wilful murder of Sarah Ann Guppy. He received the death penalty for his crime, and was sentenced to be hanged.

  • William Parsons (shown above)– this labourer was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 1891 for committing arson, after he ‘maliciously and feloniously’ set fire to a neighbour’s barn. 

These records are of particular value to family historians as they pre-date Civil Registration so you can delve deeper into the past than other historical records allow.

Let us know if you uncover a convict ancestor on our Facebook wall!

Love separated by 10,000 miles and The Great Depression

David Brown, along with his mother, brothers and sisters, decided to emigrate from Dundee in Scotland to Perth, Western Australia in 1929. They had been working in Dundee within the jute industry, but the industry was on the decline, and the Australian Government was encouraging migrants to settle in Australia by paying most of their fare.

David Brown was only 19 when he left Scotland, but he was already engaged to be married to Madge MacKenzie. Madge’s father had emigrated to Perth as well, and the plan was for Madge to follow her father and fiance the next year.

However, the Great Depression hit in 1929 and the assisted immigration scheme shut down. Madge was stranded in Dundee. Her family in Australia tried to save enough money to get her out, but the depression made this difficult. It took seven years for Madge to make it to Perth where she eventually married her fiance, David, in 1838. 

The story was not such a happy one for David’s older brother Thomas who had also emigrated to Perth. He also left behind a loved one. Tom had married Jane Ogilvie, who was 4 months pregnant, just before he left for Australia. Jane stayed in Dundee to look after her sick father and, although Tom kept trying to get her over to Australia, by the time they could manage it, too many years had passed and they divorced. Their daughter grew up in Dundee, and died in 2009, having never known her father.

Thanks to, David Brown’s grandson, David, has recently contacted Tom’s grand-daughter in Scotland, and David has been sharing family memories and photos of Tom.

Tell us about your British ancestors

With the Queen about to celebrate her diamond jubilee, marking 60 years as Monarch,  and her birthday long weekend next week, what better time to celebrate our British ancestors! 

If you are one of the many Australian and New Zealanders who have British ancestors, we want to hear about them.

Do you have an interesting story about a British ancestor you discovered through Simply click on Submit Your Story on the right hand side and tell us about it. Remember to add photos of ypour ancestor if you have them.

We look forward to hearing your story.