In this Tracing Your Roots Census Special, Sally Magnusson visits Fox Lane in Leyland. With the help of genealogist Nick Barratt, she explores how, through the Census, we can piece together a street's changing history and also uncover secrets about our own family's past.
The first census records date back to the early 1800s. At this time, Leyland was a small village which became a small town over the nineteenth century. Sally visits one of the original weaver's cottages where the owners are intrigued to find out more about the original residents. Through the census records we build up a picture of how the weaving industry declined in the 1830's, with the weavers required to sub-let their cellars to poorer families. As the Industrial Revolution progresses we can see in the occupations listed in the census how the town evolves through to the beginnings of its famous motor industry.
Plus Sally and Nick are joined by Peter Christian, author of The Online Genealogist, and The Expert Guide to the Census. They'll discuss how having the Census available online has transformed family history research and reflect on what future family historians would lose if the Census is abolished.
And we convince one Fox Lane resident to fill out a form for the first time, by illustrating what they can learn about their own family's past from previous census records.