From February to May this year, I worked as a Census Coordinator for the Office for National Statistics. I was contracted to manage the census operation in the ‘Carlbury, Darlington, Hummersknott, Mowden and Walworth’ area. The role involved line managing a team of 16 full and part-time collectors as well as 2 special enumerators, who were responsible for the delivery and collection of questionnaires to communal establishments. My duties included allocating workloads and supplies to maximise coverage of the area and updating/compiling census data using appropriate IT systems.
The census is a count of the population and housing, which takes place every ten years in England and Wales. The first census was held in 1801 to provide a snapshot of the population and to assess adequacy of food supplies. It now provides statistics which are used to predict local service needs e.g. schools, transport, hospitals etc. Information gathered is only released after 100 years when it becomes of interest to genealogists.
I became involved with the 2011 Census as a result of family history research. My interest in tracing the Bowman family tree was sparked by a postcard (see photo) sent by my grandfather to my father for his second birthday in July 1941, the only time that a census was not held due to the Second World War. An account of how this postcard came into my possession
and subsequent research can be found on the Family Story part of the Census 2011 website, http://www.facebook.com/2011CensusFamilyHistory/Birthdayreminder