Bedford Census Surname Indexes at the Family History Library
Today, there are many useful websites and computer indexes for all of England, Wales and Scotland. These include those found at FamilySearch.org, the UK National Archives, Ancestry.com, findmypast, etc. These are a good place to begin your search for people in the census.
How surname indexes can help locate a person when a computer search of the large census databases is unsuccessful.[edit | edit source]
There are, however, times when you cannot find your ancestor in these large indexes. Perhaps, a mistake was made when these large indexes were made, or a person's name was not easy to recognize in the census enumeration book, or the surname was spelled differently. In such a situation, you may be able to find your ancestor in the census by using a smaller surname index for the parish or town of interest. When looking at a smaller index, it can be easier to pick out an alternative spelling of a person's surname. These indexes are also ideal for finding all of the people with a specific surname in a specific location.
Many of these are available, in book, CD, microfilm and microfiche form. The Family History Library (Salt Lake City, Utah, USA) has a large and growing collection of these smaller indexes.
How to use this table to find indexes at the library.[edit | edit source]
Below are links to alphabetical lists of place names within this county for which the Family History Library has an index. The tables contain the library call numbers for each place-name index that the Family History Library has in its collection. The call numbers are generally shown for the census years from 1841-1871 and 1891-1901, however there are a few indexes for other years. The surname index tables show the place name, its parish and the year for which an index is available.
The 1881 surname index books have not been tabulated in this reference table since FamilySearch has a large nationwide computer surname index for this year or it can be found on microfiche #6086201-207.
Click on the below link to go to the alphabetical list that contains the placename and the census index for which you are looking.