1 USE MORE THAN ONE DATABASE
Don’t get stuck in a rut relying on the same website all the time. Often the quickest way to find a ‘missing’ census return is simply to try another database because they have each been uniquely compiled.
Don’t forget that local libraries, archives and family history societies often provide free access to ancestry.co.uk and findmypast.co.uk, and some, like The National Archives, also offer free access to thegenealogist.co.uk. Most commercial websites, including myheritage.com, provide free 14-day trials for newbies.
There are free searchable indexes at familysearch.org, and images can be viewed in their Family History Centres. Volunteers are continuously adding indexes for the 1841–1891 censuses to freecen.org.uk, and you can locate other free indexes by region at genuki.org.uk.
Although images of Scottish censuses are only available on scotlandspeople.gov.uk, it’s worth using transcriptions on familysearch. org and any other genealogy websites you have access to first, because this is sometimes an easier way to find matches and save credits.