7 LEAVE SURNAME BOXES BLANK
Mad though it sounds, this can actually be an effective way of finding people whose other biographical details like first name, place of birth and age have been consistently written on the census returns that you have found so far. Simply typing in those consistent details and leaving the surname box blank might lead you to your ancestor. You could even discover that their surname had changed altogether – this sometimes occurred when a widow remarried between census returns, or when children informally adopted a step-father’s surname.
Instead of leaving the surname box blank you could also try searching only for your ancestor’s first and last name initials, because the masters of some large institutions like workhouses, industrial schools and hospitals only listed their inmates’ initials but usually specified ages and places of birth. Admission records could then confirm your findings.