Check the 1911 ‘ fertility’ answer
The census of 1911 is sometimes known as the ‘fertility census’, because a new question was introduced to the household schedule asking for the total number of births of married women in their present marriage. This figure was then broken down into children who were still alive and those who had died.
Some householders misunderstood this question, and there are many examples of schedules containing full details of all children who had been born – even if they were now dead, while other parents included children born during previous marriages. In addition a widow or widower might give the number of children that they had had, even though the question was aimed only at those who were still married.
To make the most of the clues, it is worth following up with detailed searches in the birth and death indexes on the General Register Officer (GRO) website: www.gro.gov.uk. Helpfully, the birth index now includes mother’s maiden name prior to 1911, which can help identify the children born to a given marriage.