The history of Clophill, Bedfordshire, UK
Including historical descriptions, maps and statistical analysis.

How its done

How to identify the addresses of buildings in the 1911 Census using information from the 1910 Finance Act survey.

For villages like Clophill, there were no street numbers in general use in 1911. The Census returns only gave the street or road name.

The only buildings that can be positively identified are named ones such as pubs, schools, churches, rectories and larger houses. Fortunately, around the same time as the 1911 Census there was a land survey.

The Finance Act 1910 led to the "Lloyd George Domesday land-survey", and the 1910-1915 Valuation Maps. Each property ('hereditament') in England and Wales was surveyed and valued, so a land value tax could be levied when the property was sold. It contains the name of the Occupier which can be cross-checked with the 1911 Census.

The map and field book for Clophill is held at the Bedford and Luton Archives and Records Service.

I don't know when the survey was carried out in Clophill as the Field Book is undated but it must have been around 1911 as I have managed to match 70 houses in Clophill even though the map that covers The Green and the beginning of the High Street is missing.

2012 map

Step 1. Current map

Obtain a modern map of the village.

Walk round the village identifing the older buildings; those over 100 years old.

Record on the map the house numbers of the identified buildings.

In this example numbers 100, 102 and 104 High Street, Clophill have been selected.

1910 map

Step 2. 1910 Finance Act map

Each plot was marked on a copy of the OS map and identified by a number. These numbers are, sometimes, difficult to read.

Compare the modern map with the 1910 map to identify buildings that appear on both.

Record the numbers.

In this example the numbers are 293, 292 and 291. Note that the numbers on the map are not always in a consistent order.

1910 book

Step 3. 1910 Finance Act field book

In the book there is one row of information recorded for each plot of land.

The first column is headed 'No. of Assessment' and is the number written on the map.

Identify the appropriate row and note the name of the occupier.

In this example we have:-

100 High Street.
No. of Assessment 293. Occupier Charlotte Gaylor.

100 High Street.
No. of Assessment 292. Occuppier Louisa Garner.

100 High Street.
No. of Assessment 291. Occuppier Ebanezer Goss.

Step 4. 1911 Census


Look through the census schedules to find the occupiers listed as 'Head'

schedule 78

1911 Census schedule number 78

Charlotte Gaylor. Head.

Arthur William Gaylor. Son.

Ella Adina Appleby. Granddaughter.

Therefore address is 100 High Street.

schedule 79

1911 Census schedule number 79

Louisa Garner. Head.

Sarah Garner. Granddaughter.

Harriet Denton. Lodger.

Therefore address is 102 High Street.

schedule 85

1911 Census schedule number 85

Ebanezer Goss. Head.

Hannah Amy Goss. Wife.

Therefore address is 104 High Street.

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