Public Sector: 1911 census site brings history to life

Campaign Client and The National Archives PR team Lansons Communications Timescale December 2008 - January 2009 Budget Under £50,000

Family history website launched a service with The National Archives, which made the 36 million census records of people living in England and Wales in 1911 available to the public online.


To generate public awareness of the launch of

To drive traffic to the website.

Strategy and plan

The team traced family trees of current celebrities back to 1911. David Beckham’s great-great grandfather was found to be a ‘scavenger’ and Kate Moss’ great-grandmother was recorded as a dressmaker. Lansons also mined census records to provide statistics and commentary about life in Britain in 1911, and sourced original photography. An online media centre was provided for journalists.

Measurement and evaluation

The launch generated more than 500 articles on day one, and 965 articles in the first four weeks. These included 32 articles in national print, 232 in regional print, 158 broadcast items, and 473 mentions online. The total reach was more than 182 million people.


In its first three weeks serviced 19.6 million record searches, 2.74 million visits and 87.3 million page

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