This module allows you to add all the details from an original (currently only US, UK or France) census page to ALL the people listed on it (providing they already exist in your family tree) in ONE process. It includes tools to help find the relevant individuals, and presents the results in an easy to read, formatted, shared-note, containing all of the key facts from the original census page.

Here is an example of the completed display:


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[textalert type=”blue”] Important note: One thing this tool can not currently do is add new people to your family tree. So you do need to add everyone you will be recording from the census to your tree BEFORE you start using this. [/textalert]


[small_full]How to Use[/small_full]

Initial Steps

To add census data, start from any individual shown on the census page for the household, select Census (CENS) from the Add new fact drop-down at the bottom of the page, then click Add. (Ideally you would start with the ‘Head’ of the household, but it is not essential)

This will open a Census edit pop-up window


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From here, the first steps are:

  1. Enter the date of the census, either directly in the Date field, or by using the Census Date drop-down to select the census you are entering. This will automatically enter the correct date in the Date field.
    1. (Note: the Census date drop down includes Canadian dates. These are only for including consistent dates. No templates have been developed for Canadian census pages)
    2. If you don’t see the Census date drop down, you need to enable the Census Assistant module. Go to Administration > Modules > Manage modules > Census Assistant. Tick it and click save.
  2. Enter any other details you require, such as Place, Address, or add a media item if you want one at this level.

Very important: Only enter data here that can be common to all the individuals on the census page / household. So do not enter Age for a single individual otherwise later in the process that age will be copied to all the other individuals.

Next add a Source Citation for this event, by clicking on the Add a new Source Citation option and entering the appropriate details.

At this point there are two options for adding the Shared Note containing the census details:

  1. By clicking on Shared Note using Assistant within the Source details area. This will add the census details as a note to the Source record
  2. By clicking on Add a new Shared Note below the Source details area, then clicking on the Shared Note using Assistant in this area. This will add a shared note at the same level as the Source. [This is the option chosen for the finished example shown above here]

Whichever you choose, Create a new Shared Note using Assistant opens the Census Assistant window, a large pop-up. It contains 6 areas of information, which are briefly described here. Detailed instructions for each area will follow below using these numbers as the key. You can see that much of the information already entered has been retained here, so no re-typing is required.


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  1. Header information. This identifies the person you started the process from as the “Head”
  2. Summary Information input, where you will enter the key information from the census page related to the whole page.
  3. Person list and search. This presents the person from the header area (“1”) plus their close relatives, and a Search option if required
  4. Census data input. This area will be populated later with the line entries for each individual shown on the census page
  5. Shared Note preview panel. This area will display the actual raw GEDCOM data that will be stored in the shared note record once you complete all steps.
  6. Preview, Save, and Help options

Area 1 – Header information

It is important to identify the correct person in this information. The name is used in the title of the shared note (area 2), and will, if not edited later, be identified as the Head of the household on the individual details later (area 4). If you need to change this person, select someone else from the list in area 3, and click on the small “head” icon beside their name. The screen will refresh, with that new person shown in area 1.


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Area 2 – Summary information

This is where you can enter information related to the whole census page.

The items “Country” and “Year” are mandatory, but will generally be filled in automatically from the entries you made on the previous window. They can be changed here though if you want to. You must select the country of the census (currently only UK, USA, or France are available as templated choices), and the year of the census before any other data can be entered. These are also added in front of the text in the Titlebox to create the title of the shared note. The Title text can be manually edited here if you want.


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The fields, Reference, Locality, and Notes are also optional, and are simple text entry fields. You can add any appropriate text of your own or from the original census pages here, or leave blank if you prefer.

At this point you can click on Preview in area 6 to see how the inputs made so far will appear in the GEDCOM NOTE record, displayed in area 5.

Area 3 – Person List and Search

This area is based on the Family Navigator pane shown on Individual pages of kiwitrees. It lists close relatives of the person set as Head here (marked with a tick). It is designed to include those people most likely to be needed for this census record. To change the person designated as “Head”, simply click on a different head icon.


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Its use is very simple. Following the order of people listed on the original census page, click on each name in turn. As each name is clicked, their details will be transferred to the Data Input area 4, including any pieces of information that can be deduced automatically at this time.

Once all the required people have been added to area 4, the whole window will look like the example below.


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Area 4 – Census Data Input


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[Note: on your screen you will see scroll bars, needed to view the full width or height of this area. This is necessary to accommodate large numbers of columns found in census pages in some years, and for large households, while still fitting a pop-up window on most screen sizes.]

The next steps are to:

  1. Manually change any of the deduced information displayed (shown here in blue), such as age, marital condition (MC) to match exactly the contents of the original census page.
  2. Enter data in the remaining fields, copying them from the original page.

Other things to know about this area:

  • To know what each of the short header titles, such as FBP actually mean hover your mouse over them to read a tool tip brief explanation. These change according to the Country / Year census chosen in area 2, and will correspond to columns of data on the original census. The same tool tips are also available on the finished presentation in kiwitrees.
  • Above the table is an Add/Insert Blank Row button. This is connected to the Add marker on the right of the area. While Add is marked, the button will add a new, blank row at the bottom of the list. If you click on any marker under the Ins field at the right, the same button will insert a row above the person chosen. These blank rows enable you to add information about people NOT recorded in your family tree, but present on the census page.
  • Click on the X to the right of any data row to delete that row from the list. You can put it back, or in another position by setting an Ins marker then clicking a name from area 3 again.


When all the data in area 4 is as correct as you want it to be, click on Preview in area 6 for a final review of the output, which will look like this:


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If all is well:

  • Click on Save (area 6).
  • You will now be returned to the original Add Census window, with the shared note reference (usually “Nxxx”) entered in the Shared Note field.
  • Make a final check that all entries for the census event are complete and correct.
  • Click on the Save button to finalise the operation.

Unless you have auto approve changes set to Yes in your user account, you will now need to accept (approve) each of these changes. Once that is complete, ALL of the individuals added to area “4” will now have a CENS event much like the one shown at the start of this article.


  1. The module has only limited census templates. At present they are the UK census from 1841 to 1911, the US Census from 1790 to 1940, and French census from 1876 to 1951.
  2. During input the code attempts to add married women using their married names. To do this those individuals must have married names recorded, and they must be recorded using the _MARNM tag.