Our daughter turned 13 this month, I was the same age in 1991 and I clearly remember my father sitting down to complete our family’s census return that year. He explained to me that they happen every ten years and that they are really important. I’ve always carried that with me and I actually get a thrill out of completing our census form. I understand that the government needs information about the current demographic of our country’s population to plan for future development and provision of services, but for me the real beauty of the census is that it helps to unlock the past...
When we moved to Halsbeer Farm (five years ago on 21st March) I was initially too busy to give much thought to the previous inhabitants of the farmstead. I knew from the previous owners that there may have been a Domesday manor on the site and that the current house was believed to date from the 1600s but beyond that I had no idea about its history and that of its former occupants. As with most research these days I started googling not just Halsbeer but also its alternative spellings of Halsbeare, Halsbear and Halsbere. I started turning up some interesting things and soon got into census records via Find My Past.