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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 March, 2005, 02:01 GMT
New online access to 1871 census
Register book
1871 census records have been put online
People searching for Victorian ancestry will be helped by the introduction of records from the 1871 census online.

The General Register Office for Scotland marked the launch of the new data by looking for namesakes of modern sports stars in census records.

Scotland goalkeeper Robert Douglas's name appeared 263 times while Walter Smith's name showed up 109 times.

Alex McLeish was found six times while his Old Firm rival Martin O'Neill failed to rate a mention.

East-west divide

Scots Rugby coach Matt Williams made a solitary appearance in Lanark.

In politics, the name of Lib Dem leader Charles Kennedy threw up 71 mentions.

With the Easter weekend close by the GRO also found a number of festive surnames with 25 people called Easter, eight called Egg and five called Bunny - all of whom lived in Nairn.

There is also evidence that the east-west divide in Scotland was alive and well in the 19th century.

According to the records, in Edinburgh 22% of the population lived in houses with four rooms or more while in Glasgow only 5.5% of the population lived in similar sized homes.

These census records have provided us with some extremely interesting information
Fi Harris

The 1871 census records can be accessed on the GRO's Scotlandspeople site.

The site already gives access to information from the 1881, 1891 and 1901 censuses.

Access costs 6 for up to 30 "page credits" in a one week period.

Fi Harris, marketing and communications spokeswoman for Scotlandspeople, said: "These census records have provided us with some extremely interesting information.

"Although there is a light-hearted aspect to the records it is important that we can access such records as they help to give us a better idea as to what life was actually like 135 years ago.

"Genealogy is a growing area of interest and the 1871 census will be of great benefit for many people, professional and amateurs alike across the globe, who are wanting to discover details of their Scottish ancestry."

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