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1901 Census site closed for urgent repairs

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The UK's 1901 Census Web site that's been jammed with users since its launch yesterday has been taken off-line for some urgent maintenance.

At one point yesterday more than 1.2 million people were trying to access the site simultaneously far exceeding the site's day-to-day capacity.

Although the Public Records Office (PRO) expected the site to be popular it's been overwhelmed by the public's response and is taking measures to try and resolve some of the problems.

The site was pulled down at around 2.00pm GMT this afternoon and work is expected to last for around two hours.

A PRO spokesman told The Register that this should improve the site's performance and enable people to trace their ancestors who were alive at the turn of the twentieth century.

However, it seems the best advice is just to wait until all the fuss has died down and maybe take a look in a week or so.

The 1901 Census for England and Wales was taken on 31 March 1901 and contains the details of more than 32 million people.

Not only does the site allow Net users to records search by name and place, it also allows them to search by vessel. That's because more than 70,000 people were counted on merchant sea-going and coasting boats, inland barges and boats as well as naval vessels when the census was taken.

The site was created by the PRO and QinetiQ (formerly part of the Government's Defence Evaluation and Research Agency [DERA]). ®

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