Thursday, June 17, 2010

More Questions than Answers

While doing some 1881 UK Census research yesterday to write a post about the kind of work my grandparents did I found some interesting information.  In the first imagine we see my great x2 grandfather William John, his wife Elizabeth and two of their children.   I saw this census a couple of weeks ago and didn't notice anything strange.  I never thought about the other kids and where they were. 

So yesterday I went to look at the census of the same year 1881, to see what kind of work my great grandfather did.  It is easier to see the imagine of the census on line then printed out, I searched for him instead of his father.   And this is when I found the imagine below.  You also need to read the line that is crossed out.
William K, Walter T & Herbert H, were on 17 Mealcheaper St, and they all had jobs. It even said the head and the wife were away from the home right on the census record. William John & Elizabeth Jane where on 32 Broad St, with Ernest & Frederick. It looks like the same town when I Google map it, walking directions and it’s only .2 mile from each other.   That is not a very far distance.
This is just page two that list the other two brothers and Walter T is my great grandfather.

I mean I have no real idea of what life was like in 1881 and I'm sure there were very good reasons as to why they lived apart.  I just don't know the reasons and I wish I knew.  It just blew me away but then again I’m coming from my time frame and my life experiences. I can tell you when I was alone at 16 with a sick mother and three younger brothers I was scared a lot and after she died it was even worst. My Dad was a fireman and he worked 24 on and 48 off, so I was the chief cook and bottle washer when he was gone.   I didn't like it but I did what had to be done for our family just as my father did what had to be done for the family.
 He had to work he had four kids at home the oldest 16 and the youngest was 6. 
 I also believe my ancestors did what had to do but it gave me many questions. 


Where is Agnes? She should be 13. Was she sent to be a servant? I don’t find her when I search for her by name, I don’t see her on the 1871 Census either. I just found an Agnes Jane that died in the 3rd quarter 1868, on the FreeBMD Index on Ancestry. I wonder if it is my Agnes Jane?  I have a birth year of 1868. The FreeBDM Index list her as born in the 2nd quarter of 1868.  So that must be why there is no Agnes on the Census.

William John was the manager of the coffee tavern on this census, maybe he didn’t have room for all the kids, maybe they didn’t want to lose the other apartment?

Leaving 3 boys 17, 16, & 14 alone? It was a different age and I’m sure they were working too hard to survive to have energy for rough housing or other teenage boy mischief.

1 comment:

  1. It so often happens that we end up with more questions than when we began. Perhaps you'll be able to get a birth and/or death certificate for Agnes, but you may never know the whys of the teen boys alone. I have ancestors who were working in the coalmines by the time they were 10 or 12. I think children often worked outside the home and at way younger ages than they do now. I hope you find some answers.