Why can’t I find my fa­ther on the 1911 cen­sus?

Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine - - READER STORY -

QI can’t find my fa­ther, John James Brown ( born Septem­ber 1908 in Gateshead), on the 1911 cen­sus. His mother was Han­nah Brown née Park born in Mary­port, Cum­ber­land, 1887 and fa­ther David Brown born Ar­lec­don, Cum­ber­land, in 1877. They mar­ried in White­haven in 1906 and there might have been an­other child called Winifred.

David Brown was an iron ore miner, maybe work­ing in Friz­ing­ton, Cum­ber­land. Mar­garet Win­dle, by email

AAJohnI too was un­able to find

James Brown or Han­nah Brown, in the 1911 cen­sus, but I did find a man who is al­most cer­tainly your grand­fa­ther David Brown. He was a coal miner aged 32, liv­ing alone at 36 Ed­ward Street, Blay­don (in Gateshead Regis­tra­tion District), who was born in Friz­ing­ton, Cum­ber­land, in the civil par­ish of Ar­lec­don and Friz­ing­ton. In­for­ma­tion on the du­ra­tion of the mar­riage and num­ber of chil­dren born had been filled in and then crossed out. This re­vealed that David Brown had been mar­ried for four years and two chil­dren had been born, one of whom had died. This is con­sis­tent with a mar­riage in 1906 and your fa­ther be­ing alive in 1911. It was quite com­mon for min­ers from Cum­ber­land to seek work in the much larger Northum­ber­land and Durham coal­fields.

From the Septem­ber quar­ter of 1911, the maiden name of the mother is in­cluded in the GRO birth in­dexes, so chil­dren born af­ter the 1911 cen­sus can still be iden­ti­fied. The birth of a Winifred Brown, with mother’s maiden name Park, was reg­is­tered in the March quar­ter of 1912 in White­haven Regis­tra­tion District ( Vol­ume 10b Page 1309) – she could be the child you men­tion.

The 1911 cen­sus has been in­dexed sep­a­rately by Find­my­past, An­ces­try, and TheGe­neal­o­gist, and fail­ure to find peo­ple in all three ver­sions is likely to be a re­sult of ei­ther the in­di­vid­u­als con­cerned hav­ing been missed or that in­for­ma­tion be­ing in­cor­rectly recorded. As your grand­fa­ther was liv­ing alone in Blay­don, it is pos­si­ble that your fa­ther and grand­mother were trav­el­ling to or from Cum­ber­land, or were stay­ing some­where tem­po­rar­ily when the cen­sus was taken and were missed. It may be pos­si­ble to find them by iden­ti­fy­ing other rel­a­tives, such as Han­nah Park’s sib­lings, and lo­cat­ing them in the 1911 cen­sus. John Wintrip

David Brown ap­pears alone in the 1911 cen­sus

The birth cer­tifi­cate of Mar­garet’s fa­ther, John James Brown

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