The BIG ques­tion

Can you find my fam­ily on the 1901 and 1911 cen­suses?

Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine - - QUESTIONS & ANSWERS -

De­spite hav­ing their names and wed­ding cer­tifi­cate, Joyce Hill can’t lo­cate cen­sus records for her grand­par­ents

QI’ve been search­ing, so far with­out suc­cess, for my grand­par­ents’ fam­ily on the 1911 cen­sus. My grand­fa­ther was James Ernest Hill and his wife was Alice ( née Peachey). By 1911, they had at least two sons: James ( born Jan­uary 1907) and Wil­liam Joseph ( my fa­ther) born De­cem­ber 1907 in Eve­sham, Worces­ter­shire. There were three younger sons: Charles Thomas, John (Jack) and Ray­mond. When my fa­ther was at pri­mary school, they were liv­ing on a farm called The Parks near Eve­sham. Could they have been ex­cluded be­cause of the re­mote lo­ca­tion? Where is The Parks?

I can’t find my grand­par­ents on the 1901 cen­sus ei­ther. Alice was in do­mes­tic ser­vice in More­ton-in-Marsh and James lived in Stroud or Skip­ton in 1901. On their wed­ding cer­tifi­cate in Novem­ber 1906, James is a jour­ney­man in Stroud. He was born there in April 1872/ 3. Alice was born in More­ton-in- Marsh work­house, Novem­ber 1872/ 3. Can you help me find them? Joyce Hill, by email

AYou raise sev­eral queries. You are con­cerned that the re­mote lo­ca­tion of your fa­ther’s home may have led to his fam­ily’s ab­sence from the cen­sus, but this is not likely. In the 1901 cen­sus, for ex­am­ple, there were 112 reg­is­tra­tion districts de­scribed as “en­tirely ru­ral”, but no miss­ing parts of the cen­sus have been iden­ti­fied for Glouces­ter­shire.

I be­gan with the 1911 cen­sus as that is more de­tailed and I could use the clues of the chil­dren’s births, which I checked for on FreeBMD ( us­ing the search Hill with mother’s maiden name of Peachey (af­ter 1911 these in­dexes be­gan list­ing moth­ers’ maiden names; for births be­fore 1911, the Gen­eral Reg­is­ter Of­fice on­line birth in­dexes list the mother’s maiden name).

There were four en­tries for Eve­sham: Charles T Hill, Dec 1912 ( 6c, 550); John Hill, Sep 1915 ( 6c, 303); Edith PM Hill, Mar 1917 ( 6c, 261); and Ray­mond Hill, June 1921 ( 6c, 321). I also found a mar­riage of a James Hill to an Alice Peachey in the Ship­ston reg­is­tra­tion dis­trict ( 6d, 1377) in De­cem­ber quar­ter 1905.

I then searched for the name Alice Hill on the 1911 cen­sus of Worces­ter­shire fo­cus­ing on the Eve­sham area. There was an en­try for a 28-year-old Alice Hill at The Parks Farm, Ald­ing­ton, Eve­sham. Alice’s birth­place was Ship­ton, Glouces­ter­shire. She was mar­ried to 27-year-old James Hill. James’s oc­cu­pa­tion was ‘Partly in Charge of Cat­tle on Farm’ and he was a ‘Worker’.

The de­tails of Alice, James and their two older chil­dren, ‘Ernest James’ and ‘Wil­liam Joe’ fit well with your knowl­edge. How­ever, James’ birth­place was given as Coughton, War­wick­shire, rather than Stroud, Glouces­ter­shire and this Alice and James would have been born in 1883/4 (not as you thought 1872/3).

Bear­ing this in mind, I searched birth in­dexes for Al­ces­ter reg­is­tra­tion dis­trict, con­tain­ing Coughton, for James ( be­lieved to have been born in April) and found only one en­try for a James Ernest Hill. This was in March quar­ter 1878 (which doesn’t fit with the April 1872/3 birth date you have) in the Al­ces­ter dis­trict (vol­ume 6d, page 668). It may be worth or­der­ing this cer­tifi­cate to check if this is your grand­fa­ther.

Us­ing these birth de­tails, I searched the 1901 cen­sus on An­ces­try for a James Ernest Hill born in Coughton in 1878. The clos­est I could find was an en­try for a 23-year-old James E Hill at Al­ces­ter Road in Stud­ley, War­wick­shire – 1.9 miles from Coughton. It would be use­ful to com­pare de­tails on this cen­sus en­try with those on the mar­riage cer­tifi­cate of James and Alice.

You be­lieve Alice Peachey was born in the More­ton-in-Marsh work­house on 25 Novem­ber 1872/3. This was in the Ship­ston reg­is­tra­tion dis­trict. In the birth in­dex, there is only one en­try for an Alice Peachey reg­is­tered in Ship­ston. This was in the March quar­ter of 1883 ( 6d, 695). It would be worth or­der­ing a copy of this cer­tifi­cate, and see­ing if the de­tails it con­tains can help you find her in the 1901 cen­sus.

From the 1911 cen­sus, we learn that The Parks farm was in Ald­ing­ton, Worces­ter­shire. The Bad­sey So­ci­ety ( bad­seyso­ci­ety. uk) is ded­i­cated to shar­ing photos, memories and his­tor­i­cal re­search about the peo­ple and places of the Bad­sey area, which in­cludes Ald­ing­ton, so that might be of use to you. Emma Jolly

On the 1911 cen­sus, James’s oc­cu­pa­tion was shown as ‘Partly in Charge of Cat­tle on Farm’ and he was a ‘Worker’

James and Alice on the 1911 cen­sus (with their sons Ernest James and Wil­liam Joe)

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