The BIG question
Can you find my family on the 1901 and 1911 censuses?
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 ( freebmd.org.uk) 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)