Clues Found in British Census Enumerations
Census records are great for providing a framework for future family history research. This week we look at four census enumerations for a British family and see what these records do and do not tell us about this family. The location of census records should never be the end of the research process and in this case the records suggest several different avenues for further study.
Using the 1841, 1851, 1861, and 1871 enumerations for the family of Robert and Eleanor Frame, I was able to initially learn quite a bit about the family. The 1861 and 1871 enumerations were located on Ancestry.com as apart of their United Kingdom collection. The earlier enumerations were located using microfilm from the Family History Library. All the enumerations were in Carlisle, County Cumberland, England. These images can be viewed at www.rootdig.com/framecensus/.
Summarize What You Have Found
Robert Frame was born in Spain between approximately 1814 and 1816, but was a British subject. His wife, Eleanor, was born between approximately 1815 and 1816 in Whitehaven, County Cumberland, England. The children were all born in Carlisle, County Cumberland, England, in the approximate ranges of years listed below:
Those who are used to using United States census records will be pleased to find the specific place of birth listed. While such information could be incorrect, it at least provides a starting point. Based upon the years of birth for the children, it appears that Robert and Eleanor were married in the mid to late 1830s, probably between 1835 and 1838. For now, my family group chart on Robert and Eleanor is written out on paper. Censuses are secondary sources for years of birth and at this point, Eleanor is not necessarily the mother of all of Robert's children (all relationships are given with respect to head of household).
Using These Clues
Robert, the Spaniard?
In 1861 Robert appeared to be listed as sixty-seven years of age and Eleanor as sixty-six. The couple should have been in their mid-forties, not their mid-sixties. Upon closer inspection the numbers that I initially thought were sixes were actually fours. They certainly looked like sixes, at least at first glance. However to be certain, I looked at the census column that contained the "number of schedule." This is where every household was numbered sequentially on the enumeration. Since these numbers were in numerical order, I knew what number was supposed to be a "4" and what number was supposed to be a "6."� This trick is an excellent one to use when numbers on an enumeration are difficult to read, regardless of the location of the census. It is always an excellent idea to determine if there are any numbers on the page that are "known"� with certainty and to use those numbers as a guide in reading ones that are less clear.
Michael John Neill is the Course I Coordinator at the Genealogical Institute of Mid America (GIMA) held annually in Springfield, Illinois, and is also on the faculty of Carl Sandburg College in Galesburg, Illinois. Michael is currently a member of the board of the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) www.fgs.org. He conducts seminars and lectures nationally on a wide variety of genealogical and computer topics and contributes to several genealogical publications, including Ancestry Magazine and Genealogical Computing. You can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his website at: www.rootdig.com/, but he regrets that he is unable to assist with personal research.
Copyright 2005, MyFamily.com.