You look for answers, you get more questions

Following on from yesterday’s family history investigation, I did what I should have done a long time ago, I had a look at the 1901 and 1891 censuses.

The 1901 census was more or less what I expected:

People at home for the 1901 census

James, my grandfather, was still at home and working as a grocers’ assistant, as expected, as he didn’t marry Catherine, his first wife until 1906.

Lizzie is still at home, and obviously doing well as a pupil teacher.

And of course Kate was still at school. As the school leaving age was raised to 14 in 1901, we can’t say if there was any significance of her still being in school, but given she appears, like her sister, to have gone on to be a school teacher, there was money for her to stay at school if she wished.

Annie, as we now know, had married in 1899 and was no longer at home.

And then we turn to the 1891 census:

1891 census snip

Annie is described, at the age of 14, as the housekeeper, James, my grandfather, was already working as a message boy, and Lizzie and Kate are at school.

So far, so good.

My great-grandfather, however, is not working as a boot and shoe maker, but as a traveller and collector. Exactly what this means is a bit vague, he could for example, be a travelling boot repairer, but we don’t know.

But the great revelation is a second son, Stewart who was working as a clerk.

So as well as Kate we now have Stewart to add to the family tree.

There is of course no other daughter listed, so we are still left wondering who the mysterious A was who was present at my great grandfather’s death.

It is of course just possible there was another daughter who married early, but the 1881 census puts paid to that:

1881 census snip

Clementina, as we would expect is still alive, Stuart is in school and both Annie and James are too young to go to school. My great grandfather is a bootmaker, and obviously doing well as he’s employing an assistant.

But no second daughter whose name starts with A …

About dgm

Former IT professional, previously a digital archiving and repository person, ex research psychologist, blogger, twitterer, and amateur classical medieval and nineteenth century historian ...
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1 Response to You look for answers, you get more questions

  1. dgm says:

    A traveller and collector in late Victorian times was someone who delivered orders and collected returns – often used of brewery workers, but also used for colliery salesmen and wholesale drapers delivery men who would take and deliver orders and collect unsold items.

    I’m guessing that my great grandfather was doing the same, collecting orders for boots and delivering them

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