Posts Tagged ‘ Victoria Beckham ’
The newest addition to the Beckham clan, Harper Seven Beckham, was born yesterday to much speculation about the inspiration behind the little girl’s name. Findmypast.co.uk has searched through the 1911 census and can reveal that baby Beckham is not the first to have been given the name Harper, though most people with this name 100 years ago were male.
We’ve found four female Harpers in the 1911 census, including fourteen-year-old Harper Lane. Harper was working as a Nurse and Housemaid at The Bank House in Royston, Hertfordshire – just 45 minutes away from where Victoria Beckham was born herself.
By comparison, there were 128 male Harpers in the 1911 census. It seems odd that after reportedly wanting a girl for so long, the Beckhams appear to have given their baby a traditionally male name.
What do you think of the Beckhams’ choice of name and have you found any ancestors named Harper?
With the World Cup starting today, we’ve done some research into the wives and girlfriends (WAGS) of footballers from today and 1911. We wanted to know how different these women’s lives are and if there are any similarities at all.
WAGS of 2010
Our research found that Cheryl Cole is the most popular WAG in the UK, with almost a fifth of the population voting her as their favourite. Here are the top five WAGS:
1. Cheryl Cole
2. Louise Redknapp
=3. Coleen Rooney
=3. Christine Bleakley
5. Victoria Beckham
Victoria Beckham’s family history – Liverpool roots
Relative old-timer Victoria Beckham only made fifth place in our survey, but she has an interesting family history. She has strong links to London, Brighton and Liverpool. Victoria’s maternal great-grandfather, Thomas Akehurst, can be found living with his parents, Victoria’s great-great-grandparents Walter and Mary Akehurst, in Islington, London in the 1901 census. Here you can see their 1901 census return:
Victoria’s great-great-grandfather Walter was born in Liverpool and they had moved to London from Brighton where four of their children were born. Their house was home to 13 people – Thomas, his parents, five siblings, grandmother, sister-in-law, brother-in-law, nephew and uncle – who lived in just eight rooms. Thomas was employed as a tobacconist’s assistant in 1901 while his father, Walter, was working as a coffee house keeper with his wife as his assistant.
Going back further to 1861, Victoria’s maternal great-great-grandfather Joseph Edward Feasey, aged one, can be found living with his parents, Victoria’s great-great-great-grandparents, Henry and Ann Feasey, in Holborn, London. Henry Feasey was employed as an undertaker while Ann was a carpet bag handle maker.
WAGS of 1911
Unsurprisingly, the life of a 1911 WAG seems to have been a lot less glamorous. Wives were often listed as having jobs such as power loom weaver, shop assistant, photographer’s assistant or travelling saleswoman.
The closest comparison we found is that the wives often followed their husbands to the club their husbands played for. The records show that they lived in relative comfort – in houses with a good number of rooms – but this is where the comparisons stop.
The footballers, who often played for their country, did not always record their profession as ‘footballer’ in the censuses. They were listed as having other occupations, such as clerks, which suggests that they needed to supplement their footballer wages – something that definitely could not be said of today’s footballers.
The 1910/11 season saw Bradford City win the FA cup (or English Cup, as it was then known). The FA Cup was won by a single goal scored by Jimmy Speirs for Bradford at Old Trafford. Speirs, his wife and child had all been born in Glasgow, relocating to Bradford for his football career. At the time of the 1911 census, the family lived in a spacious five-roomed house. Here you can see their 1911 census return:
The 1911 WAG in this case was Elizabeth (Bessie) Lennox Maben who married Speirs in Glasgow on 24th October 1906 at the ages of 18 and 20 respectively. Bessie was a photographer’s assistant and she went on to have two children: James Hamilton Speirs in 1907, and Elizabeth Maben Speirs in 1912.
Colin Campbell McKechnie Veitch (aged 29 on the 1911 census) was an English football player in the early 20th century for Newcastle United and later on he became manager of Bradford City. Veitch’s wife was Minnie Gertrude Paulsen, aged 30 in 1911 and at that time she had no children. In the 1911 census his family are recorded as living in a house with five rooms and three residents and on the night of the census they also had a visitor, a Miss Mable Warwick:
Veitch is recorded as the only breadwinner in the family. He describes himself as ‘professional footballer’ on the 1911 census form working in the ‘football’ industry. His wife was not listed as employed.
Our marketing manager, Debra Chatfield (pictured right), said:
‘The 1911 census is an amazing resource for not only searching our own family history but for getting a snapshot of British social history. The 2010 World Cup will no doubt have most of the world going football mad and our research gives you a glimpse into the lives of those that made the game what it has become today.’
Don’t be a World Cup widow – when England play, you don’t pay! All our records are free to view during every England match. Find out more information on our World Cup page.