Posts Tagged ‘ Workhouse ’
Our resident expert Stephen Rigden, pictured below, answers your queries.
From Anne Francis:
‘In the 1911 census I have found my grandmother Mary Jackson, born on 20 September 1893. She had two brothers, Thomas and Georgie, and one sister, Margaret, that had never been mentioned in the family.
Unfortunately I have mislaid the list but there was Joseph, Annie (who died aged 26) and Frederick. These I was aware of and they all lived in a close area. Margaret was only five months old but Tom and George were old enough to have been on the 1901 census but they weren’t. Why were they never mentioned and where did they go?
Their father was Frederick Jackson, born in 1869, and their mother was Annie O’Brien. My great-granddad Fred came from Liverpool, where family records go back to the 1700s. Any help would be a blessing.’
‘Thanks for the question, Anne.
I looked up your grandmother Mary Jackson on the 1911 census and found the return that you mention, at 76 Davis Street in Eccles. She is shown with her father Frederick, a plasterer, aged 42 and born as you say in Liverpool; her mother Annie, aged 38 and born in Bolton; and her siblings Joseph, 15, Frederick, 13, Thomas, 11, Georgie, 9, Annie, 4, and Margaret, 5 months. The 1911 census states that Mary was born in Eccles and all her siblings in Patricroft, Lancashire.
Using this information, I did a search of the 1901 census and may have found some correct information: Mary Jackson, 7, Joseph, 5, Frederick, 3 and George, 1 month, all born Patricroft, are all in the Barton upon Irwell workhouse, shown on page 15 of its return. Annie, 29, a married housewife, born Bolton is on page 7 of the same institutional return.
Meanwhile, Frederick Jackson, married and aged 32, plasterer, born Liverpool, is head of household but by himself at 14 Ash Street, Eccles. It seems, therefore, that the family had temporarily fallen upon particularly hard times and Frederick admitted his wife and children into the local workhouse, where they would receive at least an assured basic diet daily. Perhaps he was finding it hard to find regular work as a plasterer at that time?
The ‘missing’ brother Thomas Jackson appears in 1901 as a ‘nurse child’, aged 2 and born Patricroft, in the Bentley family home at 14 Pym Street, Eccles. A ‘nurse child’ can mean a number of things, from informally adopted or fostered, to temporarily ‘farmed out’ to close kin, or family friends or near neighbours or private individuals who offered a service at what must have been (in this family’s circumstances) a very low price. Do you recognise the surname Bentley? All members of the immediate family are thus accounted for on the 1901 census.
I hope this helps a little. Good luck with your research!’
If you’d like to send your question to our experts, please register or opt to receive newsletters in My Account. Unfortunately our experts only have time to answer a few queries each month. If yours wasn’t answered this time, you could be lucky next month!
We’ve had some exciting news from The National Archives this morning!
They have just made the correspondence between a number of English and Welsh Poor Law Unions available online. If you’ve found any of your ancestors living in workhouses in our census collection, these documents can help you establish what their living conditions were like.
You can search and download the records for free now from The National Archives’ website.