Monday, July 28, 2008

Admitting defeat

You knew this was going to happen, didn't you?

The 1891 census will not be ready for the August update. I've checked five pages out of the 35, but there's no way I'll have time to check the remainder, plus convert it to html, by 1 August. So there won't be an August update - that way, I'll feel so guilty I'll go full steam ahead and try and get it done as soon as possible.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Had a d'oh moment this morning.....I've just realised that Blogger has tags/categories for its posts, except it calls them Labels! So over the next few days I'll be going back through my posts and adding surname and topic labels to them, plus figuring out how to tweak the blog layout to get a Label Bar so you can access things quickly.

Naturally I'll be checking the 1891 census transcription at the same time. I've printed it out, and checked the first page - only 34 more pages to go. You may note that this presents somewhat of a deadline problem looking forward to 1 August.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Mystery birthplaces number 3

First up is governess Janett A West, from "Bearmstow North Hants" - any ideas? Reference is piece 1277 ED 1 folio 17 pg 27.

Next is groom Thomas Farder from "New Caylton Salop" - even dropping the New I can't find anything in Shropshire vaguely like that except Caynham, and Thomas is nowhere to be found on earlier census records. Reference is piece 1277 ED 1 folio 13 pg 19.

And that concludes all the mystery placenames - now on to checking the other difficult-to-read entries I had flagged, before the final printout and recheck of all entries.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Mystery birthplace number 2

I've worked my way through and sorted out all the birthplaces in the 35 pages of entries in Wing's second enumeration district except a couple which are shown below (the census reference is piece 1266 folio 32 pg 23).

The first one is above Scotland and belongs to 21-year-old Mary Milne who works in the kitchens at Ascott House. It looks like Single Borne Surrey to me but I can't find anything like that - has anyone heard of this or has any suggestions?

I'd also been puzzling over the one the other side of Scotland, but Henry Loose is still working at Ascott in 1901 and gave his birthplace then as Gunthorpe Norfolk, which does exist - unlike Gualhope Lincoln which is what it looks like in 1891.

Perhaps the enumerator, or whoever was in charge of rounding up the domestic staff's details at Ascott, had gotten completely frazzled by this point!

Incidentally, this site makes interesting reading -
Victorian Domestic Servants - I would guess the housekeeper at Ascott probably had the job of completing the census forms on behalf of her staff.

Monday, July 14, 2008

1891 census - progress so far

I've been very slack unfortunately - progress seems like too strong a word! And it's already half way through the month, so it may be another month before you see the 1891 census up online. I shall blame the seed catalogues - in the last couple of weeks the new year's seed catalogues have been released so we can spend our winter evenings picking what to grow once spring hits. It's taking me a while to narrow down the tomato selection!

In other news, I've finally managed to get my hands on my own copy of the book Wing As It Was. This features postcards and photographs of Wing and its inhabitants in the late 1800s and early 1900s (there's an index to the names in the book on the website). It's long since out of print, and it's only the second copy I've seen pop up on Ebay in the last three years, so I'm very happy to be the lucky winner this time round.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Mystery birthplace number 1 - solved?

Exhibit 1 above is the birthplace of one Henry GREEN in the 1891 census, piece 1266 ED2 folio 27 pg 13. In the 1871 and 1881 census he gives his birthplace simply as Northampton, but by 1891 he's obviously decided to be a little more specific as to where in Northamptonshire he was born.

I think I've probably solved this one, there is a "Courteenhall" in Northamptonshire and as it turns out Henry was in Wing by 1861 and gave his birthplace as "Courten Hall" that year. Perhaps in 1891 this is a case of a glitch popping up when the enumerator transferred the details from the household sheets to the final census pages? It certainly looks like "sh" in the middle there to me!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Oh so cold

We've been having some fairly rubbish weather in NZ over the last month. Barely a day has gone by without heavy rain, or a thunderstorm, or hail, or even a mini-tornado here in Auckland (luckily those are extremely mini and only damage one or two houses each time). It's just too cold to spend any time sitting at the computer when I'm at home so the 1891 census has been sadly neglected over the last week. However I did get some birthplaces nutted out so that's progress!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

July update

The names of some further men serving in WW1 (DENCHFIELD, EGGLETON, FAULKNER, FINCHAM, GATES, HARRIS, HARWOOD, HORNE and HORSFALL) have been added to the military section this month.

Looking ahead to the August update, I'm going to ask for your help. The 1891 census for Wing has been transcribed, it just needs checking, correcting and converting to HTML to upload. Where do you come in? If you're reading this, please schedule in your diaries to email me on some random day during July and ask how I'm going. I'm hoping that if I'm reminded all month that people are watching me it'll actually happen! I'll also be blogging any difficult-to-read birthplace locations that I'm puzzling over, so if you are familiar with placenames in counties outside of Bucks (or other countries - there's an international flavour to the live-in staff at Ascott) please keep checking back here as you just might be able to help me resolve some of them.

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