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What information can we find for one family from one page of a Census ?

01 Jun

1881 Scredington Sample

Well how about 3 marriages, 2 agricultural labourers, a widow, a Coal merchant, a cordwainer, 4 siblings living apart, a widower, a nephew, a father in law, a mother in law, cousins, and several scholars ! Not to mention the uninhabited buildings.
A brief family study in a part of Scredington village in 1881 Lincolnshire.
Every census document tells us something of our ancestors; where they married ? what did they do ? where did they live ? who lived with them ? who no longer lives with them? where they were born ? but in the case of a village like Scredington in Lincolnshire, where, in 1881, the entire district Census consisted of only 11 pages and when the population was a mere 341, just one page can give you a lot of information :

Click on the image 1881 Scredington Sample to see a larger version.

Looking at the names Bailey and Bullock, this is what we discover:

1 James Bailey and wife Elizabeth:
James married Elizabeth Bullock of Wilsford in 1858.Wilsford and Scredington are small villages in Lincolnshire, they are just ten miles apart. Listed here in 1881, they live with their children; Francis, Sarah, Ann and John. Both James and his eldest son; Francis are Agricultural labourers.
2 Tom Bullock, Coal Merchant.
Tom is also born in Wilsford and sister of next door neighbour Elizabeth. Tom, at the time unmarried, lives with his mother Ann Bullock and sister Sarah Bullock. Nephew Thomas Bailey is staying with him too. From the census it is uncertain whether Elizabeth is his mother, but a check of the 1891 census confirms this.
3 Robert Handley, Cordwainer.
A Cordwainer is a maker of fine ‘soft’ leather shoes. Robert was married to Martha Ann Bailey, the daughter of Thomas Bailey. Mary Ann and James Bailey (1) are cousins. Mary Ann’s father Thomas is also present at this census. I have been able to confirm these connections by looking at previous census documents.
4. Samuel Bailey.
Living next door but one to the Handley’s is Samuel and his wife Mary Ann. Samuel is Martha Ann Bailey’s brother and James’s Bailey’s cousin. Mary Ann his wife was born a Bullock and is Tom, Elizabeth and Sarah’s sibling. Samuel Bailey is employed as an Agricultural labourer. Children; Effie and Tom are living with them.
So, here we have in just 3 dwellings in what would seem it’s entirety, the Bullock family of Tom, Sarah, Elizabeth, Mary Ann and mother Ann. As we know the marital status of each one of them, that will help us find future spouses and children if any.
To confirm this information is correct, I check some local business directories. The following year, local business directories confirm the same family and trades to still be in operation in the village.

Scredington Village

But what about the actual address?
In some of the Census records in this part of Lincolnshire, particularly in villages, the enumerators did not record street names, and this makes it difficult for descendents to establish an exact residence. However in this case we have a clue at (3), where the address given for the Handley family is the Old and New Parsonage. Finding this location will enable us to have a good idea where the others lived.
Looking up the address in Scredington, I discovered the Old Parsonage was on Church lane in 1881 and there was another land mark nearby, the Old Post Office. This information would now prove invaluable when visiting Scredington, where I could not only get information from the Monumental Inscriptions in the Church yard but also for the locations of these two former landmarks.
I wish all searches would be that easy !


An experienced former Government Researcher and Investigator (UK) offering specialist services to descendants of families originating in the United Kingdom. Offering a special emphasis on Lincolnshire, Yorkshire and Lancashire, I can research your ancestors from any region of England, Scotland and Wales providing all available personal details for your family tree. As well as being a member of the Society of Genealogists, I am also a member of several other UK based Family History Societies.
For more information Family Tree Services or any other Family History advice, please contact me. danny.billington

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