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Author Topic: What is a "nurse child"? (completed)  (Read 37238 times)

Offline miss marple

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What is a "nurse child"? (completed)
« on: Wednesday 04 May 05 13:14 BST (UK) »
I have an ancestor named David Taylor born in 1858, who was illegitimate. In the 1861 census, aged 2, he is living with two widows both named Elizabeth Walker – an 80 year old and her 45 year old daughter. His relationship is given as "nurse child". By 1871 he is still living with the daughter, and his relationship is now "nursling".

Can anybody enlighten me as to exactly what this relationship means?

Here's hoping.

Jane



Offline Berlin-Bob

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Any UK Census Data included in this post is Crown Copyright (see: www.nationalarchives.gov.uk)

My research interests (and data found) can be seen on my website:   http://www.margulies-chronicles.com/ (new address !)


Offline miss marple

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Re: What is a "nurse child"?
« Reply #2 on: Wednesday 04 May 05 13:38 BST (UK) »
Many thanks – explains things pretty well!

Offline Lyn S

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Re: What is a "nurse child"?
« Reply #3 on: Wednesday 04 May 05 13:39 BST (UK) »
Jane

I'm sure there will be others who are able to give a more precise meaning but my understanding of the definition of 'Nurse child' is a child taken into the home of someone who cares for him/her as a result of circumstances that require the child's  care away from his/her home.

I do not think that there would necessarily have been payment for the care of the child - the arrangement may well have been an 'informal' one.

In my own research, I found a 'Nurse child' living with an ancestor of mine who was Widowed and sharing her home with a step-Grandchild as well. As I looked a little further down the Census page, I spotted a Widower, living just a few doors away with several other young children. His surname was the same as the 'Nurse child' sharing my ancestor's home.

I assumed that it was possibly a case of my ancestor being a 'good neighbour'.

Good luck in your research.

Best wishes

Lyn S

Paul E

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Re: What is a "nurse child"?
« Reply #4 on: Wednesday 04 May 05 13:46 BST (UK) »
Just out of interest, searching the 1861 census reveals 5,379 nurse children.

best wishes

Paul


Offline miss marple

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Re: What is a "nurse child"?
« Reply #5 on: Wednesday 04 May 05 14:14 BST (UK) »
Thanks everyone for your help with this. Obviously "nurse children" were not at all uncommon in those days! As David was illegitimate it makes sense that it was a type of fostering, paid or otherwise. (I think your ancestor was taking "good neighbourliness" to the extreme, Lyn!)

Interestingly, David appears to have "invented" a father for his marriage certificate – and made him an engineer rather than a plain old labourer, too! Another illegitimate ancestor's "father" from the marriage certificate turned out to be her grandfather.

It might have spared their blushes, but it doesn't exactly help us family history researchers.???

Jane

Offline bpking

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Re: What is a "nurse child"? (completed)
« Reply #6 on: Sunday 03 July 05 01:20 BST (UK) »
I have an ancestor named David Taylor born in 1858, who was illegitimate. In the 1861 census, aged 2, he is living with two widows both named Elizabeth Walker – an 80 year old and her 45 year old daughter. His relationship is given as "nurse child". By 1871 he is still living with the daughter, and his relationship is now "nursling".

Can anybody enlighten me as to exactly what this relationship means?

Here's hoping.

Jane

May I add my bit to this thread? Have you got his birth certificate? If so, fine, but "nurse child" was also used to describe a foundling. In some cases the child was taken away from a mother who just couldn't cope but in some cases neither parent was known and even if they did know the child's name the authorities often baptised the child giving it a new name. Just a warning to go carefully in tracing this man's ancestry.

Brenda

Offline miss marple

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Re: What is a "nurse child"? (completed)
« Reply #7 on: Sunday 03 July 05 12:37 BST (UK) »
Hello Brenda

Yes, I have got the birth certificate, with a dash in the father's space! But even though I have his mother's name I have not been able to find any other trace of her at all, so his line has come to a grinding halt for the moment. Frustrating!

Jane