Author Topic: False surnames, aliases, reasons for using on the census???  (Read 568 times)

Offline Dulciebun

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False surnames, aliases, reasons for using on the census???
« on: Sunday 28 April 19 15:05 BST (UK) »
Please suggest possible reasons why a family is using a different (false?) surname on the census while living away from their home base.

My ancestor Henry SPUR(R) married Caroline HINKS (poss. Hincks) in Nuneaton, Warks in 1846.

The 1851 census shows them living in Manchester, Henry is a stone mason, they have one small son William Henry - but their surname is SHEPPARD. However, they have baptised their son as SPURR.

The 1861 census shows Caroline a widow, with sons William Henry, Christopher, and baby daughter Elizabeth. Caroline gives her surname as SHEPHERD. (She couldn't write, so must have spoken her name, and the spelling is variable). But Christopher and Elizabeth have also been baptised as SPURR.

Caroline, a widow, returns to her home area (presumably Warks/Leics borders) and remarries in 1864 as SPURR. (She becomes Oswin).

      Why is this family using a different (false) name for census purposes? Is Henry Spurr hiding from something? (criminal proceedings?)

      Caroline re-states the different surname (Shepherd) in Manchester just after Henry's death in early 1861, but reverts to her married name Spurr when re-marrying. Was it 'safe' to state the Spurr, now Henry had gone?

     I can't crack this, and I can't find the correct Henry Spur/r or Caroline Hinks (Hincks) on the 1841 census nor any suitable birth for either of them.

Extra details, potential clues:
    in 1846 Henry Spur(r) gave his father's name as Robert Spur, carpenter.
    In 1846 Caroline Hinks (Hincks) gave her father's name as William Hinks, carpenter.
    In 1851 "Henry Sheppard's" birth place is given as Sheffield.
    Caroline's birthplace is given as Leicester, then Coventry, then Leicester.
    Caroline's second marriage is in Coventry.
    In 1864 Caroline Spurr gave her father's name as William Hinks, joiner.
    In 1879 Elizabeth Spurr, daughter of Henry + Caroline, gave her father's name as WILLIAM Henry Spurr, stonemason. But both of her older brothers stated 'Henry Spurr' on their wedding details. Was he a William?

     Caroline and her new husband set up home in Aston, Birmingham, and remain there. Why did they go there, in particular?

     Where does the SHEPPARD/SHEPHERD come from, and for what reason or purpose were they using it?

Very grateful for all suggestions. I could be mistaken in any of the above details and if I am, please tell me. Thank you.

Dulciebun

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Offline Marmalady

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Re: False surnames, aliases, reasons for using on the census???
« Reply #1 on: Sunday 28 April 19 15:19 BST (UK) »
One possibility is William / Henry Spurr /Shepherd was illegitimate and so sometimes uses his mother's maiden name and sometimes his father's name (either birth father or later step-father)

Your next step is to trace his birth and his mother's marriage(s) -- that may give you some clues as to the reasons for his changes of name.

I had a similar situation -- a family where the illegitimate father used Richard and Joseph interchangeably and also Horobin & Plant interchangeably throughout his life. Luckily the baptism register for some of his children gave both surnames so i was able to tie them all together. It was difficult, but eventually I did manage to sort him and his names out!
Wainwright - Yorkshire
Whitney - Herefordshire
Watson -  Northamptonshire
Trant - Yorkshire
Helps - all
Needham - Derbyshire
Waterhouse - Derbyshire
Northing - all

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Offline avm228

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Re: False surnames, aliases, reasons for using on the census???
« Reply #2 on: Sunday 28 April 19 15:26 BST (UK) »
I see that Henry Spurrís age was recorded as 36 on his death reg in Manchester, Mar qtr 1861.
Ayr: Barnes, Wylie
Caithness: MacGregor
Essex: Eldred (Pebmarsh)
Gloucs: Timbrell (Winchcomb)
Hants: Stares (Wickham)
Lincs: Maw, Jackson (Epworth, Belton)
London: Pierce
Suffolk: Markham (Framlingham)
Surrey: Gosling (Richmond)
Wilts: Matthews, Tarrant (Calne, Preshute)
Worcs: Milward (Redditch)
Yorks: Beaumont, Crook, Moore, Styring (Huddersfield); Middleton (Church Fenton); Exley, Gelder (High Hoyland); Barnes, Birchinall (Sheffield); Kenyon, Wood (Cumberworth/Denby Dale)

Offline avm228

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Re: False surnames, aliases, reasons for using on the census???
« Reply #3 on: Sunday 28 April 19 15:40 BST (UK) »
Not an answer to your question, but there seems to be at least one other child:

John Spurr, motherís maiden name Hinck, Jun qtr 1854 Manchester 8d 163.

Baptised at Holy Trinity, Hulme, 17 Aug 1856 (abode Galloway St) to Henry (stone mason) & Caroline.
Ayr: Barnes, Wylie
Caithness: MacGregor
Essex: Eldred (Pebmarsh)
Gloucs: Timbrell (Winchcomb)
Hants: Stares (Wickham)
Lincs: Maw, Jackson (Epworth, Belton)
London: Pierce
Suffolk: Markham (Framlingham)
Surrey: Gosling (Richmond)
Wilts: Matthews, Tarrant (Calne, Preshute)
Worcs: Milward (Redditch)
Yorks: Beaumont, Crook, Moore, Styring (Huddersfield); Middleton (Church Fenton); Exley, Gelder (High Hoyland); Barnes, Birchinall (Sheffield); Kenyon, Wood (Cumberworth/Denby Dale)

Offline Jomot

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Re: False surnames, aliases, reasons for using on the census???
« Reply #4 on: Sunday 28 April 19 16:33 BST (UK) »
I have a similar situation in my tree where for two generations my family used one surname on the census and an entirely different one for BMD events.  I managed to trace it back to an illegitimate birth, but not in the generation I was expecting.

However, I wonder if he could be connected to these baptisms at Sheffield Parish Church (info from Sheffield Indexers)

Samuel Spurr born 28 Oct 1818, Baptised 22 Nov 22, 1818. Parents Mary & Robert (Joiner).
John Spurr born 8 Feb 1821, Baptised 26 Aug 26, 1821.  Parents Mary & Robert (joiner).


MORGAN: Glamorgan, Durham, Ohio. DAVIS/DAVIES/DAVID: Glamorgan, Ohio.  GIBSON: Leicestershire, Durham. North Yorkshire.  JACKSON: East Yorks, North Yorks, Durham. TAYLOR: North Yorks. BOURDAS: North Yorks. JEFFREYS: Worcestershire & Northumberland. CHEESMOND: Durham/Northumberland. WINTER: Durham/Northumberland. SNOWBALL: Durham.

Offline Dulciebun

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Re: False surnames, aliases, reasons for using on the census???
« Reply #5 on: Sunday 28 April 19 16:51 BST (UK) »
One possibility is William / Henry Spurr /Shepherd was illegitimate and so sometimes uses his mother's maiden name and sometimes his father's name (either birth father or later step-father)

Your next step is to trace his birth and his mother's marriage(s) -- that may give you some clues as to the reasons for his changes of name.

I had a similar situation -- a family where the illegitimate father used Richard and Joseph interchangeably and also Horobin & Plant interchangeably throughout his life. Luckily the baptism register for some of his children gave both surnames so i was able to tie them all together. It was difficult, but eventually I did manage to sort him and his names out!
..........................

Marmalady (great name!) thank you... It's helpful to know that people use surnames interchangeably without there being any sinister element to it; they obviously feel they have a claim on both, and what they write at any one time depends on how they feel. Both names seem to be of equal weight - but they have to choose one, don't they, as the dominant surname for the children... and in my case they've plumped for SPURR and it's stuck.

(In later times we seem to cope with it by using both names together as surnames, hyphenating them or not. NB I've never yet seen a hyphenated surname [such as my own!] on a census up to 1911 - have you?)

I have no clue how to begin to trace the birth of a '[William] Henry Spur/r-Sheppard' who might or might not have come from Sheffield. An added complication would be if he were using a step-father's surname... help!

I am still dubious about the details given on the Manchester 1851 census (surname, place of birth)... instinct tells me it's not as it should be...

Dulciebun

Offline Dulciebun

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Re: False surnames, aliases, reasons for using on the census???
« Reply #6 on: Sunday 28 April 19 16:56 BST (UK) »
I have a similar situation in my tree where for two generations my family used one surname on the census and an entirely different one for BMD events.  I managed to trace it back to an illegitimate birth, but not in the generation I was expecting.

However, I wonder if he could be connected to these baptisms at Sheffield Parish Church (info from Sheffield Indexers)

Samuel Spurr born 28 Oct 1818, Baptised 22 Nov 22, 1818. Parents Mary & Robert (Joiner).
John Spurr born 8 Feb 1821, Baptised 26 Aug 26, 1821.  Parents Mary & Robert (joiner).

........................

Jomot, thank you so much... those are very useful possible leads, with a Robert Spurr as a joiner... I hadn't found these records... I will take a look.
D.

Offline Dulciebun

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Re: False surnames, aliases, reasons for using on the census???
« Reply #7 on: Sunday 28 April 19 16:59 BST (UK) »
I see that Henry Spurrís age was recorded as 36 on his death reg in Manchester, Mar qtr 1861.
..................................

avm228, thank you for this, very useful: his age on the 1851 census is given as 25, so this 36 in early 1861 is consistent with that. (And gives me more confidence in the census details I'm doubting!)
D.

Offline Dulciebun

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Re: False surnames, aliases, reasons for using on the census???
« Reply #8 on: Sunday 28 April 19 17:01 BST (UK) »
Not an answer to your question, but there seems to be at least one other child:

John Spurr, motherís maiden name Hinck, Jun qtr 1854 Manchester 8d 163.

Baptised at Holy Trinity, Hulme, 17 Aug 1856 (abode Galloway St) to Henry (stone mason) & Caroline.

.........................
avm228, excellent find, thank you - there was a huge gap between Christopher Spurr (1851) and Elizabeth Spurr (1861). Definitely the same family, given the occupation + mother's maiden name. And they've used SPURR again, although it's Sheppard on the census...
D.