Author Topic: Joseph B Cole and Rachel Dixey - What a difference a census makes.  (Read 248 times)

Offline dpearson

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Joseph B Cole and Rachel Dixey - What a difference a census makes.
« on: Tuesday 28 December 21 04:39 GMT (UK) »
The 1911 census was to my knowledge the first time in the UK that a census form was completed by the householder and this post is how this change impacted my research.
Joseph Cole is my maternal great grandfather. He was born in Whittlesey in 1876 to a farmer. He worked as a farm labourer and at nineteen years of age married Rachel Dixey, a young girl aged 16 from Liverpool who had lived in Whittlesey since she was 12.  There first child, Kate, was born the following year 1896. Followed by my grandmother, Jessie in 1898 and Joseph in 1900. This was all recorded correctly in the 1901 census.
Ten years later they are living in Badwas, Monmouthshire.  Joseph is working as a Coal Pit Sinker and completes the 1911 census.  By this time they have had five more children. However the census does not include the youngest born just 22 days before the census and the rest are shown as just initials and the census does not indicate that one of their children, Kate, has died.
After a lot of research and ordering of certificates I can now put names to the initials and along the way discovered that two of the boys had been registered with the same names, George Edward, however they were born 2 years apart, both were still alive in 1911 one was recorded as  E Cole and the other as G Cole.  More intriguing was that the three youngest, where registered under the name of Walker, with both Joseph and Rachel being recorded as Walker. Fortunately her maiden name of Dixey is not too common and further detective work and the certificates confirmed that they were the same people. Interestingly the boys, with one exception, all grew up using the name Cole and not their registered name. The exception used Walker-Cole.

Thomson/Pearson/Cole/Oakshott/Cotter

Offline Ruskie

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Re: Joseph B Cole and Rachel Dixey - What a difference a census makes.
« Reply #1 on: Tuesday 28 December 21 07:52 GMT (UK) »
The 1911 census asks how many children born alive to the marriage, how many are still living and how many have died. Does that tally with what you have discovered?

Registering some children with the surname Walker seems unusual. Do you know if the surname Walker fits anywhere in to this family? Some people seem to pick up surnames for any number of reasons, inheritance for example.

Alternatively, do you think those children might have had a different father, but were accepted by Joseph? Yes, he could/would be named as father on their birth registrations.

Another possibility - might Rachel Dixey have had a sister who married a Walker, had children, then died, so the Walker children went to live with their Aunt and Uncle? Might that also explain the two boys with the same forenames? Perhaps a bit of variation with use of surnames followed?

Yes, householders filled in their own census forms in 1911 and some didnít understand what was being asked of them, so sometimes mistakes were made. Might this explain the surname anomalies?

Householders filled in their own forms for earlier censuses too, but the originals do not survive, and what we see are the copies made by the enumerator. We see the householderís writing on the 1911 census.

Online rosie99

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Re: Joseph B Cole and Rachel Dixey - What a difference a census makes.
« Reply #2 on: Tuesday 28 December 21 07:56 GMT (UK) »
The 1911 census was to my knowledge the first time in the UK that a census form was completed by the householder and this post is how this change impacted my research.

The 1911 is the first census that the form completed by the householder was not destroyed and we are able to view it. 

https://www.ons.gov.uk/census/2011census/howourcensusworks/aboutcensuses/censushistory/themoderncensus
The registration service and the modern census
The census taken in 1841 is widely regarded as the first truly modern census, when the first Registrar General of England and Wales, John Lister, was made responsible for organising the count. The task of counting was passed on to local officers of the newly created registration service.

For the first time, the head of each household was given a form to fill in on behalf of everyone in the household on a certain day. This system has stood the test of time, and it still forms the basis of the method we use today
Census information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk


Offline Ruskie

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Re: Joseph B Cole and Rachel Dixey - What a difference a census makes.
« Reply #3 on: Tuesday 28 December 21 08:57 GMT (UK) »
Iíve found the family in 1911 and itís a bit clearer seeing them all listed. They fit in quite nicely to all be children of this couple.

Have you located the 22 day old baby who is missing from the 1911 census?

Odd about the Walker surname though Ö.  :-\

Offline dpearson

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Re: Joseph B Cole and Rachel Dixey - What a difference a census makes.
« Reply #4 on: Saturday 15 January 22 03:50 GMT (UK) »
Update.

The baby that was omitted from the 1911 was born on 9 March 1911 - Victor Llewelyn Walker - he dies 6 months later.

I have now obtained the birth certificates for all the children of Joseph Cole  and Rachel Dixey  - 11 in all. ( The PDF option on GRO is a blessing as the postal service from the UK is taking ages).  Whilst not solving the mystery why the six children born after 1904 were registered as Walker ( Mother and Father are the same) I have found marriage and death details for 9 of the siblings that confirm the use of Cole whilst they were alive. Some used Walker as a second name but with Cole or Coles as a surname. One married as Cole and died as Walker- Cole. 

I have hit a dead end trying to trace the boys registered who are both recorded as George Edward Cole having searched the 1921 census for anyone registered in that name born in Whittlesey 1902 (Edward) and born in Bristol 1904 (George).
Having their exact birth dates I have also tried the 1939 register. I'm guessing the "boys" would have been in the armed forces at that time. 
I know from family history that George became a successful business man.

1908 is the start of a traumatic time for the family. Their eldest daughter Kate, who is one of the children not acknowledge in the 1911 census, contracts an infection and dies of Tubercular Meningitis on 15 September of that year. Itís the day after Jessieís tenth birthday. In a family dominated by boys, Kateís sickness and eventual death must have weighed heavily on her from both an emotional and physical perspective as the two girls would have spent a lot of their time together helping their mother look after the younger children. More sadness was to follow. At the time of Kateís death, Rachel was eight months pregnant and gave birth to a baby girl Kathleen Elizabeth on 8th October. Unfortunately, Kathleen contracts bronchitis and eventually passes away six months later on 14th April 1909.


Thomson/Pearson/Cole/Oakshott/Cotter