Examine any census record from 1851 and you will find children listed as scholars and women listed as teachers and schoolmistresses. Indeed it is estimated that even as early as 1816, 58% of England’s 1.5m children ‘attended a school of some kind for some period’ (Raymond Williams, The Long Revolution, 1961) and by 1835 this had risen to almost 83%. However, the average duration of school attendance was only a year. This had risen to two years by 1851, and by 1861 almost 91% of children received some education, though of very mixed quality. Most left before they were 11 years old.
When researching our ancestors after 1837 in England and Wales, we generally try to find their birth, marriage and death in the government-compiled civil registration records and assume that they will be accurate records of the events. Likewise we don’t expect there to be any rogue forgeries in amongst the wills that have been proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury. In most cases, thankfully, the records are correct reflections of our ancestor’s life events and we can enter the details in our family tree. But, as with all aspects of life, sometimes a person with criminal intentions may seek to dupe the official entering the details into the records and this has a knock-on effect on the innocent family history researcher who may come across such a forgery.
When you look at the details of an individual, as recorded in the census, you only see a snapshot of their life: where they were and what they were doing on a specific date. For example, if you look at a census return for 1881, you are seeing who was where on the night of 3 April 1881, and by the end of that year, they may have changed job, moved house, or even died. Add to this the fact that only the bare facts are often recorded, and you will inevitably need to cross-reference the census with other records.
By the end of the 19th century, Britain was a country transformed. Economically, the Industrial Revolution and the ever-expanding empire had turned minor towns into huge cities with an abundance of factories producing new goods en masse and employing hundreds of workers who had long left behind their rural lives in small villages and towns. But innovation had also brought with it a new way of getting rich: the stock market. Ordinary shopkeepers and the more successful members of this new working class – like shopkeepers or factory foremen and managers – were able to ascend the ranks through seemingly get-rich-quick schemes; in many ways, the speculative stock market was just as transformative as the factories and cities which we often think of as characterising the Industrial Revolution.
With the 1921 census still some years away from public release, TheGenealogist.co.uk has added further records to its 1921 census substitute collection. This resource covers a large number of county directories which have been transcribed to produce a searchable resource. This appears under Census Records as the 1921 Census Substitute on TheGenealogist and encompasses a period currently not served by a published census. With this release the total number of records is boosted to 1.75 million heads of household.
The precise origins of hand-held fans remain obscure, but pictorial and archaeological evidence testifies to their existence for over 3,000 years. The Ancient Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun was buried with eight fans c1300 BC and fans are believed to have been used by the Ancient Greeks, Etruscans and Romans as both cooling and ceremonial devices. Early versions were all fixed fans comprising a wand or stick and attachment of feathers, parchment, straw/reeds or various textiles, for agitating and cooling the air and deterring flies. Folding fans appeared much later and were reportedly introduced into the west through merchant traders and religious orders who had colonised areas of China and Japan.
Pembrokeshire is a divided land in a unique way. Straggling across the county, roughly from the upper inland corner of St Bride’s Bay in the west to the middle of Carmarthen Bay in the west is a phenomenon known as the Landsker Line. This marks a linguistic and cultural boundary that has its origins in Norman times.
Women are among the hardest individuals to trace through the historical record and this is especially true of female offenders who had a vested interest in not wanting to be found. That is why this thoughtprovoking and accessible handbook by Lucy Williams and Barry Godfrey is of such value. It looks beyond the crimes and the newspaper reports of women criminals in the Victorian era in order to reveal the reality of their personal and penal journeys, and it provides a guide for researchers who are keen to explore this intriguing and neglected subject.
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