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Archiver > ESSEX-UK > 2002-08 > 1029929823

Subject: Re: TWICE in the 1881 census?
Date: Wed, 21 Aug 2002 07:37:03 EDT

In a message dated Wed, 21 Aug 2002 10:26:39 British Summer Time, "norman.lee1" <> writes:

> Is it possible that this census was the first where people were encouraged
> to fill in the forms for themselves, rather than being visited by an
> enumerator? They could have misunderstood the questions and filled in all
> their family whether or not they were present on census night. It would be
> interesting to compare censuses if this is not the case to see what happened
> in say, the 1851 and 61, before the 1870 Education Act made it likely that
> more people could read and write.

> > > After various people who seem to have escaped the 1881 census I now seem
> > to
> > > have someone who appears twice, once in Essex with wife and mother in
> law
> > > and once in London in same house with brother and family. The evidence
> for
> > > it being the same guy is too long to inflict on you unless you are
> > > interested, my question is whether anyone else has come across this?
> > > Ruth

Whilst searching through the NWKFHS 1851 census index for Deptford looking for the MURPHY family, I found what seemed to be a complete family who appear twice in the index. The ages and names of all of them (parents and six children) tie up so closely that I'm convinced they are the same family.

My assumption went along the lines of:
the enumerator went round over several days around March 30th, probably starting a day or so early. On the first visit, the enumerator and/or family worked on the basis that the family would be resident in the house on the due night (although the term 'resident' seems to have overtones of 'normally living there'). By the time the enumerator had finished his rounds a few days later, the family had moved house and happened to move to a property that was further along the census route. The enumerator, not wishing to miss out any property, just included them again.

But then we must never make assumptions!!

Dave Dobbin

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