1841 British Census

 
 
 
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agilchrest
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1841 British Census

I need some help with my citation for the 1841 England census. EE  page 303 shows an example for the 1841 census.

This is my start for my  citation;

1841 census of England, Warwickshire, [city],  [parish], folio 6, lines 5-15, William Vero household; digital image  Ancestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.com  :  accessed 24 September 2004); citing PRO HO  107/1127/10

My question has to do with what is the city? The parish is Mancetter. What I am confused about is the city. The source on Ancestry lists Warwickshire, Mancetter, Enumeration District 1. The census page has the city and parish  crossed out leaving Township of Atherstone. 

Following the largest to smallest the citation I think the citation should look like:

1841 census of England, Warwickshire, Mancetter, Enumeration District (ED) 1 [Atherston], folio 6, lines 5-15, William Vero household; digital image Ancestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 24 September 2004); citing PRO publication HO 107/1127/10

I am also wondering about using the term Enumeration District or just District. In one place Ancestry calls it a "District" and in another "Enumeration District"

I decided to put Atherston in brackets so I would know that they were in the hamlet of Atherston.

Thanks for any help!

Ann

EE
EE's picture

Ann,

The question in your third paragraph from the end is the easiest one to answer: If you eyeball an image of the original, then you use the term that appears on the original. The term used by an image provider--which means the identification decided by the keyboarder or indexer--would be a consideration only if you were citing the provider's database entry or abstract. 

The answer to your question about identifying jurisdictions follows the same principle. If you are citing the database or abstract, then you will want to use its labels. If you are citing an image of the original and you aren't sure what kind of jurisdiction a place name represents, then you would resolve that issue by using tools such as a gazetteer or an essay on the structure of British governmental jurisdictions.

 

The Editor

AdrianB-Cheshire
AdrianB-Cheshire's picture

As a Brit with an interest in citation issues (but no expertise in EE methods), perhaps a few comments might help:

1. As far as Enumeration District goes, the comment about using what is there is crucial. Over the years we have used many sorts of district for many purposes, so omission would lead to a lack of clarity. For instance, I'm looking at a 1901 census page, where the pre-printed headings refer to "Urban District" - and this is in addition to the census organisation's Enumeration District.

2. Not entirely serious - if you want street cred in UK circles, cut back on the use of the term "city" (grin). I'm not sure what the term generally means in the US, but in the UK it generally means a substantial settlement and lots of your cities sound like our fairly small towns!

3. In general terms, when citing censuses, I would be looking for county and placename. A good start to understand specific UK place details is the GENUKI site with its "Towns and parishes" section within the relevant county. For instance http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/WAR/Atherstone/index.html refers to Atherstone.

Given that Atherstone is a town (described as such in the GENUKI entry), I would be quite happy to see the census page described as "Warwickshire, Atherstone" - and this would be more meaningful to the casual reader than "Warwickshire, Mancetter". If I've got the right image, then "Atherstone" appears on it, so this matches the principle of showing what's there.

4. It can be useful to quote parish as well as the settlement. In a big city like Bristol, quoting the parish can be a useful subdivision, especially given that streets could well be repeated within the same city. (London had at least 1 renaming exercise to remove duplicates). But if you do quote the parish, I would add the word "parish" to clarify what it is - e.g. "Bristol, St. Philip's parish". Also, out in the rural areas, with only a tiny hamlet nearby, the parish is a useful subdivision. But again, add "parish" - particuarly as the same name can repeat at various levels - e.g., just up the road from me, Barthomley can mean a village, a parish or a township (which is a subdivision of a parish).

But I still think the basic principle is that it should be "county, settlement" unless the settlement is very big or very small in which case "county, settlement, parishname parish" would seem the way to go.

5. Re Enumeration Districts and TNA references: EDs were used by the census takers. The TNA references were added by the archivists. Most UK genealogists ignore the EDs in favour of just using the TNA references of class, piece, folio and page. Except that the 1841 census apparently needs the book number as well. If you use the TNA reference, you have a unique key for the image and the ED adds nothing. (This does not apply in Scotland where there is no equivalent of the TNA reference!). Most census images have the TNA class and piece as part of the image. The folio is stamped on one side of a sheet of paper only, so if you haven't get it, you need to go to the previous image or read what the provider claims it is.

 

Adrian B (NW England)

EE
EE's picture

Thanks, Adrian. We appreciate your feedback. To ensure the widest audience for your insight, we're adding an alert to EE's Facebook page and its auxiliaries.

The Editor

agilchrest
agilchrest's picture

Adrian,

Thank you! If I understand what you are saying my citation should look something like:

1841 census of England, Warwickshire, Atherston, HO 107/1127/10, folio 6, p. 4, lines 5-15, William Vero household; digital image Ancestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 24 September 2004); citing The National Archives of the UK, GSU roll 464170

Would you add the describtors of class, piece and book to the TNA references or use the shortened version?

Ann

AdrianB-Cheshire
AdrianB-Cheshire's picture

If it was me, I'd the words "Piece" and "Book", because sometimes they're not those items. ("Book" is only for the 1841 census, e.g.) I'd not bother with the word "Class" as that's always the top element. Thus:

HO 107, Piece 1127, Book 10, folio 6, p. 4

I'd personally shuffle "William Vero household" up so it comes after "Atherstone" - that way you have all the descriptive names togather.

And I would omit the GSU roll - so far as I can see, it serves no useful purpose to know what the GenSocUtah's microfilm number is. (Of course, if you actually used a GSU film, that's a different matter - but here you're using Ancestry, so why does it matter?)

So that gives:

1841 census of England, Warwickshire, Atherston, William Vero household, HO 107 piece 1127 book 10, folio 6, p. 4, lines 5-15; digital image Ancestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 24 September 2004); citing The National Archives of the UK

In fact thinking about it, I'd put the HO107 ref back where you had it the first time, because they are the TNA references, with the folio (it's stamped on by TNA - usually?) and page:

1841 census of England, Warwickshire, Atherston, William Vero household; digital image Ancestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 24 September 2004); citing The National Archives of the UK, HO 107 piece 1127 book 10, folio 6, p. 4, lines 5-15

My only concern about this format is whether you feel you have enough description in this first bit:

1841 census of England, Warwickshire, Atherston, William Vero household

Certainly the whole thing, with the TNA ref., hits a single household, but if there were another William Vero household in Atherstone, would you think it good enough in the absence of a street-name? That's where I have to bow to EE! experts.

Adrian B (NW England)

EE
EE's picture

Adrian wrote: My only concern about this format is whether you feel you have enough description in this first bit: 1841 census of England, Warwickshire, Atherston, William Vero household

Certainly the whole thing, with the TNA ref., hits a single household, but if there were another William Vero household in Atherstone, would you think it good enough in the absence of a street-name?

The final order that Adrian settled on is a workable one. He also raises a good point, above, when he questioned whether there is enough geographic detail.

Using the Ancestry search engine, in which Ancestry does have William Vero's name rendered correctly, it is possible to hit directly on the right page. However, Ancestry's database misrenders many names. How would we then find our person from the limited details given above?

For example: across the page from the Veros is a family of four children, aged 15, 14, 5, and 5 months. Ancestry identifies them by the surname Stary. Comparing the penmanship with other entries in that set of pages, let's argue (for the sake of argument) that the family name should be Leary.

Now let us say that we have at hand a paper someone has written about orphans in Warwickshire. The author states that, say, the young teens Mary and Ann Leary and two small siblings were living alone in Atherston, Mancetta Parish, at the time of the 1841 census.

We run a database search for them and don't find them under their names—i.e., Mary Leary, Ann Leary, John Leary, and baby Ellen Leary. When we study Ancestry's offering for Warwickshire, we don't find any "Atherston" (or "Atherstone"). We do find Mancetta Parish, but then Ancestry offers 9 different enumeration districts for Mancetta. If the author we are backtracking did not cite the enumeration district, then we would be faced with the task of reading every line of every page of all 9 districts to find the Leary household that appears as Stary in Ancestry's database.

For this reason, EE recommends that the ED number be included in the citation. EE would also make one other counter-suggestion that will be addressed separately.

The Editor

EE
EE's picture

Adrian, in his first comment above, also wrote: 2. Not entirely serious - if you want street cred in UK circles, cut back on the use of the term "city" (grin). I'm not sure what the term generally means in the US, but in the UK it generally means a substantial settlement and lots of your cities sound like our fairly small towns!

Adrian also added, tongue in cheek, that he was "not entirely serious," but then Ann took his advice to heart and left out the jurisdictional term that identifies "Atherstone"—as many researchers do. EE would like to offer another consideration.

In all corners of the globe, residents have "their own particular way of doing things." In every research specialty, practitioners develop shortcuts, shorthand, acronyms, &c &c &c. Using these, will certainly give us "street cred." It leaves others with the impression that we're "in the know."

But what about those who use our work and aren't yet experienced enough to know what we mean? What about those who use our work 100 years from now, when situations are different and jurisdictions have changed? Will they understand exactly what we intend? Or will they jump to a wrong conclusion on the basis of our informational shortcuts?

EE favors the need for clarity over the need to impress others with how "in the know" we are. Adrian's observes correctly that the term "city" may be too often applied to English towns, but there is a way to avoid misunderstanding: Use what the record uses.

If we go back to page 1 of this District 1 where William Vero is found, we see the following jurisdictional hierarchy: Warwickshire, Atherstone Township, Hemlingford Hundred, Mancetter Parish, Enumeration District 1.  EE would consider this the best jurisdictional ID to use, certainly the least. For those who backtrack our work (or if we need to do so at a later date), this would provide all the essential details we need to locate the record or the people.

Similarly, the street name that Adrian recommends would be useful, and would typically be adjoined to the name of the householder.

 

The Editor

agilchrest
agilchrest's picture

With all the input and looking back at the examples in EE p. 303-05 this is the citation I have come up with:

1841 Census of England, Warwickshire, Atherston Township, Hemlingford Hundred, Mancetter Parish, Enumeration District (ED) 1, folio 6, p. 4, lines 5-15, Long Street, William Vero household; digital image, Ancestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 24 September 2004); citing PRO HO 107/1127/10.

I must admit I am not sure that Hemlingford Hundred adds to ones ability to located the record.

Ann

 

AdrianB-Cheshire
AdrianB-Cheshire's picture

Personally, knowing what I know, I'd omit the Hundred because (a) the combination of county and parish suffice in this case and (b) you can't search on Hundred in Ancestry or FindMyPast - so far as I can see.

There are two "Howevers" about this:

(1) However - I know it adds nothing to the heirarchy but as a general rule, unless you want to really dig into English jurisdictions (and I mean English, not Scots, Irish or Welsh), then the idea of just copying out what's there, is a sound way of ensuring you're not going to lose anything. Ann may decide to drop the Hundred after this, but what's she going to do when she finds a Wapentake? A Wapentake is the equivalent of a Hundred in the former Danelaw area of England. There are still other divisions! So copying it all is a simple and safe tactic.

(2) However - with our "burden of ancient history", our placenames end up a mess. My home county of Cheshire has had two civil parishes named Acton, an Acton Bridge and an Acton Grange at various times. I end up distinguishing the two Actons by referring to one as "Acton (near Nantwich)" but I've got the time and reason to delve into this. Sticking the name of the Hundred in, would again provide a simpler quicker way of distinguishing them. And it would quieten those purists who insist that there isn't a placename "Acton (near Nantwich)", it's "Acton". 

Adrian B (NW England)

AdrianB-Cheshire
AdrianB-Cheshire's picture

In general terms - thanks for the comments on my comments. I was trained as a mathematician so, like all the best mathematicians, I can never be bothered to remember dozens of formulae - just a few major ones and the understanding of the principles suffice. Similarly here: a recipe of citation elements bores me - but the explanations above of how someone might want to search for a household again, depending on what I left them, are useful indeed.

By the way - it's a good point that Atherstone should be recorded as "Atherstone Township". A township should not be confused with a town in England. A town is an urban settlement that might spread across several jurisdictions. A township is a jurisdictional area (a division of a parish) that probably contains one or more settlements and usually contains rural areas. So the Vero household might even have been in the countryside around the village of Atherstone but not in the village itself. It might even be the case that, as with my home town of Crewe, the town of Crewe is not in the township of Crewe, but just outside it!

I'm still reluctant to add ED to my descriptive titles though, because (a) if I've given them the full TNA reference right down to folio, page and line number, then that uniquely defines the target and (b) EDs aren't meaningful outside the census. On the other hand, I'm not at all happy about my descriptive titles as they stand, as I think them not specific when looked at without the TNA reference, so I might come round to adding them in.

One last thing - it may not be clear to users of Ancestry's census search engine that New Search allows the use of Piece, Folio, etc. It does - but you have to go to search a single census year for England - you can't do it from searching a census across the UK as a whole, because Scotland is different and doesn't have those items.

Guess what - even I thought that you could only do a Piece, Folio search from Old Search before today. And looking at the 1841 England search on Ancestry - it does allow search on the Hundred! Ooops! Learn something every day...

Adrian B (NW England)

EE
EE's picture

Adrian wrote: "a recipe of citation elements bores me - but the explanations above of how someone might want to search for a household again, depending on what I left them, are useful indeed."

Adrian, you've nailed the most essential part of citation: learning the principles. No cookbook could have a recipe that includes every desired combination of ingredients–not even an 885-page tome. But if we learn the basic principles and methods of cooking and we learn the characteristics of various foods, we can mix and match as needed. This is the purpose of EE: to help researchers understand what they are using and what they are doing.

 

 

The Editor