Peter Woolcock (Sr), b. 1824 in St Ives, married Fanny Veale, b.1828 in St Ives. They married on 19 Jun 1853 in St Ives.
1861 census shows them, aged 37 and 33, living in Norway, St Ives, with three children: Peter (6), Fanny Jr (2) and Joanna H (1 mth). Peter Sr is a fisherman. No problem so far.
1881 census has Peter and Fanny still in St Ives, aged 57 and 54, living at The Beach. Peter Sr is still a fisherman. Fanny Jr (22) and Joanna (20) are there, plus two younger children: Mary V (16) and Anthony (10). All very straightforward.
But I draw a blank with the in-between census of 1871. There is a Peter Woolcock living at The Beach, but he's only 41, not 47. And his wife is Kath (44), not Fanny - right age but wrong name.
But oddly enough, most of the children listed as the sons and daughters of these two are right for Peter and Fanny. We have Peter Jr (15) and Fanny Jr (12). There's a Mary V okay, but she's 10 instead of 6, and a recent arrival, Anthony, who's 1. There's also a newcomer, another 10-year-old 'daughter' with a name I can't read but possibly Sophiana. A twin to Mary V, perhaps?
Could this be just slapdash formfilling by the enumerator, or could there be some other explanation? Tis a mystery!
Census ages can be a real problem. I have one chap he gets older and younger with respective censuses, so much so I based his age on the wedding cert and was done with it! I also have one case of someone who may have been lying deliberately in order to be "of age" to marry.
Even baptisms can't always be relied on, I tend to "assume" baptism corresponds to year of birth but I have a couple of instances where it doesn't, by a good couple of years.
As for the census, well the census taker had to take down the information "orally" and depending on who was answering the questions it might have led to confusion. Imagine answering similar questions about your large Victorian family off the top of your head- poor numeracy and literacy didn't help either. I have one case where Allen male should actually be Ellen female and makes me suspicious as to who was answering the questions and who was in the house at the time!!!
As one brickwall falls another bugger puts one up!!!!!!!!!!!!
Post by Cornish Terrier on Sept 14, 2010 13:41:50 GMT -5
A good point about the baptisms Mal.
A baptism will sometimes occur on the actual day of birth - usually for a child not expected to survive but probably also somtimes simply because the birth happened to coincide with the Vicar being in town.
But usually it was days, weeks or months before a child was baptised and quite often it could be years.
Just because you find two or three children for one family baptised on the same day it does not mean they were twins or triplets!
Where possible you should check the Census which should show the difference in ages.
And then there is always FreeBMD which can give some clues.
But to emphasise the point a little more ......................
I recently transcribed a Baptism Register and on one particular page there were EIGHT chilren from the SAME FAMILY baptised on the same day!
Certainly not all born on the same day (or in the same year!) but no dates of birth were recorded!