Saturday, 12 November 2011

GRO Births to 1841 Census - Results

Finally I have done it, although I'm sure that I'll find extra's that have been incorrectly transcribed.

What What I hear you cry..... well for the past couple of months I've been working to transcribe the 1841 Census and GRO Births up to 1841. I have done this for the following surnames

            • STEARES
            • STEARS
            • STEERES
            • STEERS
            • STIERS

It appears that the families were only resident in England, with the exception of one family of four who were living in Guernsey

At the taking of the 1841 Census the greatest percentage of person's with the above surnames were resident in Middlesex, followed by Surrey and then Kent. Closely behind is Yorkshire. This would suggest that there are 2 main branches of the name, possibly with different origins?? Either way more research is required.

Table to show distribution of individuals in 1841 Census.

In total there are 445 individuals recorded on the 1841 Census.

According the GRO Births register there were only 51 births between the start of registration in 1837 and Quarter 2 (April, May, June) of 1841. Of these 22 individuals cannot be located on the census, however I managed to 'kill-off' 9 by using the GRO Death entries, leaving a total of 13 who are unaccounted for.

Similarly, there are 22 individuals with an estimated birth date between 1837 and 1841 who are not accounted for on the GRO index. 

For possible reasons behind this I contacted members of the Guild of One Name Studies Forum as I also wanted to know how the more experienced members would deal with such a situation. The following explanations were presented and I've put my thoughts in blue

  • Remember that in 1841 ages were rounded up, or down to the nearest 5 years. Whilst this is true it doesn't account for the youngest individuals that I am missing; these are often babes who's ages were recorded in months, or years under 5.
  • In the early years of registration there were many people who neglected to register the birth. Failure to comply with civil registration did not incur a fine until 1874.
  • The enumerator could have misheard or mistranscribed the family, or missed them completely.
  • They may have left the country.
  • Children could have been registered under one name, but known by another. This still happens in our family. My Uncle John is actually Uncle David John and my Great Grandmother was known as Nellie but her name was actually Mary Ellen.
  • The actual Census may be missing due to fire, or so damaged that they cannot be read. I will have to go through the lists of known missing pieces and double check.
  • Illegitimacy - children could be registered under their mother's name, later adopting their father or step-father's name.
  • It could be a simple case of mistranscription. Different companies use different transcribers. Check from two separate sources if possible. I have used Ancestry for this exercise as I subscribe to this service. Previously I have compare the index figures from the three main sites (Family Search, Find My Past and Ancestry). I found that Ancestry has a much higher instance of STEAR and STEARS recorded than the other two sites so it may be that the surnames are mistranscribed.

    • To date I have a total of 590 individuals in the STEERS ONS.
      • Included in this number are 67 marriages.
    • On the 1841 England & Channel Isle Census there are 445 individuals. 
      • Each census image has been downloaded and saved to the individuals (a total of 204 images).
    • There are 13 individuals from the GRO Birth Register 'missing' from the 1841 census.
    • There are 22 individuals from the 1841 Census with an estimated birth between 1837 and quarter 2 of 1841. It is likely that these were not registered.
    • STIERS was added to my list of variant spellings.