Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Thomas Curley - 1911 census


My grandfather Cornelius Curley's parents were Thomas Curley and Mary Driscoll. Thomas Curley's parents were Thomas Curley (b1859) and Jane Hennigan (b1863). I have a longer post detailing what I have found out about Thomas here.

In short this is what I know:

- he was born in 1859 to Michael and Margaret Curley in Birmingham.

- in 1861, aged 2, he is living in Greens' Hill, Birmingham with his parents. He is the eldest child with a younger brother John.

- in 1871, living on Bath Row, Birmingham with his parents and 3 more younger siblings (Mary Ann, Jane, William - John is not listed)

- in 1881, his father has died and Thomas is living with his mother and five younger siblings (Michael and John in addition to 1871) at Myrtle's Row, Birmingham. He is now a spoon and fork polisher.

- he married Jane Hennigan on 24th Feb 1888 at St. Catherine's Church, Birmingham. Thomas' occupation was spoon polisher and he lived on Beak Street.

- in 1891 I cannot find him with 100% certainty (see previous post above). This would be the census where I should find him living with his son Thomas (my great-grandfather).

- in 1901, he is living on Hackers Bldng, Holliday Street and is a jeweller's polisher and has 6 children - Mary Ann, Margaret, Jane, Jonah, Michael, William P.

- on the 26 Dec 1904, he is present at the marriage of his son Thomas Curley to Mary Driscoll and his occupation is described as metal polisher. His son's residence is 3 Holliday Street.
In order to fill in the gaps of Thomas' life I shall need to get the birth and marriage certificates of some of his children, as well as get church records.

What the 1911 Census says

I managed to find Thomas still living on Holliday Street. He is living with Jane and he says that they have been married for 30 years (it was actually 33 years by this time). The children living with him are Jane 19, Jonah 13, Michael 11, William 9, Bernard 8, Peter 6 and Martin 1. Jane Hennigan was 49 years old at this point ! Thomas is described as a spoon and fork polisher, working in a factory.

The census also says that Thomas and Jane had only 7 children all of whom are alive - I know that they had had more by this time, so I'm thinking that they did not completely understand the question and just put down how many children were living at their house, not how many they had had in their marriage.

This census matches very nicely with the 1901 census, meaning that I can now list the children as:

Thomas b1884-5?
Mary Ann b1885
Margaret b1891
Jane b1893
Jonah b1899
Michael b1900
William b1901/2
Bernard b1903
Peter b1906
Martin b1910

From family information, there were also children called John and James - these may be the older children on the 1891 census where I think I've found Thomas with his parents but I'm not sure. This census lists the children as being - John b1879, Thomas b1886, James b1888 and Margaret b1890. The children's names match family information and the birth dates are within an acceptable margin of error, but unfortunately there is no Mary Curley despite her being aged 4 years old or so at this time. Also the father's name is William (not Thomas). I thought that this might be an error made by the enumerator (which is possible) as his age and occupation are both correct and Jane's name and age are correct - but it is possible that there was another Curley family with the same wife's name and many of the same children's names with similar birthdates living in the same area !. I'll have to dig around to be more certain.

The nicest thing about the 1911 census is that it confirms that the family living on Holliday Street are my Curleys, as at Thomas's wedding in 1904 he was living at the same address as the family are living in 1911.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Cornelius Curley - 1911 census

I have just found out about the early release of the 1911 census. I thought that I would get what information I could from it, as my writing up of my older genealogy information is on the back burner. I'm not sure why clicking on the census images doesn't make them bigger - i'm working on that.

I have found my grandfather Cornelius Curley (b1905) living in Birmingham in the 1911 census
with his younger brother John Thomas (b1907-8?) and sister Doris Mary (b 1909). At least 9 more sons were born to their parents (Thomas Curley and Mary Driscoll) after this date - at least that I'm aware of. I also believe an elder sister, Mary was born in around 1906-7 but did not survive. The background to the family is here and here [or just to click on the CURLEY tab on the sidebar to get all relevant info].

To shed extra light on how many children Thomas and Mary had, this census has three columns that state: 1) number of children born alive, 2) number of children still living, 3) number of children who have died. Thomas entered '3' for all 3 columns and then appeared to cross out the last one for the number who died. Meanwhile, it appears that the enumorator has drawn an arrow from the '6' in the column of "number of years of marriage" into the cell that has "number of children born alive". Unfortunately, this muddies the waters - did Thomas and Mary have 6 children in 6 years of marriage and only 3 survived until 1911? did they have 4 children and only Mary died (as I had previously believed), or did they only have 3 and all survived? I don't know the answer to this yet.

The occupation of Thomas is given as a cycle polisher as per the birth certificate of Doris Curley in November 1909 on this birth certificate. Mary is additionally described here as being employed in domestic work.

Interesting information is given about where they were living - they are at 22 Tennant Street, Birmingham, and their house has apparently 3 rooms in total. This information is signed by Thomas Curley. In November 1909 they had been living at 7 Back 88 Bishopsgate Street, but it was not uncommon for poor people like the Curleys to move around and anyway Tennant Street comes off of Bishopsgate Street (Tennant Street runs parallel with Broad Street in the middle of Birmingham).

Here is a picture of Thomas and Mary Curley with several of their children. Cornelius in standing on the top row, second from the left. 3rd and 4th from the left are John and Doris.

This is interesting extra information - though the major steps in the Curley research would be for me to fill in a lot of gaps - e.g. I can't find Thomas Curley in the 1901 census, and I have not yet gotten any church records for the Curley family.