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.

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