Monday, August 10, 2009

John Thomas Wilkes in 1911

My great-grandmother was Elsie Wilkes (b1908), the daughter of John Thomas Wilkes (b1878) and Eliza Beatrice Evans (b1881). The Wilkes and Evans families were living in West Bromwich for the second half of the nineteenth century, and I have previously traced the Wilkes line back to the beginning of that century in that area (click on the Wilkes tab for more information). I knew that there were also two older children - John Thomas b1900 who died in infancy, and Polly (b1902). I also believe there to be a youngest son called Albert who I had thought to be born pre 1911. I also knew that the family moved at some point between 1902 and 1911 to Castleford, but I was not sure when.

In the 1911 census, I find John Thomas and Eliza Wilkes living at 5 Grafton Street, Glasshoughton, in a house with 4 rooms. It is a traditional terraced house that the majority of coal miners would have lived in - John Thomas is working as a coal hewer. They have been married for 11 years, which tallies with the marriage certificate that I already have - they also have had 3 children with only 2 surviving. Both Polly and Elsie are listed as having been born in West Bromwich, meaning that the Wilkes family must have moved to Castleford after 1908. This also means that Albert Wilkes must have been born after 1911 and in the Castleford area - there is a reference to an Albert Wilkes being born in the June Qtr of 1912 in the Pontefract district (which includes Castleford) so it is likely that he was born then. I shall also do a post sometime soon about Albert Wilkes's namesake and John Thomas' elder brother Albert Wilkes , a footballer who played for Aston Villa and England.

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