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Any historians/genealogists about?

(28 Posts)
RiftGibbon Tue 17-Nov-20 19:32:46

I'm trying to track my ancestors on the 1911 census to no avail. I thought I'd try using the address at which my grandmother was born in 1904, but on her birth certificate there is no street, just "St.Clement's buildings" which were in/near Holborn (area, not station).
How do I go about finding out where that is? The old maps that I can access to search require a street name.

OP’s posts: |
Partyforone Tue 17-Nov-20 19:36:49

Are these buldings a possibilty?

If you look at census neighbours, it should be possible to find the street address.

AGeeseGoose Tue 17-Nov-20 19:49:09

This is a good resource too. Was there too many results searching with their names?

JohnRokesmith Tue 17-Nov-20 20:20:10

There was a St Clements Buildings on Lever Street, in the Finsbury/Islington area, just to the north-east of Holborn, so probably the most likely location. The buildings date to at least the mid-nineteenth century, and most of the historic structures on Lever Street were lost to slum clearances, so it is unlikely to still be there.

Moooooooooooooooooo Tue 17-Nov-20 20:22:18

Try these maps, they’re very good!

ChristyEpping Tue 17-Nov-20 20:24:08

No luck searching on name/father/mother name combo?

LarkDescending Tue 17-Nov-20 20:28:28

Was there a younger child in the family by 1911? If so, in what district was the youngest child’s birth registered.

If you want to PM names etc I am happy to have a look.

RiftGibbon Tue 17-Nov-20 21:03:58


Are these buldings a possibilty?

If you look at census neighbours, it should be possible to find the street address.

Thankyou, I was found around in circles. I shall take a look at this to see if anything turns up.

OP’s posts: |
RiftGibbon Tue 17-Nov-20 21:06:35

Thanks for all the suggestions here. I have tried looking for all the children separately, parents separately, all together and various likely misinterpretations of their surname.
Shall follow up these options now and report back.

OP’s posts: |
LarkDescending Tue 17-Nov-20 21:11:35

The head of household at 1 St Clements Buildings, Lever St in 1911 is Joseph Henry Wilcox born abt 1856 St Luke’s Middlesex. If you find him you can browse on to other St Clements Buildings households.

RiftGibbon Tue 17-Nov-20 22:04:01

Gah! They're not at the address they were in 1904-5, the Clement's buildings Lever Str is certainly tying in with the right area for them, which I was unaware of so very grateful for that.

My cousin is ordering a birth cert. for a family member born 1909 which should arrive in the next few days so I will wait to see what address is on that and then report back again.

OP’s posts: |
LarkDescending Tue 17-Nov-20 22:39:49

Did they baptise their children? You may be able to get an address feom the baptism register while you await the certificate.

AGeeseGoose Tue 17-Nov-20 22:53:00

Do any of them feature on the 1939 register? I know it’s a while ahead but you may spot the odd detail that would help your search in 1911. You’d think you’d have picked something up from one of their names - was the family overseas, could you try shipping records? One of my ancestors headed to Canada in 1909 and wasn’t on the 1911 census.

RiftGibbon Thu 19-Nov-20 13:30:11

I know they weren't overseas at the time, so currently looking through all the records for the area they most likely lived in. Unfortunately a lot of things are mistranscribed, so I think that may be where the problem lies.
Found school entry records for 1903 and a baptism for 1898 but they are not at either of those addresses.

OP’s posts: |
contrary13 Thu 19-Nov-20 14:39:12

Names might also be wrong. For example, my great-great-great aunt was known as Lily, and is recorded on the 1911 census as being 'Lily' - but her name was actually Nancy Dorothea [surname]. No idea as to how my great-great grandfather and his wife arrived at 'Lily' for her. Also, they had an older daughter who wasn't registered as living with them, and a younger son whose name was Francis or Frank... but he was known as 'Tony'.

Whilst we like to think that the census is believable... in many cases it's simply misleading. How many Jedi Knights were recorded, after all, in the last two?

greyhills Thu 19-Nov-20 14:55:30

I'm not sure, but I think you are putting the cart before the horse when you are searching. You don't need to know the address they were at in order to find them on the census, it is the other way round. You search for one person's name, and then check all the addresses that come up for that name.

Don't narrow down the search criteria too far. For instance don't put in Frederick John Smith, exact age, birthplace Hereford and search only in the area you expect to find them. Just search for all the Frederick Smiths in Herefordshire. Then narrow it down by looking at everyone who is within a couple of years of the right age. Then check the other people in the households. With a common name it might take a while to narrow it down. You might have to check Frederick Smyth, Fred Smith, etc as well.

RiftGibbon Thu 19-Nov-20 15:11:53

grey I have done that honestly. I've looked for variations on surname, firstname, both combined, names of children, variations on names of children, but their names are not showing. The help team at the site I use suggested I try the address if I suspected they were totally mistranscribed.

I've managed to find them on earlier records (without the children I'm looking for - one of whom was my grandmother, born 1904.
As far as I can tell they weren't known by any other names.

OP’s posts: |
AGeeseGoose Thu 19-Nov-20 17:29:00

Have you tried the registers of electors?

greyhills Thu 19-Nov-20 17:34:09

Oh you have come up against a brick wall then! Which site are you using?

A sideways move sometimes helps. Do you know the names of your great-grandparents' siblings or other relations? Sometimes when people disappear, they are on the census living with relatives, and occasionally have been entered under the surname of that household by mistake. I found one lot that way.

RiftGibbon Thu 19-Nov-20 17:46:40

Yes real brick wall.
I have the names of the people I'm looking for (Gt-Grandparents, and Grandmothers siblings). I can find Gt-Gt-Grandmother (Grandmother's grandmother on the census. Her husband is in the workhouse. His name was mistranscribed which made it really difficult to find him). I've searched for other related families they might have been living with (as they were in 1901) but nothing - which is why I ended up looking on the street index as the street name had been wrongly transcribed - and misfiled - in places.

I shall try the register of electors, I think if the certificate my cousin has ordered doesn't turn anything up.

I'm pretty convinced it's a logging/transcription error as I've submitted about 60 corrections in the two days I've been looking, and those are only the more obvious errors.

By 1939 the people I'm looking for were grown and had families of their own. I'm looking at 1911 specifically as it is my grandmother's generation which is rather vague. We weren't close to her so I have no recollection of her telling me anything about her siblings. In turn, her children were not close for many years so I didn't grow up close to my cousins to discuss family history. Stories range from her being 1 of 6 to 1 of 10 children. Most were born 1902-1911, and so fall after the record I do have of them.
Some of them were baptised, I think, but not particularly soon after birth.

If it's any help, I'm using FindMyPast. My cousin is using Ancestry and she can't find them either, which for me reinforces the transcription/logging error.

OP’s posts: |
greyhills Thu 19-Nov-20 19:59:48

Have you considered that the family may be split up and in the workhouse (sorry to mention the idea). The sexes were kept apart.

RiftGibbon Thu 19-Nov-20 20:17:35

It's a possiblility, grey but no record of any of them so far, and they had a child born the following year...
I've had far worse than the workhouse in researching the family history so that's no biggie -obviously for them at the time, though.
The father of the person I'm looking for died in the workhouse in 1920 and was in and out of there for the last 10 years of his life. His mother was living with his siblings nearby(ish) but he isn't there, nor his wife, nor any children.

OP’s posts: |
greyhills Thu 19-Nov-20 20:21:39

An ancestor of mine was born in the workhouse. When you look at how it was in those days, it makes you realise just how much we have to be thankful for, doesn't it?

RedToothBrush Thu 19-Nov-20 20:26:51

Which search site are you using?

I find ancestry a lot harder to find things by address / location because it doesn't seem to search well on that basis.

I've tried searching for exact addresses where i know people are on that census and sometimes struggled to have it come up.

My tip would be to use the person with the most unusual first name in the household and search for them living with another first name and put the surname as initial* with the location and see what you come up with.

This is easier to do with findmypast but not always a total failure for ancestry.

That and searching for the occupation by location isnt an awful workaround. Ive got lucky more than once.

wegetthejobdone Thu 19-Nov-20 20:30:26

I found findmypast (which I got access to free through uni) much more difficult to search than Ancestry, and only used it when they had a data set that wasn't on Ancestry. I would sign up for a free trial for Ancestry and look there instead - although beware the user made family trees as they are often very wrong. For Births, deaths and marriages the free BMD site is easier.

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