1881 UK Census

Amended 6th June 2009

How many bore the Gidman surname

Just 254, or thereabouts.  This includes some who were on the original Census page incorrectly: two as Goodman, four as Gidsman and six as Gibson.  On the LDS CD, five people in Bolton are transcribed incorrectly as “Gidmore” and three in Knutsford are shown as “Yeoman”.  There could still be one or two more within the 9000 transcribed as Goodman or another spelling.  Conversely, a family of four were not actually Gidman; Thomas was two when Hugh married Mary NELSON; in census pages he was called Gidman up to 1881 but in 1891 and 1901 he reverts to the name NELSON, as  the births of his children are registered. 

Where they lived

They are nearly all in the Upper Midlands and the North West of England.  Only one family of 7 people had moved South, to Buckinghamshire and a couple had gone down to Sussex with their employer.  Otherwise they are in these counties:-

  • In Cheshire there are 18 families with 83 people.
  • In Lancashire there are 16 families with 101 people.
  • In Staffordshire there are 10 families with 44 people
  • In Shropshire there are 3 families with 13 people.

{Click for Maps page below}

  • Four individuals were elsewhere:-
  • Near Leicester a boy was living with his grandmother and a farm worker was in lodgings.
  • Robert Monks, a soldier from Bolton, was in barracks in Northampton
  • Mary Ann, 32, also from Bolton, was incarcerated in the HM Female convict prison in Fulham, London.  Ten years previously she was in a Manchester prison; as she was then about 20 her life must have been grim.  She must have done something pretty horrendous, you might think.  Not at all, but she did have a weakness for other peoples belongings:
    • In 1864, no doubt led astray by the 16 year old charged with her, they stole a pair of boots and a pair of shoes.  For this - at 13 and a factory worker - she received six months with hard labour in a House of Correction.
    • In 1870 she stole eight shillings [40p but obviously worth more then].  She received one year with hard labour to be served in Salford.  The Prison Governor died shortly after she was there and it was said of him:    
      Captain Thomas Henry Mitchell, governor of the Salford Hundred County Gaol, in Strangeways, died suddenly, Aug. 17, 1872 aged 72 years. He held the office of governor for twenty-four years. He was a strict disciplinarian, and discharged the duties of his office to the entire satisfaction of the visiting justices
      Perhaps Mary Ann could attest to his severity.
    • In 1873 it was four shillings, a purse and a bag.  Twelve months with hard labour and a four year Police Supervision Order.
    • In 1880 it was one coat, I repeat one coat, for which she was sentenced to five years penal servitude.  No doubt the fact that the coat belonged to one Major Slater, as well as her previous offences, influenced the Judge.  In the 1881 census only two pages away from Mary Ann is Constance Emilie [Emily] Kent who had confessed to the gruesome murder of her 3 year old half brother in 1860.  They may of course have been in separate wings but it is quite extraordinary to imagine that for two such disparate crimes the two could find themselves in the same place.
    • The death of a Mary Ann aged “33” was registered in Bolton in 1886; she died on 4th April 1886.  She must have been thoroughly debilitated.

I am very grateful to Lillian TINSLEY for going to the Bolton archives and reading through the Calendars of Prisoners at Bolton Quarter Sessions 1860 - 1880.  Her husband Dennis is descended from Alice who married Thomas LOWE in 1871.
The crime of Constance Kent has recently been described in “The suspicions of Mr Whicher OR the murder at Road Hill House” by Kate Summerscale [expanded in the paperback edition 2009].

Heads of Households who do not live in the county in which they were born

Only three living in Lancashire were not born there – a Henry was from Shropshire (place unspecified but in the Market Drayton register), a Hugh was born in Macclesfield, Cheshire and an Edward in Burton near Tarporley, Cheshire.  Migration to Lancashire from Cheshire had started in the 18th Century.

Conversely, two living in Cheshire hail from Lancashire but both are a boundary fluke rather than a significant movement – Thomas of Altrincham is from Manchester and unmarried Jane of Bredbury is from Denton.

Another Thomas, living in Shropshire is from Staffordshire.

Two of the older Heads in the survey live in Staffordshire with their families.  Thomas, 75 and Joseph, 66 were both Cheshire born.  

Daniel and Joseph also live in Stafford having been born in Cheshire.

John in Buckingham is from Cheshire.

Martha,71 living in Cheshire was born “Bradwell, York” in the transcription but I have now seen the page and it is in Derbyshire.  A mystery is 30 year old William shown as born “Atchimore, Wales” which I have not yet traced [in 1891 he says “Wales” and in the 1901 census he gave “NK Cheshire” so he may not have moved far at all].


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