The 1911 Census
The 1911 census for England and Wales was taken on the night of Sunday 2 April, 1911 -- in every city, town and village, including Pettaugh. It was the first census to be completed by the householder who had to provide names, ages and occupations of the inhabitants, plus the length of marriage, the number of children of that marriage, how many of those children were still living and how many had died.
The number of children who had died in Pettaugh was a shock to me. In Victorian times mortality had been high, but rates went into decline from 1870 - the one exception was infant mortality, which remained stubbornly high. The 1911 census provided a statistical understanding of this problem. A commentator observes, "You start to get massive resources ploughed into infant and child welfare. The infant mortality rates start to decline. A lot of it is health visitors improving nutrition - milk depots where mothers can go and get free milk." More about child deaths below.
The 2011 Census
The 2011 Census took place on 27th March 2011, but because census data is only available to the general public after 100 years has passed, the 1911 census data is the most recent data we are allowed to access. In order to compare 2011 with 1911, and assess the changes in Pettaugh, I have had to carry out a 'back of a fag packet' census, and have used eyes and ears to assess the population -- basically I have counted the number of adults and children under 18 in each household. This has enabled me to compare Pettaugh's population in 1911 with today's residents.
Pettaugh in 1911 Vs 2011
Firstly, some basic data from the 1911 census that is easily compared with 2011:
|Persons per Household||4||2.4|
|Most common surname||Page x31||Davies x8|
|Most common first name||William x12||Andrew x6|
Now for the more difficult bit! There is data on the 1911 census forms that I won’t be able to assess for 2011, (without interviewing every householder, which is never going to happen!), such as live births and deaths, number of habitable rooms, occupations, and place of birth, but one can make a guess at:
Other analysis will follow ...
The 1911 Census in detail
Every householder had to complete a census form (just one page, compared with more than 30 pages in the 2011 census!); this is what it looked like:
The section cut out on the bottom right hand corner of the return was the answer to the question: "If any person included in this schedule is: 1) "Totally deaf" or "deaf and dumb", 2) "totally blind", 3) "lunatic", 4) "imbecile" or "feeble-minded", state the infirmity opposite that person's name, and the age at which he or she became inflicted." This was considered too sensitive to release to the genral public, and was cut out!
Of course, some people would have been wary about people coming into their homes asking about child deaths and marital status. That was quite a sensitive issue. Even asking people how long they had been married was a bit contentious. They may have had children conceived before they married. There was a bit of a trend for people to live as if they were Mr and Mrs but they hadn't taken the formal step. Working-class men were the group most wary of snooping intruders, says Dr Strange. There would have been a degree of suspicion. You have very well-spoken people coming to your house and trying to found out things about you.
But a strength of the 1911 census was that it was the first to be filled in by householders rather than by enumerators. Being able to see an ancestor's actual handwriting is often as pleasing as the information garnered!
Although it was the first census to be completed by the householder, there was an enumerator who checked the forms and entered data onto a summary -- this what his summary for Pettaugh looked like:
For more information, go to:
The enumerator's summary for the whole of Pettaugh (a copy of the original document):
1911 Census Enumerator's Summary - original
A Farmer's Family - The Census Form fiilled in by George Edmund Cutting, Farmer, of The Grove (a copy of the original document, in George Cutting's handwriting)
Cutting, The Grove - original
Pettaugh in 1911 - A spreadsheet created in 2011 from all the original 1911 census sheets, showing each of the 46 households in Pettaugh:
Detail by household - transcription
The Page families -- a spreadsheet created in 2011, showing the 31 people living in 8 households in Pettaugh with the surname 'Page':
Some Pages long since gone -- Photos of some of the gravestones of members of the Page families: Page Graves
Others long since gone -- Photos of some of the gravestones of members of other Pettaugh families: Pettaugh Graves
Pettaugh in 2011 -- The 2011 Census data won't be published until 2111 -- nearly 100 year's time! But in order to
Source of 1911 census data: 1911 census online: http://www.1911census.co.uk/
Analysis and transcription by: Howard Dimmock
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