Home Forums Family History 1861 UK Census in Slaithwaite – Relationship Definitions

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    • #35890
      Helen McCarthy

      Hello All, I am looking at the census records for 1861 for an Ann SHAW, who was born on 23 September 1851 in Slaithwaite. Ann is the daughter of Joseph SHAW and Grace HOYLE. Ann’s mother Grace died on 18 May 1853 in Slaithwaite when Ann was still a baby.

      The census record for 1861 that I believe to be “my” Ann SHAW has her living at Hill Top, Slaithwaite with the SYKES family (Folio 52, Piece 3244). It is the relation of Ann to the family and the occupation that I don’t understand. Ann is referred to as “nurse” in both the relation to the head of the household and as her occupation. Ann would have been about 9 years old at the time of the census.

      In 1861 would this mean that the family was “nursing” Ann, or is Ann performing a duty described as a nurse? Any insight into the definition of a nine year old nurse would be appreciated.

      Thank You and Best Wishes
      Helen M293

    • #35988
      Susan Hutson

      Hello Helen, I hope you are both keeping well (I see you sometimes on Saturdays at the Root Cellar). Plenty of time for our family history now!

      I have had a look at the record, and I do think that Ann will be acting as a ‘nurse’ to one year old Geoffrey Sykes, the son of the family she is living with. It will be loosely as a help to the mother rather than in the way we think of it now. Similar, I suppose, to the way 8 year old children were working in mills at the time, they were expected to contribute to their upkeep. Hope that helps,

      Take care,

    • #35989
      Helen McCarthy

      Hi Susan, thank you for your reply. We are both very well and in high spirits. We are rather enjoying the novelty of both being at home, but I don’t know if that will last if the restrictions are in place for a long time.

      I think you will be right about Ann. I was just getting confused as I have another ancestor in London who is described as a “nurse child” which I think is a completely different thing. He is Charles Weppner (transcribed as Charles Wapner / Wagner depending where you look) of Lumber Court, St Giles, Folio 158, piece 212.

      I was trying to make the two children relationships have the same meaning which I now think is an error on my part.

      Thank you and take care

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