MANSELL, Colney Heath & Derbyshire, Late 19th Century
One very relevant thing which you failed to mention is the older Mansell children were born in Derbyshire, the oldest being Amy. who was 12 in the 1891 census. This suggests a marriage about 1877 - but why had the couple (individually or as a couple) moved to Derbyshire - and where would the marriage have taken place? My first quick search for the marriage, or William and Mary and Amy in the 1881 census proved negative (but see below).
However the link with Derbyshire could be very relevant and adds considerable interest to the marriage. A number of agricultural labourers from the area to the north and east of St Albans moved to Derbyshire in 1873 as the result of an agricultural strike in the adjacent parish of Sandridge. Most of the strikers were sacked and the National Agricultural Labourers' Union helped find the dismissed men new work. Some emigrated, but a number moved to Derbyshire (see advert) where wages were better because of the number of agricultural workers who had left the land to work in the mills. I researched the strike some years ago as at least one of my relatives was a farmer who dismissed his farm labourers, and for some years I have been trying to find out if my great grandfather, Jacob Reynolds, had workers who went on strike and were sacked. (One of the strike meetings took place on Bernards Heath common - which was virtually surrounded by his farm.)
A check of the 1881 census for anyone called Mansell born in Hertfordshire and living in Derbyshire produced two relevant households in Ilkeston (which is in the registration district of Basford):
George Mansell, a 28 year old agricultural worker born at "Coneheath," Herts. His wife and 9 year old son William were also born at "Coneheath," Herts, but their other children, headed by 6 year old George was born at Ilkeston, Derbyshire
Joseph Mansell, a 29 year old platelayer was also born at "Coneheath," Herts. His wife was born in Derbyshire, but as their only child was 6 months old he had probably only been married a short time.
If we could only find him in the 1881 census William Mansell should have been 25, born Colney Heath, Herts, and presumably living somewhere in Derbyshire. Could three brothers, Joseph, George and William all have lost their jobs in the 1873 strike and moved together to Derbyshire? A search of the 1871 census for Hertfordshire shows a 20 year old Joseph, 15 year old brother William, both born Colney Heath, and other members of the family, including their parents. They were living in the rural part of the parish of St Peters, about halfway between Colney Heath and the southern edge of the parish of Sandridge. It is therefore likely that the young men, including your William Mansell, were involved in the strike and moved to Ilkeston as a result of the advert shown in the box.
Revisiting FreeBMD I find that a William Mansell married in the Basford registration district of Derbyshire in 1873 - suggesting that when he left Hertfordshire his wife to be went with him or followed shortly afterwards - so you should have no difficulty in buying the marriage certificate and finding out Mary's maiden name and the name of her father. From that you should be able to find Mary and her family in the St Albans area in the 1871 census. You could also get Amy's birth certificate - which will also give Mary's maiden name - and the address where they were living when she was born - perhaps helping to find the family in the 1881 census. If you are lucky Amy's baptism may be indexed on familysearch - and this might help locate any older siblings born between the marriage in 1873 and Amy's birth. Details of how to carry out the relevant searches, etc. to get more details are given in the tutorial.
If you can add to the information given above tell me.
Page created March 2007