For general information see
Introduction to Census Returns

The Exploring Family History Tutorial

The 1851 & 1861 Census

Midnight Sun/Mon 30/31st March 1851

Midnight Sun/Mon 7/8th April 1861

Task: From the information we have gathered on Mary Town from the 1871 census (view) and her marriage certificate (view) find any earlier census references.

In previous Ancestry searches we have looked at single searches. On this occasion we use the opening form to search all the Ancestry Collections

First Name Mary
Last Name Town
Birth Year 1841
Country England
County Middlesex

The top two entries in a ranked search relate to our Mary Town in the 1861 and 1851 census:

1861 - 52 Fore Street, St Giles without Cripplegate, Middlesex

George Colliver Servant Unmarried 21 Shopman Whitechapel, St Mary, Middlesex
Charles Braem Servant Unmarried 16 Shopman St Johns, Westminster, Middlesex
Mary Town Servant Unmarried 20 General Servant St Luke, Middlesex

It would appear that the head of the household was away at the time of the census, and the two "shopmen" would suggest that the property was also a shop. It may be possible to identity the shop, and Mary's employer, from contemporary London Trade directories.

1851 - 17 Lizard Street, St Luke Old Street, Middlesex

William Town Head Married 39 Cellarman & Chandler Broomfield, Kent
Maria Town Wife Married 39   Edmonton, Middlesex
Maria Town Daughter   15   Aldgate, Middlesex
Mary Town Daughter   10 Scholar St Luke, Middlesex
Sarah Town Daughter   8 Scholar St Luke, Middlesex
Eliza Town Daughter   5 Scholar St Luke, Middlesex
Susannah Town Daughter   2 Scholar St Luke, Middlesex

William Town's occupation suggests he may have worked in a local inn, and was responsible for the supply of provisions and drink. The Elizabeth Town who could not write her own name when she witnessed Mary Town's marriage (view) may have been the Eliza Town in the census.

Result of Investigation

The information gathered provides a good basis for further research on the Town family, but this is outside the scope of this tutorial.


Exploring Family History Tutorial

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Page created November 2005