Census taking

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Census taking

Postby Katykat » Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:40 pm

Were census records sometimes recorded at the local workhouse? I have a family headed by George Sherwood, married Mary Prowdler/ Proudler in Shifnal, Shropshire in 1858. Their first child’s birth in 1859 was registered at the Wellington Union and every one after, right up to their last one in 1878 ( they had 11 plus one that Mary had before marriage.) However, the census records don’t back this up. In 1861& 1871 their residence was Oakengates, 1881, was Wombridge. I found the Wellington workhouse census for 1861 and they’re not on it ( although it does state long term inmates). I can’t think of any explanation. Mary died in Wellington ( no mention of Union in 1889 and George in 1892, again just Wellington.
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Re: Census taking

Postby SRD » Wed Aug 14, 2019 6:54 am

Workhouses were included in the census. But each census was only a snapshot as to who was actually in the premises on the night of the census, it doesn't mean they were permanent residents there.
I'm not sure what you mean by 'registered at the Wellington Union' but it could be that the registration district was named after the area covered by a particular Union (not necessarily actually in the Workhouse itself) but if you have workhouse records showing the births it may be that the mother went into the workhouse to give birth (workhouses were also health centres) or it may be that, although the mother was a long term resident the children were adopted/fostered by families outside the workhouse.
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Re: Census taking

Postby BC Wench » Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:29 am

The birth registration on the GRO index for the first child in 1859 states Wellington (Salop) Union. It doesn't mean that the child was actually born in the Workhouse.

When a child was born in the workhouse, the workhouse master would register the birth at the nearest register office where the workhouse was situated. It doesn't differentiate on the GRO whether a child was born at home or in the workhouse. On the birth certificate it will say if the child was born in the workhouse. Some years later it wouldn't state on a birth certificate that the child was born in the workhouse as the workhouse would have been given an actual address.

As an example, Dudley Union Workhouse covered the parishes of Dudley, Sedgley, Tipton and Rowley Regis with the address later on being given as 10 Burton Road. So, I would have thought that "Union" in your case would have covered various parishes in the Shropshire area as SRD has said. It's all to do with the Poor Law Acts and Board of Guardians.
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Re: Census taking

Postby Katykat » Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:27 pm

Thanks folks. I have researched this a little today and came to the same conclusion. I was curious as to whether it would be correct that a couple could spend ALL their married life in the workhouse AND conceive 12 children.
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