Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Oh, the Confusing Facts One Finds

Things can become confusing very quickly, if one does not pay close attention to the details and documentation as one goes along. Here is one example:

My great-grandmother, MINNIE BATTY, was born on 9 March 1898, in Manchester, Lancashire, England.

She appears for the first time in the 1901 England Census as a 3-year old living with her grandparents, my 3rd great-grandparents, WILLIAM and ELIZABETH RADCLIFF, and their children, ARTHUR, EMILY, FLORENCE, WILLIAM, and ELIZABETH, on Manchester Rd, Mossley, Lancashire.

But she does not live with her parents.

Her parents, my 2nd great-grandparents, SAMUEL and PAMELA BATTY, are also found in the 1901 England Census, but in an entirely different part of Manchester, the town of MINNIE's birth.

They live there with their other children (her siblings), ELIZABETH, HENRY, JAMES, ELSIE, ELY, and a couple of non-relative boarders at 17 Gibson St, South Manchester. The address is also confirmed with the baptism record for Elsie and Henry on 29 Aug 1900.

The clue is further muddied because MINNIE's grandparents' domicile on Manchester Rd, Mossley, has no house number listed on the Census, while the one in South Manchester does. I cannot determine if other people listed next on the Census list, but not related to the Head of the household, live there or next door.

One can only wonder why a parent would send a child to live in another part of Manchester with her grandparents, who already have a sizable family. One can guess, of course, that the reason is financial, but without serious digging, one might never know.

The 1901 England Census form does not include any indication if the houses are owned or rented, so this is one place an in-depth familiarity with the two locations at the time - or an in-person visit now - would be valuable. Without it, there are only guesses.

It will be interesting to track her living arrangements before her emigration to the United States in 1920. However, for a beginner, this is an important realization. Not all children live with their birth parents, even when both are living.

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