Friday, 25 December 2009

Claytons in the 1891 Census

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There is a record of the Clayton family in the 1891 Census, living at 118 New John Street (St Stephen’s Ward). In this record the father of the family is named John Clayton (as opposed to Thomas) but other than this anomaly, the other seven family members listed are all consistent with information we have about them elsewhere in this family history document.

The Census lists the family as follows:

John Clayton aged 50 (therefore born 1841) is Head of the family. He is a Blacksmith and originates from Wolverhampton.

His wife Emma Clayton is 48, she has no profession and was born in Birmingham in 1843.

The first child listed is Alfred, aged 13, an errand boy born in Birmingham (b.1878).

Next is Frank, also listed as a son, aged 10 born in Birmingham (1881). Frank is a scholar.

Then comes Emma Jeenes aged 24, a press worker born in Birmingham in 1867. Emma is listed as a daughter-in-law to the Head of the family, although this is definitely an error as we know that Emma Jeenes was the lady later known as aunty Pem, so she was their daughter.

Next there is a two year old boy named George Jeenes. George is the grandson of the Head of the household. Born in Birmingham in 1889. We know this was Pem’s son.

The final two members of the Clayton household in 1891 were Samuel and Betsy Brookes, who we know were the parents of Thomas’s wife Emma (nee. Brookes). Samuel is 70 in 1891, born in Birmingham in 1821 and described as ’living on own means’. Betsy is 73 in 1891 (born Birmingham in 1818).

Note that there are no references here to the three older Clayton sons, Thomas, Henry William (my great grandfather) or Fred.

The 1891 Census is the last record I have of the family prior to Henry William's marriage to Mary Helen Finn just one year later in Nechells. I have subsequently learnt that Thomas Clayton may have actually originated from Willenhall, near Wolverhampton.


All roads lead to Willenhall: the Clayton family came to Birmingham from the Black Country town of Willenhall in the mid-1800s

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