Sunday, 21 February 2010

Patrick Finn in the 1891, 1881 , 1871 and 1861 Census for Birmingham

Further to the research outlined below provided by Jamie Evans, here are records of Patrick Finn from the census from 1861 to 1891. Only in the 1871 census are there two Patrick Finns in Birmingham and strangely both were born in the same year, both had wifes named Catherine (or Kate) and both had very simililarly named children including a Winifred in both families).

The 1891 census record is the one which Jamie highlights contains a daughter and her children with the surname Ratchford. The 1881 census record is the one highlighted to me by Ian Payne several years ago who told me that Patrick Finn was the brother of Martin Finn who was father of my g-g-grandfather Thomas Finn and his own g-grandfather James Finn. So does Patrick Finn provide the answer as to our American connection?

1891 Census

Person: FINN, Patrick


Address: Court 5 House 5, Lancaster Street, Birmingham

FINN, Patrick Head Married M 56 1835 Bricklayers Labourer Ireland


FINN, Cathorine Wife Married F 52 1839 Ireland

FINN, Mary Daughter Single F 37 1854 Spoon Tinner Birmingham

FINN, Annie Daughter Single F 23 1868 Press Worker Birmingham

RATCHFORD, Ellen Daughter Married F 30 1861 Spoon Polisher Birmingham

RATCHFORD, John Grandson M 8 1883 Birmingham

RATCHFORD, James Grandson M 3 1888 Birmingham

RATCHFORD, Thomas Grandson M 1 1890 Birmingham

 
1881 census - household transcription


Person: FINN, Patrick

Address: 8 C 1h, Lench St, Birmingham

1881 census - household transcription


Person: FINN, Patrick

Address: 8 C 1h, Lench St, Birmingham

FINN, Patrick Head Married M 55 1826 Labourer

Galway Ireland

FINN, Catherine Wife Married F 50 1831

Mayo Ireland
FINN, Mary Daughter Single F 29 1852 Tinner

Wellington Shropshire

FINN, John Son Single M 24 1857 Labourer Bricklayer

Birm Warwickshire

FINN, Catherine Daughter Single F 19 1862 Button Stamper

Birm Warwickshire

FINN, Ann Daughter Single F 13 1868 Button Stamper

Birm Warwickshire


8 C 1h, Lench St, Birmingham County: Warwickshire


1871 census - household transcription


Person: FINN, Patrick

Address: London Prentice Street, Birmingham

FINN, Patrick Head M 44 1827 Ireland

FINN, Catharine Wife F 40 1831 Ireland

FINN, Mary Daughter F 19 1852 Shropshire

FINN, Winefred Daughter F 17 1854 Cheshire 

FINN, John Son M 14 1857 Warwickshire 

FINN, Ellen Daughter F 12 1859 Warwickshire

FINN, Catharine Daughter F 9 1862 Warwickshire 

FINN, Julia Daughter F 6 1865 Warwickshire 

FINN, Ann Daughter F 3 1868 Warwickshire 

FINN, Martin Son M 0 1871 Warwickshire 

London Prentice Street, Birmingham County:

Warwickshire



1871 census - household transcription


Person: FINN, Patrick

Address: Brickiln Street, Birmingham


FINN, Patrick Head M 44 1827 Ireland

FINN, Kate Wife F 37 1834 Ireland 

FINN, Mary Ann Daughter F 18 1853 Worcestershire

FINN, Mary Daughter F 15 1856 Worcestershire 

FINN, John Son M 14 1857 Worcestershire

FINN, Winifred Daughter F 12 1859 Worcestershire

FINN, Thomas Son M 8 1863 Worcestershire

FINN, Kate Daughter F 6 1865 Worcestershire

FINN, James Son M 3 1868 Warwickshire


Address:

Brickiln Street, Birmingham County:

Warwickshire


1861 census - household transcription


Person: FINN, Patrick

Address: 3, Brickiln Street, Birmingham

FINN, Patrick Head Married M 32 1829 Labourer

Ireland
FINN, Caroline Wife Married F 27 1834

Ireland

FINN, Mary Daughter F 8 1853

Kidderminster 

FINN, Margaret Daughter F 6 1855

Kidderminster 

FINN, John Son M 4 1857

Kidderminster 

FINN, Winiford Daughter F 0 (6M) 1861

Kidderminster

FINN, John Lodger Widower M 56 1805 Labourer

Ireland

Birmingham Address:

3, Brickiln Street, Birmingham County:

Warwickshire

Making sense of these Census records

Sometimes census records can appear very mind boggling, especially when we are presented with large families occuring in sequential census records with similar names, ages and other facts, but also sometimes containing notable differences. The census records above provide an interesting example of families who on first viewing seem like the same family but under closer scrutiny appear to be two different families. When trying to identify families in sequential census records we have to take into account other factors such as mis-spelt or misheard names, slight differences in year of birth, rounding off of birth years as a standard procedure in early census records, infant and childhood deaths, people moving out of families at a young age, daughters in particular moving back into families with a married name and children having the married name , etc. We also have to take into account that the person transcribing the old records may mis-read the scrawled handwriting of a hundred years ago, thus a Catherine might become a Caroline, a Margaret becomes a Mary, etc.

But even taking into account these variants, it is still generally possible to identify the same family in different decades usually because the patterns of our matches become so obvious.

One way of analysing these records in order to identify such matches is through a table in which we can systematically compare the members of each family and their birth dates. In terms of the Finns it becomes quickly obvious that these records contain at least two different families, for starters in the 1871 census there are two different couples named Patrick and Catherine Finn with their families at two seperate addresses (Brickiln Street and London Prentice Street). It then becomes a case of trying to match the families in the earlier and later census records with one or both of the 1871 families.

In the table below (click for a close-up view) it seems that the 1861 family is the same one as the family at Brickiln Street in 1871, firstly because the street address is the same, secondly because there are obvious matches in the sequence of the children and thirdly because many of the children were born in Kidderminster and Worcestershire.

However, the family recorded in the 1881 census would appear to be the same one recorded at London Prentice Street in 1871 because, again, there are matches in the order of children and also because Shropshire occurs as the place of birth of some of the children. The family in the 1891 also appears to have matches in terms of the order of children with the 1881 and 1871 family (also bear in mind that many of the children listed of 1871 will be adults by 1891 and therefore gone from the family) though there is a notable difference in the ages of the parents (Patrick and Catherine) and also no mention of Shropshire as a birth place for children.

As for John Finn of Weaman Street, who is the man we are most trying to identify as he is an important jigsaw piece in the Cleveland, Ohio connection, whilst he seems to be one of the most consistant figures throughout the whole table in terms of his recurrent birth year (1857), unfortunately it is so consistant that he could be from either of the two families. The one factor which might help us here is that the John listed with his wife at Weaman Street in 1901 was a bricklayer, as was the younger man in the 1881 census. John's birth, marriage and death certificates may contain other facts which will help us to place him with one of these two families.

Incidentally, a couple of additional questions also arise from the fact that at least two different families are identified in this table. Firstly, were the families themselves related to each other? Perhaps the two Patrick Finns were cousins. Secondly, what happened to the first of these families after 1871? Where did the Finn family of Brickiln Street go to by 1881?


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