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20th Century Census

You may have heard that the Public Records Office recently made the 1921 Census available (at least in part, and you have to pay for the detailed records). Well meanwhile I have been working on transcribing another Brompton on Swale census - this one for 1901, the first 20th Century census of the village.

This means that we now have the 1841, 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891 and 1901 Census records for the village available on our Village Census pages (all downloadable in PDF or CSV format). Just click the link and scroll down the appropriate year - then click on the PDF (document) or CSV (spreadsheet) links to download. Watch this space for the 1911 census - next month I hope.

The 1901 census (carried out on April Fools' Day - the 1st) gives an interesting snapshot of the village and it shows a decline in population to 361 souls - well down on the 1891 census (435), as the population falls back to 1881 levels as can be seen in this graph. Generally this was the trend in rural areas as more people became attracted to towns and railways and commerce accelerated.

The North Eastern Railway

As expected in a rural, turn of the century community, there are many people employed on the village farms and in domestic duties but significantly, the biggest single employer is the North Eastern Railway, with 14 people from the village working there. We see a Stationmaster (68 year old John Jeffrey who originated from Lowick in Northumberland), a signaller, porter, clerk, cashier and several others including 3 "platelayers" (who laid and maintained the tracks).

One of the employees was my ancestor Joseph William Hodgson - who was the Station Clerk. Whereas previously we might have expected Joseph to follow in his father William's footsteps and work on the farm at Minto Grange, the railway provided another option and one with "prospects". Joseph was later to transfer to Crossgates station near Leeds when the NER expanded that station and passengers quadrupled in 1902. This level of employment mobility was still quite new at this time.

This photograph of the Crossgates staff in 1903 is likely to include Joseph - but unfortunately I have no idea which one he is! However, it does give a good idea of what NER staff would have looked like at the time. Its hard not to have visions of "Oh! Mr Porter!"

Oldest and Youngest

Other census details show that the oldest resident was 82 year old William Holdsworth, a widower and retired farmer living at one of the cottages near Catterick Bridge. The youngest resident was 1 day old - John George Alderson born on 31 March 1901 - son of Jane and Robert (a Farmer and Carter) who were living on Richmond Road (somewhere not far from Grange Road). Its always a bit difficult to tell where exactly families lived as houses are given a sequential census number that bears no relation to a house number - not that house numbers were common in 1901 anyway Most post of the time was addressed to a named individual on a particular street and . So unless a house has a special name that is recorded (e.g. "Minto Grange", "Clipstone House" or "Hebdon Cottage") it can't always be identified today. The average age of the village in 1901 was 32 which was up from an average age of 27 in 1891.

Immigration? Another interesting chart shows the number of native born "Bromptonians" recorded in each census. We can see a decline over time of those born in the village (blue) and an increase of "outsiders". Initially most of the outsiders are still from Yorkshire somewhere (red), but increasingly we see more residents who come from outside Yorkshire (yellow) and just a small number of Scottish, Irish and Welsh birth.

I hope you find this latest update interesting and useful.

The 1911 census will be coming soon (hopefully next month) and then I'll see what I can make available from the 1921 census (likely to be a summary only until if becomes free).

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