Persistence Pays

I have had a long standing problem: on the 1841 census Joseph and Nancy (nee Nutter) of Thornhill by Dewsbury have 3 lads living with them: Miles aged 15, Joseph 6 and Edward 2. The 1841 does not state relationships to the head of the household (that starts with the 1851 census). So who are these lads? There are no other census entries, baptisms, or birth, marriage and death registrations for any such lads named Micklethwaite.


In explaining this to my wife, we realised that it was most likely that the lads were not called Micklethwaite but the enumerator had assumed that they were. It seemed probable that they were grandchildren. The most likely candidate for their mother is Joseph’s daughter, Sally, who married William Twedle in 1831. A search of the records showed that Joseph and Edward were indeed Twedle or Tweedale – it’s not just the Micklethwaite name that gets mangled by record keepers! Further digging showed that Edward had married his cousin, Nancy Micklethwaite, daughter of Sally’s brother George. Edward and Nancy didn’t marry until after Sally’s death – was there was some opposition to the marriage from his mother or did they meet at her funeral?


Even more digging showed up a Mills Nutter of the right age and location – his name was sometimes recorded as Miles, but on the census image it doesn’t look like either Miles or Mills! I haven’t investigated further but it seems reasonable to assume he is Nancy’s nephew or great-nephew – I’ll leave looking into that to those researching the Nutter family.

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