Missing Micklethwaite Children

In his recent newsletter, Peter Calver at LostCousins described the “fertility” questions on the 1911 census – a married woman is asked to record how many children she had and how many are still alive. So a genealogist can look at this number and can compare it with the number he or she has recorded. My efforts are described below.

Incidentally, if you are interested in family history and haven’t registered with LostCousins, please do consider it. It’s well worthwhile as, although you don’t get contacts without quite a lot of hard work in entering your ancestors and their cousins, the contacts you do get are of good quality. Also, Peter’s newsletter is an excellent and informative read. You don’t have to pay money and subscribe, although that does help the business, you can just register. If you do decide to join, please let me refer you – I get “brownie points”!

So how did I do for missing children – I found 51 missing Micklethwaites in my One Name Study. Most had just 1 or sometimes 2 missing, but one family (Tom and Ann nee Newsam) had 13 children of which only 3 were alive in 1911. I only have 5 of their children in my database, so 8 are missing. Interestingly, this information was supplied in error by Ann (as Tom had died) as the census asked for married women to enter the information, not widows, and the enumerator usually crossed out widows entries, including this one. Tom’s family are on several public trees on Ancestry, but none of them have more than the 5 children I have.

The difficulty is relating the children who are missing with the children I have who are unattached. I have registration data, for births and deaths, but the index does not specify parental details, which can’t be found without buying the certificates (the birth index improved in 1912 by including the mother’s maiden name). Sometimes, baptisms can be found. Some burial details can also occasionally be found. Just occasionally, just one birth happens in a place where one child is missing. But the majority look set to remain missing.

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