Archiver > BRISTOL_AND_DISTRICT > 2007-11 > 1195468259

From: Josephine Jeremiah <>
Subject: Re: [B&D] ages at census?
Date: Mon, 19 Nov 2007 10:47:21 +0000 (GMT)

On 19 Nov, Mike Palmer <> wrote:

> I would always put more trust in the first census after birth (except UK
> 1841!), especially if the age is given in months.

> Apart from people actually forgetting their spouse's age, or their own,
> when they are older, they may also have some reason for pretending that
> they are older or younger than they really are.

Hi Listers,

I found that my Bristol-born 2x great-grandmother told the truth about her
birthplace in the first census after she was married and from thereafter,
in the four censuses from 1871-1901, she stated that she was born in either
Merthyr Tydfil or Dowlais in Glamorgan.

This led me a right merry dance when I first started researching my family
history, plus the fact that she gave the same age in the 1901 census as she
did in the 1891 census, thus making herself younger by 10 years.

When she died, in 1917, her death certificate and the inscription on her
grave show her to be 10 years younger than she really was. I can almost see
her making up her mind at the turn of the century to lose that 10 years!

As Viv says, you really can't believe all the information given in the
census or at registration!

I tried to help someone recently (who is not on this list) who believed
that the age at death and age at censuses of an ancestor were absolutely

I tried to give this person the right direction to take and, in fact, had
baptisms and marriages already lined up to show the right family and that
the age of the ancestor had been out be a few years at census time, but my
correspondent must have thought my input wasn't worth pursuing and never
responded. Such a pity as I could have taken that family quite a way
backwards and even passed on details of other people researching one of the
associated families.


Josephine's Books, Ian's Pages, The Clutton 'Do' and
the Glamorganshire Canal.

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