CHESHIRE-L ArchivesArchiver > CHESHIRE > 2009-11 > 1258838755
From: "allen williams" <>
Subject: Re: [CHS] Joseph Price and son, James
Date: Sat, 21 Nov 2009 21:25:55 -0000
References: <8E4D9374BCC04016AC0CB876E94753CD@DJT8PY91><F249433453A84A38BBA1BA6F77724B93@homelaptop> <op.u3rgleaxo2u7rf@one><123CD223F992419C849E24598668208E@DJT8PY91>
You would not be right
> ... in thinking that the place of birth given in one census may not be
> the same given in a later one because the question was asked
> differently? I know the registration districts changed regularly.
The question was always "where born?" or words to that effect. Trouble is,
people interpret that differently, and they don't always interpret it the
same way as they did ten years before. Thus, I was born in Palmers Green,
postal address London N13. Palmers Green is geographically in Middlesex,
and is is now in the London Borough of Enfield but was in the Metropolitan
Borough of Edmonton before that, when I was born. So if someone asks me
that question, I can answer (truthfully) at least 7 ways: Palmers Green,
Middlesex, London, North London, Greater London, Edmonton and Enfield, or
a number of different combinations of these. People in former times might
have answered with the name of the hamlet they lived in, the nearest
village, the ecclesiastical or civil parish (very frequently not the same
thing), the county (and when boundaries changed they often had the choice
of two or more), the nearest town or city, or a current or former local
government area covering their place of birth. Often the farther away from
their place of birth they lived, the more they were inclined to
generalize. I do. To anyone up here, Palmers Green means nothing, so I
usually say Edmonton, but that usually makes them think I am Canadian, so
I often add "Middlesex", even though the County was abolished in 1965. I
try to avoid all mention of London, because I don't identify with it and
I've actually been to London more frequently since I left the area than
when I lived in Greater London.
That is why I am surprised your man evidently told the immigration people
he was a "native" of Stockton, when he clearly wasn't born anywhere near
Stockton-on-Tees, and I think he probably misunderstood the question, or
the questioner got it wrong and asked "Where are you from in England?".
One thing nobody does is tell people what registration district they were
born in, unless it happens to coincide with one of the other places above.
They don't usually have a clue what that is.
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