The census can be a great tool for tracking your family history through the years. Our January Passport to the Past event focused on what the census could tell us about one women. The full event is available on our YouTube channel here!
Living in Chadstone Lodge in Northampton Mary Robinson first appears on the 1871 census at age 3, along with her parents Mary Elizabeth and James White Robinson and two younger sisters Margaret and Edith Maria.
From the 1881 census we can learn that Mary is now 13 and has four more younger siblings James, Ethel, Katherine and Louisa. The family have now moved to Waterfall Farm in Northampton. Mary is still living at the family farm in the 1891 census and is not listed as employed.
A lot changes in the 10 years between the 1891 and 1901 census for Mary. At age 34 she is now married to bank manager John Riddey and has three children Edith Mary, John and Cicely. She has also moved to London.
1911 is a bit interesting as Mary is not found in the same household as her husband John who has now moved to Moreton-in-Marsh a Cotswold Village in Gloucestershire. Instead, Mary and her youngest child Cicely is found visiting Elizabeth Dunkley in Lincolnshire.
Before the release of the 1921 census in January 2022 this could have been where Mary’s story stopped for us but we are lucky to have two more document that call tell us more about Mary and her children.
Firstly the 1939 register, from this we can learn that Mary is now 72 and living with her daughter Cicely and Cicely’s husband Rev Reginald G Bennett at The Steps in Morton-in- Marsh. The register also shows that Cicely is in the Women’s Voluntary Service.
The Second document we have is a scrapbook compiled by Joyce M Deacon the grandaughter of Mary Riddey (nee Robinson). This scrapbook contains family photographs, of Mary and John Riddey as well as their children and grandchildren.
The census is a great source of information for finding out about your family history. But it is great to have this scrapbook, so that we can be able to put a face to Mary and her family!