The Story of one woman, throughout the census

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.

Copy from the 1871 census including Mary and her parents
Mary listed in the 1871 census

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.

Copy from the 1881 census including Mary and her family
Mary listed in the 1881 census
Copy from the 1891 census including Mary and her family
Mary listed in the 1891 census

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.

Copy from the 1901 census including Mary and her husband John and children
Mary listed in the 1901 census

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.

Copy from the 1911 census including John Ridley
John listed in the 1911 census
Copy from the 1911 census including Mary Ridley
Mary listed in the 1911 census

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.

Copy from the 1939 register including Mary
Mary listed in the 1939 register

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.

two black and white photographs, one of Mary and John Ridley and one of Mary, John and Cicely with a dog
Photographs from the scrapbook (D13668/2/1/1) including Mary and John Riddey and their daughter Cicely

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!

New family history resources from Gloucester cemetery, Tredworth Road

Between 1976 and 1987 Gloucester City Council decided to remove a large number of headstones from the chapel side of the old cemetery in Tredworth Road. This was to make maintenance of the grounds easier with machinery.

Advertisements were placed in The Gloucester Citizen asking if relatives objected and headstones marking graves of those who lost their lives in the two World Wars were exempt from the process.

Once this consultation process was complete the inscriptions from headstones identified for removal were recorded in registers prior to their removal. In instances where surviving relatives objected, the headstones were left in place.

Gloucester Cemetery Chapel side compress

Gloucester Cemetery

Gloucestershire Family History Society were given permission recently to photograph all of the entries in the registers, some 2,500 photographs, and then to transcribe those entries into a more accessible format.

Volunteers from GFHS have now completed this task and have constructed a searchable database which shows the transcription on the removed headstone together with details of others buried in the same plot. This project has preserved information which no longer exists by a visit to a burial plot.

You can access this searchable database at The Family History Centre in The Heritage Hub.