Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Case of the Missing Grandfather

I promised some posts about my 1911 census trawl - if random bits of geneology do not interest you, please feel free to skip them.

I'm starting with my grandfather, Rupert Faulkner. Born in Stewkley in Buckinghamshire in 1898, he appeared on the 1901 census as a three year old. I know his name and age, his parents' names and those of his long list of brothers and sisters (he was one of eight children), so he should have been easy to find. I searched under his name and place of birth - not there. Another search turned up his father, Thomas Faulkner, so I viewed the household transcript. This is what I found:

  • Thomas Faulkner, age 46, general dealer
  • Ellen Faulkner, age 46, housekeeper
  • Henry Faulkner, son, age 19, (no occupation listed)
  • Ethel Faulkner, daughter, age 18, dressmaker
  • Alice Faulkner, daughter, age 16, help in home
  • Leonard Faulkner, son, age 15, assist father
  • Harold Faulkner, son, age 11, at school
  • Albert Faulkner, son, age 9, at school
  • Clara Faulkner, daughter, age 7, at school
No Rupert. Just a gap between the 11 and 15 year old brothers.

Fortunately, Rupert was not a common name even then, so I did another search for all Rupert Faulkners. There were only two in the entire census - one 12 year old living in Staffordshire and a 13 year old living in Winslow district, Buckinghamshire. The latter had to be the right Rupert, so I checked the transcript:
  • Daniel Smith, age 77, farm labourer
  • Sara Smith, age 74, work at home
  • Rupert Faulkner, grandson, age 13, school
So that was something I never knew. Of course, it could just be that he was spending the night there on the date of the census, but it seems more likely that Grandpa spent part of his childhood living with his grandparents. I'm sure a pair of extra hands and thirteen year old legs would have come in very useful for an elderly couple, and like most large families in those days his own home would have been full to bursting. Sending the boy to live with his mother's parents for a while would have been a good arrangement all round.


Jennifer said...

How fun that you found him - and what interesting stories to ponder!

Theresa said...

Fascinating! I hope one day to explore my roots in depth. (adding that to my long list of "to-do's")

Debbie said...

Fascinating! Did you know any of this about your grandfather?

Anonymous said...

You've given me a good idea about our 3 warn grandma (hehe)...Tevye