Monday, 17 October 2016

Small houses filled with many people

Through the Berwick 900 blog that I discovered a few months ago, I'm learning about how my maternal Young ancestors lived. The Greenes are often mentioned in blog posts there.

My maternal great grandparents and 2nd great grandparents all lived and their families lived at various addresses in the Greenses.

Good people, volunteers working on the Berwick 900 Our Families project, have researched the families living at many specific addresses in the Greenses over three censuses and electoral registers.

The results of this mapping exercise are described in this post, and the compiled information is now on the Friends of Berwick and District Museum and Archives website. I'm now seeing that in 1891, three other families besides my grandmother and her family, which included her paternal grandparents, all lived at 71 Low Greens. Those four families totalled 13 people! Now, I don't think that the houses they lived in were that large, so I can't begin to imagine how they lived.

But I see this repeated in other households. Often families and extended families all lived under one very cramped roof. As offspring grew up, they may or may not have moved into their own quarters. What you see is that the same address remained the home to a family for generations.

I wonder why my grandmother Dorothy Young (1889-1968) was born at 61 Castlegate and not in the Greenses? Two years later, when the 1891 census was done, the family was at 71 Low Greens, living with my 2nd great grandparents, Peter Cowe Young and Elizabeth Diana Patterson. I'll have to find out who else lived at 61 Castlegate to solve that mystery.

I see from maps that the workhouse was very near the Greenses. I'll be exploring this further, now that I know my 2nd great grandfather Henry Knox died there. Were other of my ancestors ever in the workhouse?

The never ending story continues....

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