Thursday, August 2, 2012

Marsden Family: 1841 Census

Marsdens in the 1841 England census.
The 1841 census shows the Marsden family living in England, in the county of Derbyshire, the civil parish (government division) of Chesterfield, the hundred (ecclesiastical division) of Scarsdale, and the township of Walton. They are in the Chesterfield registration district, and sub-registration district, which might help locate further records and locate their home on a map.

Besides all those divisions, the census shows them living at Walton Mill. A website named From the Neolithic to the Sea includes the following information about Walton Mill:
Walton Works was a cotton wick mill, located in Brampton, Chesterfield in Derbyshire. 
The mill was built by Mr Hewitt and Mr Bunting in the 1770's and was known as Walton 'Bump' Mill. It is believed that the name refers to a cheap type of cotton which they produced. 
Disaster struck when in the year 1800, a fire destroyed most of the buildings and outhouses as well as most of the machinery. The steam engine survived the blaze and the mill was rebuilt. It is surmised that the base and ground floor of the mill is of original construction, but the brick work on the upper floors are a result of the fire. An attempt to make the mill fire proof was made as cotton is highly flammable. Through out the years the buildings were adapted, new structures built and removed as needs demanded. 
The partnership of Hewitt and Bunting expanded to include Mr Creswick, Mr Longdon and Mr Claughton between 1806 and 1835. Bushiness changed and expanded so that in the 1840’s and 1850’s the firm was engaged in cotton spinning and doubling, candlewick manufacturing and bleaching. A Mr Barnes, who owned several local collieries and lived in the building which is now Ashgate Hospice, also owned the mill for a short period before its purchase by the Robinsons in 1896. 
The mill closed in 2003 and part of the building is now Grade II listed. It is vacant following closure of manufacturing business. The site has site mostly been cleared.
The census lists Charles Marsden's occupation, as well as that of Eliza Marsden (daughter? sister? niece?) as "Pot. M." Charles Marsden was a potter.

It was a large household: Charles (35) and his wife Mary (35), their children John (13), Ellen (11), Hannah (10), Charles (8), and Mary (5 or 6). Then the ages jump, so the next two girls listed may be daughters, but could also be sister or nieces, Sarah Marsden (11) and Eliza Marsden (15). Next is Joseph Hancock (70), coachman. I believe this is Mary's father, but I cannot yet state that for a fact. The next residents of the household were Ruth Longson (23 or 25), and Charles (10), Robert (7) and Herbert Longson (1). What a busy household! Fourteen people!
The next household listed on the census was the James and Ann Wheatcroft family. The story of that family is an interesting part of the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in England. Here is Ardis Parshall's story about them, Sarah Wheatcroft: Service for the Dead.
The final columns on the 1841 census mention birthplace, whether in the county or not, or in Scotland, Ireland or Wales. Most of the members of the household were born in the county of Derbyshire, but the mother, Mary Marsden was born in a different county, her father Joseph was listed as being born in Ireland, and Robert and Herbert Longson were born in a different county.

That is a review of the basic information about the family in this census. If you were to read through the entire census for the area you would find out all sorts of things about the community where they lived, but I will not get into that here.

Questions raised by this census:
  • Is Joseph Hancock Mary's father? (Yes.)
  • Who are Eliza and Sarah Marsden?
  • Who are the Longsons? Why were they part of the household?
  • What kind of house did they live in? Does their house still exist? How would I find the location on a map?
  • What kind of pottery did Charles Marsden make? How extensive was the pottery industry in Derbyshire? Why was a potter living at Walton Mill, which was a cotton mill?
  • What were their living conditions like with fourteen people in one household? Sanitation? Sleeping arrangements? Food preparation and storage?
When this census was taken, Mary had already been a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for a year, and her husband was baptized about the time this census was taken. More about those exciting times later!

Coming next: The Marsdens in the 1851 Census

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