Thursday, January 25, 2018

TREASURE CHEST THURSDAY ~ The 1911 census for Robert & Ellen Gillespie & their children–Cardiff, Wales

1911_GILLESPIE_Robert & Ellen & children_CardiffWales_enh
1911 census for Robert & Ellen Gillespie

My favorite thing about the census records from England & Wales is that you get a pretty accurate birth location.  Not just “Wales” or “England,” but an exact location.  That can be very helpful in your research.

This is a record I located yesterday while doing research on the 10 children born to my 3rd great grandparents, Thomas Gillespie & Susannah Barrowcliff.  They had 9 boys and 1 girl between 1817 and 1837.  I descend directly from their youngest son, Joseph Gillespie (1837-1908).  This census is for Joseph’s nephew, Robert Gillespie.  He is my 1st cousin 3 times removed.

Robert and his wife Ellen Eliza Potter were married in 1892 in Cardiff, Glamorgan, Wales.
It seems that Robert followed in his grandfather, Thomas’ footsteps and fathered a lot of children, 13, according to this census record.  By the time this census was taken, only 9 of the children were living.  That’s another excellent piece of information on this record (similar to the 1900 U.S. census).  Learning how many children have been born to a woman and how many are living can help us find records.

Robert is 44 years old and works as a Boiler Man in the Cardiff Infirmary.  He was born in Bridgwater, Somerset, England and his parents are of British descent. All of that matches what I know about him.

Ellen is 43 years old, mother of 13 children of whom 9 are living.  She was born in Cardiff, Glamorgan and is British by parentage.

Their are 9 children enumerated in this record:
  • Frank Gillespie, age 17, single, Sea Faring an ordinary seaman, born in Cardiff, Glamorgan, Wales
  • Robert Stanley, age 15, single, a Leather Rounder at a Belting Works company, born in Cardiff, Glamorgan, Wales
  • James Aldwin, age 13, single, a student, born in Cardiff, Glamorgan, Wales
  • Albert John, age 12, a student, born in Cardiff, Glamorgan, Wales
  • Richard Norman, age 10, a student, born in Cardiff, Glamorgan, Wales
  • Lilian Maud, age 7, a student, born in Cardiff, Glamorgan, Wales
  • Ellen E., age 5, a student, born in Cardiff, Glamorgan, Wales
  • Kate, age 3, born in Cardiff, Glamorgan, Wales
  • Edith May, age 6 months, born in Cardiff, Glamorgan, Wales
There’s a signature at the bottom of the page, but I don’t know for sure if it’s Robert’s.  It looks to be written in the same hand as the rest of the information.  And, it seems funny he would have signed his name “Frank” and had to scratch it out.  Is it possible that the oldest son, Frank, was the one who gave the enumerator this information?  Was it Frank who filled out the form, thus the mistake in the signature?

Who were the other 4 children?  They aren’t listed in the 1901 census either.

You can usually tell where children who aren’t listed, may have been born, based on the spacing of births.  This couple was married in the 4th quarter of 1892 (that would mean Oct, Nov or Dec).  Their son Frank was born in the 1st quarter of 1894 (meaning Jan, Feb or Mar)The timing is right for him to have been the first born.

The children come along at about a 2 year interval (very common). 1894, 1896, 1898, 1899, 1901, 1903, 1906, 1908, 1911. I have located birth or baptismal records for about half of the children. I see room between 1903 & 1906 and 1908 &1911 for another child or two to have been born.  I will need to continue looking for baptismal records that could tell me more.

One more thing about this 1911 census that wasn’t available on the 1901 census are the middle names for each child.  That’s a very big help when trying to locate other records, such as marriage, death or burial.

Have you located any records from the United Kingdom?  Have you found them helpful?

I have more work to do on the many Gillespie ancestors in my maternal line.  I’ll be writing more about them.


52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week #2 - Thomas Gillespie - My 3rd great grandfather 1794-1868

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2018   Diane Gould Hall



  1. I have a few census records and baptismal records but I haven't done any intense research on my British lines in Britain yet.

    1. Perhaps this will encourage you Anna. I've enjoyed researching my British ancestors. It's not as easy as my Scottish lines and not as difficult as those Irish lines.
      Let me know how it goes with your hunt.


I look forward to reading your comments. If you have any connection to the people mentioned in this blog, please let me know. I write about mine and my husband's ancestors and would welcome new information or meeting a new cousin or two. Thanks for visiting and come back soon.