phyllis's blog

Love, loss and families in a Brighton backstreet

The 1905 and 1906 directories and electoral rolls for two houses show families (the Hyders and the Brackenridges) who were to be neighbours for 25 years. The 1911 census shows them in detail: John and Ann Hyder with their nine children (three in their twenties, three teenagers and three under 10); next door were George and Lydia Brackenridge with their five children. The Hyders were still there in the 1918 electoral roll but a John and Lydia Hyder are now living next door. What has happened?

My house - MY HOUSE!

When I first heard about MyHouseMyStreet I became curious about the history of my own house in Hanover. I brought together the papers I received with the house, and various street directories, electoral rolls and censuses. What emerged was the social history of Brighton in a microcosm: from influential landowners to carpenters and hotel porters; dissenting chapels to the Oxford movement; the enclosure of common lands to the growth of the railway.

Family life in a Brighton backstreet

These small two-up/two-down Hanover houses (well, three-up with no bathroom) were crammed full of people in the early part of the 20th century. The 1901 census shows a couple with six children whereas next door there were a couple with her mother and a cousin. However in the 1911 census the families had changed. Now there was a couple, John and Ann Hyder, with their nine children (three in their twenties, three teenagers and three under 10). Next door there were George and Lydia Brackenridge with their five children.

Did she lie about her age?

Working on the 1861 census I had trouble with the entry for Ann Goatcher of 19 Vine Street. In 1861 she was 30 and living with her son William (10) and daughter Betty (12). The birthplace was unclear, but looked like 'Heartham'.

Confessions of a census enumerator

Back in ... I worked as a census enumerator (I'd better not say when - or where - for fear of breaching the 1991 Census (Confidentiality) Act). Confidentiality was one of the first principles instilled into us during training. Anything of a personal nature recorded on a census form is locked for 100 years – which is the reason family history researchers get excited every ten years as another one is released. It's strange to think that I may have been the last person to actually read those forms – until they are released after 100 years.

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