Friday, 8 November 2013

OAP searches in the 1861 census

By 1913 searches were being made in the 1861 census (as well as the 1841 and 1851 census as discussed in a previous blog) to establish the age of claimants of the Old Age Pension. To begin with it was only used for the the most urgent cases. The reason for this is that time was needed to rebind the enumeration books, as the covers were thin. Conducting too many searches would be damaging to the books.

 Here is a letter from the Local Government Board dated 20th June 1913 to The Registrar General, New Register House.


 I am directed to thank you for your Memorandum of the 27th ultimo giving the results of references made in the Census Returns of 1861.

 With reference to your letter of 10th instant on the general question of the availability of the Census Returns of 1861, the Board note that systematic reference cannot be undertaken for some time. I am, however, to append a further selected list of cases where an early search in the Returns of 1861 would prove most useful, and to say that if you can see your way to cause such a search to be made, the Board will be greatly obliged.

I am,
Your obedient Servant
[signed] David Brown
Assistant Secretary"

A few pages on in NRS item number GRO5/779 we find the cases mentioned in the letter. I have transcribed four for you to see, there are a number more.

Click to view larger image

Interspersed with these more urgent cases are references to the need to update ‘Pensions form 16’ to include a section where the claimant can say where they were when the 1861 census was taken. An example of both the form in use until this point and the ‘new’ up-to-date form are included in these papers.

The search continues...

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