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The Manchester Genealogist

Unfilmed 1851 census of Manchester, Salford And Districts
Report No. 6

The previous report that covered the recovery project at the Public Record Office (PRO) at Kew was issued January 2000 (see Vol. 36 No. 1). Since then, the team of volunteers ie Kath Arkwright, Jean Bryan, Helen Cohen, who is a new volunteer, and myself have continued to transcribe the water-damaged returns for the Manchester area using ultra-violet (UV) light. This report is a summary of our work since the last report.

Chorlton upon Medlock (PRO ref HO 107/2220)

This piece number has now been completed and Frances de Courcy and her team in Manchester are currently inputting the results into a database. The previous report mentioned that the returns for most of Ardwick Township, which are included in this piece number, had been transcribed. This part was completed in May 2000 and the following results achieved:

Area Males Females Total Irish-born 100% recovered All except birthtown Untraceable
Ardwick Township (16 EDs) 7464 8329 15793 100% 581 (4%) 11310
72%
495
3%
3988
25%

The returns for Chorlton upon Medlock Township are similar to those for Ardwick Township in that they have been microfilmed but only the top 3 or 4 lines are decipherable through the water damage on the original returns. Consequently the surname index (volume 10) only covers those readable parts and most of the entries are not indexed. These returns are amongst the worst ever encountered by the project team and their transcription was extremely slow going. Each page of 20 entries could take up to 40 minutes to transcribe and even then there were several gaps in the transcription because of unreadable text. In addition to this difficulty, the returns had been laminated in order to preserve them. Whilst this helped to preserve the paper, it has been a distinct handicap when attempting to read the text!

The Township is covered by 34 Enumeration Districts (EDs) that are contained in three books - 3A, 3B, 3C and 3D. The last one has not been microfilmed and so the recovered entries will be available for the first time in 152 years. Ironically this book has the best recovery rate of 70% and over 4000 entries from it will eventually become available to researchers. For the benefit of those members who have been unsuccessful in the search for their Chorlton upon Medlock ancestors, they may well find them in book 3D. This comprises the following streets:

Allen Street, Angle Street, Billington Street, Birley's Buildings, Bonds Court, Bond Street, *Brindle Street, Cambridge Street (part), Cavendish Street (part), *Charlotte Street, Chester Street, Clarendon Place, Clarendon Street, Cross Street, Devonshire Street, Dorning Street, *Durham Place, Evans Street, George Street, Hadfield Street, *Hope Street, *Humphrey Street, Hulme Street, James Street, Jones Street, Lees Street, Lord Street, Lower Chatham Street, Lower Cambridge Street, Lyceum Place, Marsland Street, Millar Street, *Nuttall Street, Ormond Street (part), Oxford Street (part), Rathbone Street, Stockton Street, Stockton St Courts, Waddington Court, Waterhouse Buildings, *Whittaker Street, Wood Street West.

The boundary between Hulme and Chorlton upon Medlock Townships ran through several of the above streets and researchers will need to check both sets of returns if their ancestors lived in any of the streets marked thus *.

The analysis of the results is shown in the following table:

Chorlton upon Medlock Township

Book No. Males Females Total Irish-born 100% recovered All except birthtown Untraceable
3A 3225 3613 6838 1591 4552 64 2222
3B 2896 3157 6053 235 2487 125 3441
3C 2763 3973 6736 159 3345 161 3230
3D 2824 3086 5910 1006 4142 144 1624
Totals (34 EDs) 11708 13829 25537 2991 14526 494 10517
Percentage of Total     100% (12%) 57% 2% 41%

On completion of the transcription work, I was able calculate whether any returns had been lost. The overall total population of Chorlton upon Medlock Township was obtained from the Census Population Tables held at the Family Records Centre and compared with the counted population on the transcribed returns. This latter figure also included the unreadable entries and, in EDs 1Z and 1HH, a total of 262 persons who were counted on end pages that were now lost.

The official population of Chorlton upon Medlock in 1851 was 35,558, of which 25,537 had been counted in the transcribed returns. This left a shortfall of 10,021 people whose returns had been lost. A check of a map covering the Township against the streets transcribed showed that the missing areas were all the streets in the area within the following boundaries:-

Northern boundary - the south side of Rosamond Street West from the Hulme Township Boundary at Boundary Lane to Oxford Street;
Eastern Boundary - the western side of Oxford Street (later Road) from Rosamond Street to the Moss-Side Township boundary;
Western boundary - the Hulme Township boundary from Boundary Lane via Embden Street to the Moss-Side Township boundary;
Southern boundary - the Moss-Side Township boundary.

This large area included the Greenheys district and consisted of the following streets:

Abbey Street, Abbey View Greenheys Lane, Acomb Street, Ash Cottage Webster Street, Booth Street West (part), Boundary Lane (part), Bridge Street, Burlington Street, Butler Street, Cambridge Street (part), Carlton Place Webster Street, Carlton Terrace Greenheys Lane, Carter Street, Carver Street, Cecil Street, Cecil Terrace, Chapel Place Ormond Street (part), Chatham Place, Clairville Oxford Street, Cleveland Court, Cleveland Place Webster Street, Cornbrook Place, Coupland Street, Cowcill street, Drummond Terrace Lloyd Street, Ducie House, Ducie Street, Eagle Street, Eldon Terrace Burlington Street, Embden Lodge, Embden Street, Enfranchise Place, Exmouth Place Oxford Street, Exmouth Street, Gore Street, Greenheys Hall, Greenheys Lane, Greenhill Street, Greenhill Terrace Webster Street, Higher Chatham Street (part), Ivy Court, Ivy Street, Jenkinson Street Courts and Back, John Street, Laburnum Place Cecil Street, Lime Grove, Lime Grove View Wright Street, Lloyd Street, Melbourne Terrace Bridge Street, Monton Grove Carter Street, Monton Terrace, Monton Villa, Ormond Street (part) and Courts, Oxford Place, Oxford Street (even numbers, part), Park Street, Park Cottage Park Street, Pigott Street, Prospect Street, Richmond Place Coupland Street, Richmond Street, Ruby Street Coupland Street, Tebbutts Court, Tebbutts Row, The Grapes PH, The Lloyd's Arms PH, The Penitentiary Wood Street, The Wellington PH, Tuer Street, Victoria Place Cambridge Street, Waterloo Place Oxford Street, Webster Street, Welbeck Street, Wellington Street, Wood Street, Wright Street.

The transcribed returns are now with Frances de Courcy and her team who are busily inputting them in readiness for microfiche production. The results will be published sometime next year.

Ashton under Lyne (HO 107/2233)

These returns covering 18,801 inhabitants in the Knott Lanes area and Portland Place and Market Street Wards in the middle of Ashton Town were originally transcribed in 1993 before we were allowed to use UV light. When the operation moved to the PRO at Kew in 1997, UV was introduced as a means of reading the damaged returns, a decision that proved of enormous value to us and was very successful.

In the light of this success, it was decided to re-check the previously transcribed returns with UV light in order to improve the recovery rate from them. The Ashton under Lyne returns have now been re-checked and the following results achieved:-

  Population Irish-born 100% of entry recovered All except birthtown Untraceable
1st check 18,801 1,355 16,289 563 1,949
UV recheck 18,801 1,355 17,999 107 695
Percentage of total 100% (7%) 95% 1% 4%
Improvement     + 1,710 -456 -1,254

The revised transcriptions for Ashton under Lyne are being produced on microfiche and will be available from the Bookshop in the near future.

Salford Greengate (HO 107/2223)

The returns for this area, which are shown in 46 EDs, have also been rechecked with UV light and the recovery rate significantly improved from 59.4% to 85%. Details are shown below:-

  Population Irish-born 100% of entry recovered All except birthtown Untraceable
1st check 35,216 2,044 20,153 760 14,303
UV recheck 35,216 2,631 29,421 634 5,161
Percentage of total 100% (7.5%) 83% 2% 15%
Improvement   +587 +9,268 -126 -9,142

The revised transcriptions for Greengate are being produced on microfiche and will be available from the Bookshop in the near future.

During the recheck it was discovered that the returns for several streets in Book 3B were missing. These were in two areas:-

a. Enumeration District 1G - this probably contained the returns for Mottram Street, St Stephen's Place, St Stephen's Street (west side between Wellington Street and Brewery Street), Wellington Street and Wellington Square.
b. Enumeration District 1M - the last 4 pages are missing from this ED. These probably showed the returns for Cliburn (Clibran on map) Street no.s 1 to 31 and 2 to 14; and if built in 1851, Flax Street (1 to 11). These 4 pages showed the returns for 62 persons.

Salford Regent Road (HO 107/2224)

These returns were transcribed in 1994 and the transcription team attained an 87% recovery rate on the damaged returns. A UV recheck has been carried out recently and the recovery rate substantially improved as shown in the table below. The results will be published in due course.

Salford Regent Road

  Population Irish-born 100% of entry recovered All except birthtown Untraceable
1st check 11,097 1,557 9,696 166 1,235
UV recheck 11,108 1,584 10,876 37 195
Percentage of total 100% (14%) 98% 0% 2%
Improvement   +27 +1,180 -127 -1,040

Hulme (HO 107/2221)

These returns are currently being rechecked with UV light and it is anticipated that the recovery rate of 60% of the total (unfilmed) population of 20,798 will be greatly improved.

Future work

The only remaining water-damaged 1851 census returns for the Manchester area, which have not been transcribed using UV light, are those for the Deansgate sub-district (HO 107/2227) with a population of 33,219, and London Road sub-district (HO 107/2228) population 31,890. Most of the Deansgate returns have been microfilmed but 8 of the 37 EDs (21%) were not filmed because of water damage to the originals. The microfilm will be examined to ascertain which parts of the returns require a UV transcription in addition to the unfilmed sections.

The returns for 21,934 people in the London Road sub-district (HO 107/2228) were originally microfilmed, leaving 9,956 people unrecorded. These were transcribed in 1989 using a crude form of UV light. Unfortunately less than 500 entries were recovered but modern improvements to UV equipment will now produce much better results and a recheck of the returns will be undertaken.

There are several minor gaps in the surname index books showing part-names in the filmed returns. We shall obtain the original returns for the greater Manchester area and we shall undertake a complete transcription of each household showing an incomplete entry as the last task in this project. This work will be reasonably straightforward in comparison with our previous efforts because most of the entries will be easily decipherable.

In conclusion I would like to thank all the volunteers at Kew and Manchester who have helped in this major and important project. By the time it is completed, over 12 years will have elapsed since its commencement in 1991. The recovery of over 140,000 entries will enable many family historians with Manchester connections to finally make that important jump backwards from census returns to parish registers in the search for their long lost ancestors.

 

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