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The Manchester Genealogist

Still Missing in Ashton under Lyne!


When the work on re-checking the 1851 unfilmed census of Ashton under Lyne had been completed last year, I checked the number of persons shown in the Population Tables held at the National Archives against the number shown on the enumerated sheets and the microfilm for piece number HO 107/2233. These cover the districts of Ashton Town and Knott Lanes; whilst Hartshead and the Military Barracks, which are both within the parish of Ashton under Lyne, are shown in piece number HO 107/2238.


From Population Tables
From Enumerated Sheets
1. Knott Lanes males
Total population
6047 (+3)
2. Ashton Town males
12754 (unfilmed)
From microfilm
Total population
25054 (-4737)

The above table shows that there is still a shortfall of 4,737 entries in the census returns in spite of over 96% of the entries in this piece number having been recovered.

Where are the missing entries, and what area do they cover?

I have searched through the boxes held at the National Archives in the hope of finding some long-lost folder or book containing the missing entries but to no avail. All the returns for Ashton are held in three boxes and are either in bound volumes if they have been filmed, or laminated loose leaves if they are unfilmed. I can only assume that they were so badly damaged that they were not considered worth retaining and have been destroyed or lost.

It is easier to establish which areas of Ashton under Lyne the missing returns covered. All the intact returns – either filmed or unfilmed – are in numerical sequence of enumeration district (ED) as follows:

  District ED Ref
1. Knott Lanes 1A to 1F
2. Ashton Township (Portland Ward) 1G to 1N
3. Ashton Township (Market Ward) 1O to 1U
4. Ashton Township (filmed returns) 1V to 1Z
    and 1AA to 1JJ

Enumeration districts 1V to 1AA were also in Market Ward and 1BB to 1JJ were in St Peter’s Ward, west of the town centre. A check of the 1861 returns for Ashton shows that another ward – St Michael’s – completed the picture. None of the EDs in 1851 were shown as being in St Michael’s Ward, so it must follow that that the missing ones are in this area.

I estimate that the following locations east of the town centre were on the missing returns:

Bank Top House Grey Street
Bayley's New Road Hall Court
Bright Street Jackson's Houses
Church Street Mabholes
Cobden Street Old Hall
Conduit Street Park Street
Currier Lane Queen Street
Delamere Street Scotland Brow
Donnelly's Beerhouse Scotland Street
Eaton's Houses Stakes
England Street Stamford Street (part)
Flat's Fold Warrington Street
Fleet Street Whitelands
Grafton Street Whitelands Road
Granville Street Whitelands Street
Granville Terrace Wicker Gate


If any member has an ancestor who was living in one of the above streets in 1851, then unfortunately they won’t find them on the 1851 census returns. If it is any consolation, I’m in the same boat and we all will have to rely on other sources to find those elusive people.


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