How accurate are Census details in regards to birth year and birth place?

+4 votes
89 views

I have found researching https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Hewson-385 George Henry that I can find him on the Census 1851 England Census saying his birth year was 1834 in Chichester, Sussex, England to Ann Hewson but when I try and find his birth registration can't find any information about this. I am not sure who is father was.

 

asked in Genealogy Help by Sarah Black G2G6 Mach 1 (10.4k points)
retagged by Dorothy Barry

3 Answers

+7 votes
 
Best answer

In my experience censuses taken close to the date of birth are normally fairly accurate, but those taken a long time later can be less accurate with both the date and place of birth.

Registration of births in England only started on 1 July 1837, so you won't find a birth registration if he was born before that.

I think this is probably his marriage:

Name     George Henry Hewson   
Birth Date     1839   
Age     21   
Spouse's Name    Emily Peat    
Spouse's Birth Date     1840   
Spouse's Age     20   
Event Date     08 Jan 1860   
Event Place     St. Peter-The-Great, Chichester, Sussex, England   
Father's Name    William Hewson    
Spouse's Father's Name    Charles Peat    

Citing this Record

"England Marriages, 1538–1973 ," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:N6L9-5JJ : 10 February 2018), George Henry Hewson and Emily Peat, 08 Jan 1860; citing St. Peter-The-Great, Chichester, Sussex, England, reference 440, index based upon data collected by the Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City; FHL microfilm 1,068,511.

 

I think this may also be him:

Name:
George Henry Hewson

Gender:
Male

Birth Date:
16 Mar 1837

Birth Place:
Chichester, Sussex

First Service Date:
1 Jan 1873

First Ship Served On:
Excellent

Last Service Date:
1 Jul 1885

Last Ship Served On:
Excellent

Service Number:
51824

Source Citation:

The National Archives of the UK; Kew, Surrey, England; Royal Navy Registers of Seamen's Services; Class: ADM 188; Piece: 24

https://search.ancestry.co.uk/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=1&dbid=60522&h=515209&tid=&pid=&usePUB=true&_phsrc=UBH2086&_phstart=successSource

answered by Paul Masini G2G6 Mach 3 (38.3k points)
selected by Sarah Black

There seem to be 2 George Hewson's in the 1851 census born in Chichester between 1830 and 1840.

One is the one I think you found, George Hewson son of Ann born in about 1834 in:

"England and Wales Census, 1851," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:SGBD-GHT : 21 October 2017), George Hewson in household of Ann Hewson, Saint Bartholomew, Sussex, England; citing Saint Bartholomew, Sussex, England, p. 11, from "1851 England, Scotland and Wales census," database and images, findmypast (http://www.findmypast.com : n.d.); citing PRO HO 107, The National Archives of the UK, Kew, Surrey.

 

The other is George Henry Hewson son of William and Frances Ann born in about 1839 in:

"England and Wales Census, 1851," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:SG84-6C3 : 21 October 2017), George Henry Hewson in household of William Hewson, Subdeanry, Sussex, England; citing Subdeanry, Sussex, England, p. 6, from "1851 England, Scotland and Wales census," database and images, findmypast (http://www.findmypast.com : n.d.); citing PRO HO 107, The National Archives of the UK, Kew, Surrey.

This one looks like the person who married Emily in the record I quoted above.

I have now confirmed that the marriage I quoted above is correct by looking at the birth registrations for George and Emily's children on the GRO website (https://www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/certificates/indexes_search.asp). These show their mother's maiden name was Peat (which has been mistyped as Peats for one of them) and there are also a lot more children born a bit later after they moved to Portsea:

HEWSON, WILLIAM  HENRY  PEAT
GRO Reference: 1861  M Quarter in CHICHESTER  Volume 02B  Page 321
HEWSON, GEORGE       PEAT
GRO Reference: 1864  M Quarter in CHICHESTER  Volume 02B  Page 359
HEWSON, ALICE  EMILY    PEATS
GRO Reference: 1866  J Quarter in CHICHESTER  Volume 02B  Page 316 
HEWSON, ALFRED       PEAT
GRO Reference: 1869  J Quarter in CHICHESTER  Volume 02B  Page 345
HEWSON, KATE       PEAT
GRO Reference: 1873  M Quarter in PORTSEA ISLAND  Volume 02B  Page 498 
HEWSON, ERNEST  EDWARD  PEAT
GRO Reference: 1875  S Quarter in PORTSEA ISLAND  Volume 02B  Page 483
HEWSON, FREDERICK  JOHN PEAT
GRO Reference: 1877  S Quarter in PORTSEA ISLAND  Volume 02B  Page 471
HEWSON, LEONARD  JAMES  PEAT
GRO Reference: 1879  S Quarter in PORTSEA ISLAND  Volume 02B  Page 486 
HEWSON, ADA       PEAT
GRO Reference: 1880  S Quarter in PORTSEA ISLAND  Volume 02B  Page 527 
HEWSON, FRANK       PEAT
GRO Reference: 1882  J Quarter in PORTSEA ISLAND  Volume 02B  Page 549

Thanks Paul. I started off with my Great Grandfather George Hewson https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Hewson-371. I think I got it right to  his father George Henry Hewson  https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Hewson-385 where I am having struggles. I think from what I can see George Henry Hewson's mother is Ann and by the baptism records from what I can tell the father is George Hewson.
+7 votes
Does the census say his birth year or does it just give his age? Not what Ancestry says but the form itself. If it is age then look at when the census was taken.  Also it may have slightly incorrect info.
answered by Doug McCallum G2G6 Pilot (269k points)
+6 votes
You can probably assume his age is close to correct and his birthplace is correct if his mother was the head of the household (she'd be likely to remember where her children were born when giving the info to the census enumerator). The 1851 census was taken in the early part of the year so he is more likely to be born in 1833 than the 1834, if his age in the census is given as 17.

Civil registration did not start in England until 1837 so you will not find a birth registration. If his birth is recorded anywhere, it will be in the baptism records.

Have you been able to find the family in the 1841 census to see if his father was still alive? If you are searching, bear in mind his mother's age will be rounded down to the nearest 5 years, but his age should be more accurate.
answered by Suzanne Doig G2G6 Mach 2 (22.4k points)
I am struggling to find any info about any of the family on the 1841 Census and I have found their baptism records where it state the father is George Hewson but can't find any other record of him in any census so am unsure what his birth date would be.

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