confused census for 1851 and 1861

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I am a bit confused with Samuel Sparks who was born in 1845 North Petherton, Somerset in 1851 it has him with Lot and mary Sparks in 1851 as Son-In-Law but he was still with them in 1861 as their son or have I got the wrong ones

"England and Wales Census, 1851," database with images, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:SGPS-42S : 23 October 2017), Samuel Sparks in household of Lot Baker, Wedmore, Somerset, England; citing Wedmore, Somerset, England, p. 18, 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.

"England and Wales Census, 1861," database with images, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M7FJ-5XX : 12 December 2017), Samuel Sparks in household of Lot Baker, Wedmore, Somersetshire, England; from "1861 England, Scotland and Wales census," database and images, findmypast (http://www.findmypast.com : n.d.); citing PRO RG 9, The National Archives, Kew, Surrey.

WikiTree profile: Samuel Sparks
in Genealogy Help by Steph Meredith G2G6 Mach 8 (82.1k points)
Stepson.  Looks like Lot Baker married Mary Sparkes Dec qtr 1850.
Thank you RJ
Samuel was born at North Petherton, so his birth is most likely the one in Bridgwater district, Mar qtr 1845, spelled Sparks.  The new GRO index should give you Mary's maiden name.

2 Answers

+4 votes
 
Best answer
I would say that a mistake has been made in the 1851 Census, as a son in Law was normally married to your daughter, at age 6, I don't think so.

Now in the 1861 Census he is listed as Step son at age 16 which would seem more correct.

There also seems to be another 2 Baker children born after Samuel Sparks. Was he perhaps adopted?

I'm not sure where Sparks fit into this lot, unless dare I say? He had a child with another woman while he was married.
by Shaun Doust G2G6 Pilot (345k points)
selected by Susan Laursen
thats what I was thinking Shaun but I will put a note on his profile with regards to the census
Good work, Shaun.
Thanx my brother, logical!
Could Mary be a second wife who had a child from previous marriage? That would be a simpler explanation.
That does make sense Doug!
+4 votes
There wasn't a mistake in the 1851 census. Son-in-law also meant step son in the mid 19th century. It is important to check meaning in historical context.
by Doug McCallum G2G6 Pilot (424k points)
Dug back into some old notes. -in-law frequently signified "by marriage." That would make Sparks a "son by marriage" so a step son, not Lot Baker's natural son.

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