How I discovered old things were once new.

I don’t know about you, but when I’m searching for my relatives in census returns I do like to click along to the next few households to see who their neighbours were. This can be a useful thing to do because you can often find members of an extended family living quite close to each other, but I would do it anyway because I’m nosey LOL. However, you can also discover other interesting facts.

Last night, while looking through the 1881 UK census for Yardley (Birmingham), I noticed a few of the houses in the area my great grandmother Blanche Wayne and her parents were living, were empty. Initially, I did wonder if they resided in some run-down location and others residents had moved out, but as I went on, I came across others that were only partly built. It was light bulb moment! I actually know that part of Birmingham quite well, and the houses would have been built around the 1880s. I’m not sure why I hadn’t thought of this before, I suppose they just seemed like old houses and it hadn’t occurred to me that at some point they would have been new.  Now I know, it’s quite nice to think of them filling out the census in their new home in, what was then, a small suburb quite separate from the main city where they had been living at the time of Blanche’s birth.


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