Friday, 14 July 2017

Personal Histories

Ancestry searches!

We are slowly working our way through an old ledger that lists Winter's staff names, wages, and addresses, from November 1889 to May 1902.
Many of the entries are quite vague - no first name or initials, no job titles. But, there are contact addresses which do seem to get updated yearly.
It is sometimes tricky to read the handwriting but once you get your eye in it is possible to match up local street names.

The entries are divided in to male employees and female employees, listed mostly from highest to lowest paid. Cross referencing the names, dates, and addresses with the census in 1881, 1891, and 1901 we are able to pinpoint some of the staff.

Miss Tomkinson

One of the entries that piqued our interest was for Tomkinson. Miss Tomkinson is listed in the ledger from the beginning (Nov 1889), and so may have been working at Winters before this date.
According to the ledger, Miss Tomkinson's address is listed as 52 Dashwood Street, Normanton Road, Derby. If we look at the census for 1891, however, whilst we find a Tomkinson family at his address, no one is listed in any occupation that would suggest working at Winters.

We do know that the census takes place in April and coincidentally Tomkinson is absent in the wages ledger at this point.

From 10th January to 2nd May Tomkinson is listed as ill, and then as away with typhoid fever! How can we find out which Tomkinson this is? Is there someone missing in the 1891 census? We can trace the family back to the 1881 census and therein we find, at the age of 8 years, Julia Tomkinson. Was Julia still alive in 1891? Now armed with a firstname and year if birth based on her age we can search again for Julia in 1891 - and here she is:

Julia Tomkinson is resident in the Lime Tree Lane Convalescent Home in Matlock. She is listed as a 'photographic assistant', born in Derby.

So what becomes of Julia? She returns to work in May 1891 and continues to be employed at W. W. Winter until the end of November 1896.

We thought, perhaps she had left to be married but out of curiosity we checked the marriage records and the 1901 census. It appears she remained single and dedicated the rest of her working life to nursing. In 1901 she is working  at Rainhill Asylum in Lancashire, and by 1911 she is Head Nurse at Boreatton Park in Shropshire.
Our access to the census ends here but death records show Julia lives to a good age of 78. We can only speculate but perhaps Julia's experience in the convalescent home inspired her future move to nursing!


We are always looking for people who may be related to the Winter's extended family. Julia did not go on to have children but perhaps you are descended from one of her siblings (Laura, Albert, Bertha, Arthur)? Let us know!