View Full Version : Romford Workhouse.
05-04-2011, 4:25 PM
I am trying to see the list of officers and inmates who were recorded on the 1911 Census as being in, or employed at, the Romford (Essex) workhouse, but no matter what combination of addresses I use I can't get to see it. I have seen a copy of the 1881 census, but there isn't an address given on it - not even a title to say that it's the workhouse...so it's no good as a crib.
The people at Findmypast assure me it's there but I still can't find it. Any suggestions please? PLEASE?
05-04-2011, 4:59 PM
This is a rather roundabout route, but may be worth a go if you're getting desperate.
Try going to Person Search, advanced search, then untick the 'Households' and 'Vessels' boxes so that only 'Institutions' is left ticked, put Romford in the registration district box, and search for a common surname, like Smith.
If there was more than one institution in the same district you may waste some credits, though. You could choose 'Inmate' in the dropdown menu of 'Relationship to head of household', but again there could be other types of institution with inmates. Once you've found one page of the institutional census return you should be able to navigate to the others (I think!). Good luck!
05-04-2011, 5:56 PM
The master of the Romford workhouse in 1911 was Arthur HESFORD. If you search on that name in Romford, it should take you to the first page of the workhouse returns. The workhouse was at 1 Oldchurch Road.
05-04-2011, 5:58 PM
Looking at the 1911 census for the Romford Union Workhouse And Infirmary, the address given on the census is...
1 Oldchurch Road, Romford
Entering this address does not appear to work on FMP.
The full census reference is..
RG14PN9848 RD191 SD1 ED24 SN9999
Unfortunately, if you enter the reference number, FMP refuses to return any search results because...
"search criteria returned 575 results. This search returns a maximum of 500 results"
So, as a workaround, you can get to the first page of the workhouse if you search in Essex for Arthur HESFORD, born 1867. He was the master of the workhouse.
Edit: just pipped by Kerrywood. :D
06-04-2011, 6:19 AM
Thank you all for your help. It's much appreciated. I'll have another go.
06-04-2011, 7:44 AM
Do I take it that in view of the above suggested workarounds, nobody knows a reliable way to search for institutions in the 1911 census, comparable to the "Institution Search" in the 1901 census?
06-04-2011, 10:32 AM
It's not just institutions you have problems with.
Even what should be a straightforward address search can be a minefield. Put any place name in the 'residential place' box and scroll through the results. (If the place name is also the name of a registration district it's even more fun!) If by the end of the third page you're not going :confused5: you're not looking in the right place.
And not helped when they mis-index some of the houses in a street. If you want some of the houses in Belfour Street Battersea you have to search under Belford Street, in spite of the address being clearly written on the household schedule and houses being in the middle of the page of the enumerator's list.
As for the bright sparks who answer emails/phone calls and assure you that 'it's there', I would make them tell me in baby steps how to find the first page in the workhouse by searching on the address. In fact I'd make them doubly earn their crust by saying that I'm searching for Oldchurch Road, Romford, but according to their index the road doesn't exist. (I am so evil at times. :biggrin:)
Like Coromandel, I have just tried doing an advance search for institutions, parish Romford, registration district Romford, and you do get a result, but there's 631 people listed so obviously more than just the workhouse based on the result Olliecat found, so no particular help. If you have a sub then you can click 'view' on any person and then just keep clicking on 'previous image' until you come to the first page, but that's not much help if you've got credits.
06-04-2011, 10:51 AM
I am speaking to a very nice man at FMP as I type. :smile5:
06-04-2011, 12:03 PM
The very nice man at FMP is also perplexed as to why he can't find Oldchurch Road listed when he does an address search.
He has reported it to the data team, and has promised to come back to me with an answer.
He said it could have been listed under the name of the workhouse, so in this case could have been under Romford, Workhouse, or even 'The'. But wasn't.
Two other hints for searching for workhouses in the 1911 census.
If you have an address, enter the road and residential place.
Click road, and then search in the first column (schedule numbers) for 9999.
Bingo, one workhouse. :smile5: (All workhouses have a schedule number of 9999.)
Click 'view' and you get the first page of the workhouse, i.e. the master and other staff who live on the premises, plus often some of the inmates depending on the size of the workhouse. I say 'staff who live on the premises' because I've done a search on Boston workhouse and there doesn't seem to be many staff listed when the workhouse probably has 263 people in it. (Number of people in institutions in Boston - haven't checked if they're all in the workhouse.)
If you have no luck with an address search, then search using just the residential place, and go to the last page of the results. You'll see a list of 'other establishments'.
If you try it with Romford, you get several but you should click Romford parish. No 9999 schedule number - which is another reason the nice man at FMP is perplexed.
(I did think for a minute that I'd cracked it because at the top of the list of other establishments is a blank parish, and when you click on it there are several 9999 schedules, but they're Police Returns with people listed as 'wandering in the street without a shelter', 'under a cart', and 'in cart shed'. At first glance funny to read as they could have been too legless to find their way back home, but then so sad when you think these people are probably homeless.)
Hope this helps in the search for other workhouses.
Will keep you posted about the nice man at FMP.
06-04-2011, 2:52 PM
I didn't realise what a can of worms I was opening with my query - but the fixes initially suggested, worked. I'm happy now and hope never to have to look for another workhouse listing for 1911. Thank you all again.
06-04-2011, 2:57 PM
Actually I'm quite pleased you opened the can of worms. :smile5:
I think we've all learnt something from the query, and hopefully (once FMP get their data sorted!) lots of other people will be able to find Oldchurch Road without any problems.
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