Saturday, November 21, 2009

Who is Thomas DAWS born about 1768?

I don't know much about Thomas DAWS. The 1841 census (shown in the previous post) lists him and his wife, Elizabeth, at ages 70 and 60 respectively living at Church St. Uckfield with their son William and his family. There are two groups of people shown:

William (35) Ag Lab / Not born in Sussex
Elizabeth (35) / Not born in Sussex
Elizabeth (12) / Not born in Sussex
Henry (10) / Born in Sussex
Catherine (8) / Born in Sussex
Charlotte (3) / Born in Sussex
Daniel (2 months) / Born in Sussex

Thomas (70) / Born in Sussex
Elizabeth (60) / Not born in Sussex
Sarah (25) Laundress / Not born in Sussex
George (15) Ag Lab / Not born in Sussex
Eliza (1) / Born in Sussex

There are two families living together with a total of twelve people. Thomas must have been too old to work as no occupation is given for him. Looking at the ages of William's children it is easy to see when the family moved to Uckfield. Elizabeth age 12 was not born in Sussex while Henry age 10 was so it would have been about 1830.

A "Head of Household" record of the 1831 census for Uckfield survived but it doesn't offer much help. There is a Thomas DAWS living at Grants Hill but his family is combined with that of John SMITH for a total of 8 males and 8 females. There are two ag labs in Thomas' family and two labourers in John's family. There is also a Thomas DAW in the Uckfield Poor House with 2 males of which one is an ag lab and 2 females. An Ag Lab is an agricutural labourer and was a very common occupation.

Looking at the 1841 census for John SMITH finds a family of 5 still living at Grants Hill. They were all born before 1831 so if these are substracted from the 16 who were combined in 1831 that leaves 11 for the DAWS family.

The family makeup in 1831 would have looked like this with ages adjusted to 1831:
(1) Thomas (63)
(2) Elizabeth (49)
(3) Thomas (22) son - married Ann LANGRIDGE in 1834
(4) Sarah (20) dau
(5) Frances (17) dau - married Henry HEMSLEY in 1840
(6) Elizabeth (15) dau
(7) George (10) son
(8) Harriett (2) dau
(9) William (27) son - married Elizabeth below in 1828
(10) Elizabeth (27) dau in law
(11) Elizabeth (3) granddau

Combining the Smith's 4 males and 1 female with the Dawes' 4 males and 7 females equals the eight of each counted in 1831, however, I would have been happier if the number of Ag Lab's reported was three unless old Thomas at 63 was already too old to work.

Finally, the only piece of paper we have relating to Thomas is his death registration for 18 June 1843 showing his age as 75 assuming that everyone around him knew his actual age.

This is confirmed by a burial in Holy Cross Church Cemetery dated 25 June 1843. Usually it is a relative that reports a death but in this case it was Mary DARBY who was present at his death. The 1841 census shows a Mary Darby living at Rock Hall Cottage which is not far from the DAWS' on Church Street. Maybe she helped to care for Thomas at the end.

What does all of this prove?

1st- That Thomas and Elizabeth DAWS returned to Uckfield from East Peckham sometime between 1821 when George was born in East Peckham and 1829 when Harriet was born in Uckfield.

2nd- That William and Elizabeth DAWS came to Uckfield between 1828 when their daughter, Elizabeth, was born in East Peckham and 1831 when Henry was born in Uckfield.

3rd- That Thomas DAWS was born in Uckfield about 1768 based on his age at death and his birth location according to the 1841 census.

4th- That another DAWS family was living in the Uckfield Poor House in 1831 but I have no idea if they are related or not.

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