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1851 census proving if random coincidence???

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Tawny Report 21 Aug 2019 11:54

On the 1851 census my 4x great grandfather John Nicholas (1816??) is at home in hamlet of Escalls in the parish of Sennen in Cornwall. Living with John are his wife Elizabeth Chappell (1815) and four of their children including my 3x great grandfather Elijah who is 5 months old.

The original record shows a Matthew and Esther Nicholas who are both 62 years old on the census living next door with their granddaughter Elizabeth Jane Nicholas.

What would be the easiest way to try and prove if Matthew and Esther are John’s parents or if the surname is coincidental?


Tawny Report 21 Aug 2019 12:08

I have John and Elizabeth's marriage as May 12th 1842 and Elizabeth's christening as November 5th 1815. I'm waiting on their marriage certificate to confirm.


ArgyllGran Report 21 Aug 2019 12:13

Esther and Nicholas had a son John - but born c1829

Ester Nicholas
in the 1841 England Census
Name: Ester Nicholas
Age: 50
Estimated birth year: abt 1791
Gender: Female
Where born: Cornwall, England
Civil Parish: Sennen
Hundred: Penwith
County/Island: Cornwall
Country: England
Registration district: Penzance
Sub-registration district: St Buryan
Piece: 144
Book: 15
Folio: 11
Page Number: 15
Household Members:
Name Age
Matthew Nicholas 50
Ester Nicholas 50
Matthew Nicholas 20
James Nicholas 20
Grace Nicholas 25
John Nicholas 12
Henery Nicholas 10


Tawny Report 21 Aug 2019 12:19

Thank you ArgyllGran. It looks like it’s most likely coincidence then as Matthew and Ester’s son would be too young to be my 4x great grandfather.


Tawny Report 21 Aug 2019 12:54

Taking into account what Erika found it is possible that John and Henery on the 1841 census with Matthew and Esther could possibly be nephews or grandchildren as there is a very big gap between Henery and John and the next potential youngest child this would potentially mean that my John could still be their son. “Helpfully” the 1841 census doesn’t give familial relationships. I think I need to do some digging.


Maddie Report 21 Aug 2019 12:59

Matthew Nicholas
Gender: M (Male)
Birth Date: 1789
Birth Place: Sennen, Cornwall Unitary Authority, Cornwall, England
Death Date: May 1862
Death Place: Sennen, Cornwall Unitary Authority, Cornwall, England
Cemetery: St Sennen Parish Cemetery
Burial or Cremation Place: Sennen, Cornwall Unitary Authority, Cornwall, England
Has Bio?: Y
Spouse: Esther Nicholas
Children: Mary Taskis Botheras
Richard Nicholas
Grace Oats
Matthew Nicholas
James Nicholas
Thomas Taskes Nicholas


John Nickles
Christening Date:
27 Aug 1815
Christening Date (Original):
27 AUG 1815
Christening Place:
Father's Name:
Michael Nickles
Mother's Name:


Maddie Report 21 Aug 2019 13:18



Tawny Report 21 Aug 2019 13:38

Thank you Maddie that would explain why I couldn’t find John’s christening.


KathleenBell Report 21 Aug 2019 13:47

On the 1851 census there is also an Elizabeth Nicholas and a Grace Nicholas, living on the other side of John Nicholas. They are two spinsters who are quite likely to be Matthew's sisters - although this would need checking.

Kath. x


KathleenBell Report 21 Aug 2019 13:53

Strange that the marriage gives John's father as Michael, as this is the only baptism I can see at the right time for John in Sennen, Cornwall:-

First name(s) JOHN
Last name NICHOLAS
Gender Male
Birth year 1816
Baptism year 1816
Baptism date 8 Dec 1816
Parish Sennen
Father's first name(s) William<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
Father's last name Nicholas
Mother's first name(s) Elisabeth<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
Mother's last name -
Relationship Son
County Cornwall
Country England
Record set Cornwall Baptisms
Category Birth, Marriage, Death & Parish Records
Subcategory Parish Baptisms
Collections from England, Great Britain

Kath. x


KathleenBell Report 21 Aug 2019 13:55

I doubt the surnames are coincidental - more likely to be wider family if they are not parents.

Kath. x


Tawny Report 21 Aug 2019 14:10

Thank you Kath. Maddie’s christening may well be correct as the names were spelled phonetically then and they would just have written down what they thought they heard. It is also possible the family moved for work.


KathleenBell Report 21 Aug 2019 14:32

Yes, seems like the baptism found by Maddie is the correct one as father's name matches with father's name on the marriage record.

Kath, x

Chris Ho :)

Chris Ho :) Report 22 Aug 2019 07:18

Marriage reference...

Chris :)

Day Month 12-May
Year 1842
Parish Or Reg District Buryan, St.
Groom Fn John
Groom Age Of age
Groom Residence Tredinney
Groom Condition Bachelor
Groom Rank Profession Labourer
Groom Signed / Marked (S/M) M
Groom Father Name Michael
Groom Father Rank Profession Labourer
Bride Fn Elizabeth
Bride Age Of age
Bride Residence Boscarne
Bride Condition Spinster
Bride Rank Profession
Bride Signed / Marked (S/M) M
Bride Father Name Nicholas
Bride Father Rank Profession Labourer
Banns / Licence (B/L) B
Witness Fn1 William
Witness Sn1 Thomas
Witness Fn2 Elizabeth
Witness Sn2 Williams

Day Month Nov-05
Year 1815
Parish Or Reg District Sancreed
Forename Elizabeth
Father Forename Nicholas
Mother Forename Elizabeth
Residence Sancreed
Father Rank Profession Husbandman

(if Son below, John occ. 1851, Farm Labourer)

Baptism Circuit Penzance, Bible Christian
Forename Elijah
Father Forename John
Mother Forename Elizabeth
Residence St Just
Parish Or Reg District
Father Rank Profession miner
Day Month 12-Nov
Year 1850
Where Baptised B.C. Chapel

(also below, can be useful for things Cornwall)

(Below could be 1842 Marriage, his Residence at time, Tredinney)

1841 (Find My Past)
Richard Eddy Male 50 1791 Cornwall, England (Farmer)
Grace Eddy Female 45 1796 Cornwall, England
John Nicholas Male 20 1821 Cornwall, England (M.S.)
John Stone Male 13 1828 Cornwall, England
William Richards Male 14 1827 Cornwall, England
Ann Wallish Female 20 1821 Cornwall, England
Grace Wallish Female 75 1766 Cornwall, England
Tredinney, St Buryan, Penzance, Cornwall


Tawny Report 22 Aug 2019 08:52

Thank you for the marriage record Chris and thank you for my 3x great grandfathers christening.

Sadly Elijah died on February 23rd 1900 in Madras, India of a hepatic ulcer and was buried a day later. Elijah had mining in his blood and was in India to mine diamonds.