The Darfield Census of 1821

Another interesting document held by Doncaster Archive Services is the census of the village of Darfield for 1821.

As some of you may know, the national census is carried out every 10 years but this has only been done ‘properly’ since about 1851. Prior to that they were very ad hoc affairs with many areas not covered at all and only scant details recorded.

This census report is hand-written in an ancient child’s school exercise book featuring a picture/rhyme of Mother Goose on the front cover, with only the number of males/females in each age group recorded for each household. The Stableses have two entries in this census:

  Males Females
Householder Under 5s 10 - 15 30 - 40 Over 80 5 - 10 40 - 50
Wm. Stables       1 1 1
John Stables 2 1 1   1 1

The John Stables here is the one who married Ann Tyas and was born in Barnburgh in 1783. The William Stables is John’s father (born in Barnburgh in 1739), who is living with his daughter Fanny and her illegitimate child (his grand-daughter), at this time.

William was buried in Darfield. He seems to have left Barnburgh in disgrace, his father having disinherited him in his Will.

I know it was his daughter Fanny (Frances, born in Barnburgh in 1778) that he was living with because she made an application for poor relief in May 1828 and Doncaster Archive Services hold information about her application. The application lists her as a ‘single woman’ which confirms that her child was illegitimate, otherwise she would have been listed as ‘married’ or ‘widowed’. She died unmarried in 1828, but her daughter, Sarah, was baptised at Doncaster in 1812. The parish register reads: "Sarah Base daughter of Frances Stables born July 3 Thomas Longstaff reputed father."


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