William Gilbertson. b c 1830. 1891 census

Discussion in 'British Census' started by Brentor boy, Jan 12, 2021.

  1. Brentor boy

    Brentor boy Well-Known Member

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    Family Search has transcribed the 1891 census entry for this man as:-
    William Gilbertson. 61. Living North Seaton, Northumberland. Botanist. Born Northumberland ? Green.
    Ref. RG12 4260/70 page 55

    Is it possible that someone can check the original entry, please?
    In 1881 his occupation was "coal miner" and in 1901 "coal miner hewer"
    His place of birth was Gretna, Scotland.
    Can the 1891 record be matched to this?
     
  2. janetbooth

    janetbooth Top Dog Stalwart

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    RG12/4260, folio 70, page 55

    William GILBERTSON Head M 61 Botanist born Gretna Green

    Living at 300 Reading Room Row, North Seaton with wife Mary Ann & children Jane, James, Robert, Mary Ann, Joseph & granddaughter Alice GILBERTSON, aged 3, born Woodhorn. The children & his wife all seem to fit the details in the 1881 census of Widdrington.

    Janet
     
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  3. Brentor boy

    Brentor boy Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, Janet, for your prompt reply.
    I had no real doubts about WG' s identity and the evidence of his place of birth has confirmed it. What foxed me, and still foxes me, is his occupation. I can think of no rational explanation for the dramatic change. I did wonder if "botanist" was a corruption of some position related to mining.
     
  4. MollyMay

    MollyMay Knows where to find the answers!

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    As you can see the enumerator has clearly written Botanist, but I am not sure of the word added afterward ?Servant, but far from certain.
    upload_2021-1-12_12-49-44.png
     
  5. Daft Bat

    Daft Bat Administrator. Chief cook & bottle washer! Staff Member

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    Looks like "Scent" to me....
     
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  6. MollyMay

    MollyMay Knows where to find the answers!

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    I am not entirely certain that the first letter is an S.
    Looking through the schedules this hand has made a lot of amendments and all of the Scholar/School entries look like the one below. He makes plenty of his own abbreviations too - coalM (coal miner)
    upload_2021-1-12_13-50-0.png
     
  7. arthurk

    arthurk Well-Known Member

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    It's an occupational classification added later when the returns were being analysed, and I think it's "Scient" - presumably short for Scientists or Scientific.
     
  8. burt

    burt Where there's a will there's a way!

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    I saw mention of one of the name that studied plant fossils in coal,
    but there seems to have been another Botanist of the name earlier
    that they probably confuse with.
     
  9. kernowmaid

    kernowmaid Well-Known Member

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    That's what I see, too.

    Jane
     
  10. Brentor boy

    Brentor boy Well-Known Member

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    Thanks to all who have responded to my query.
    It is quite clear what has been written which, I think, is most unlikely to be an accurate description of William Gilbertson's occupation.
    It is only a small matter of little consequence but it would be interesting to know what the enumerator was thinking about.
     
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  11. Archie's Mum

    Archie's Mum Always digging up clues

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    A thought came to mind earlier. Maybe ‘hewer’ was what was said. He being a well educated man, thought, ‘hewer’, ummmm trees. Must be a Botanist if he works with trees. :rolleyes:
     
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  12. arthurk

    arthurk Well-Known Member

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    I wondered whether it might be referring to a hobby or interest, or - a bit more obscure - he was on a break from mining and trying to work in botanical medicine, ie something like herbalism or homeopathy.

    However, I've had a look at some lists of occupations, and I now wonder if it might be a local or light-hearted term for a bottomer, which you can read about on the following page (see also onsetter on the same page):
    Code:
    http://doot.spub.co.uk/code.php?value=043
     
  13. Brentor boy

    Brentor boy Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the link, Arthur. Very interesting.

    Perhaps " bottomer" spoken with a Scottish accent could be mistaken for "botanist"
     
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  14. Archie's Mum

    Archie's Mum Always digging up clues

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    That’s makes good sense...;) bottomer
     
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  15. arthurk

    arthurk Well-Known Member

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    Or it might be a case of poor spelling and/or handwriting. Think 'botomer' or 'botamer': 'a'/'o' more or less indistinguishable; 'm' read as 'ni'; 'e' a bit shapeless; 'r' large and messy - and you quite easily end up with botanist.

    Or the enumerator might have been reading it in a hurry as he was late for his appointment at Specsavers. :D
     
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  16. Andromeda

    Andromeda Member

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    I'm not so sure that it was entirely a mistake. There are quite a few references to William & family in the papers, but interestingly the Blyth News 21 April 1894 refers to him as Prof W Gilbertson, North Seaton. Mentioned in the same article are Robert & James Gilbertson, North Seaton, so it does look very much like its 'your' William & sons.

    The Blyth News 4 August 1894 also mentions Prof. Gilbertson.

    Harder to find, but there is also mention of him in the Morpeth Herald 17 March 1894 under the heading 'Presentation to a Radical Free Gardener' which says that the previous Friday the Water Lily Lodge of the Free Gardeners met at the Clayton Arms Inn, Bedlington to honour one of their oldest members, Bro. John Harn, one of the old school of Bedlington Radicals. "Mr W Gilbertson of North Seaton presided".

    So it looks like he was a member of the Order of Free Gardeners (as was my husbands GG Grandfather). Perhaps he wrote some reference to that on his census form and it was 'morphed' into Botanist by the enumerator?
     
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  17. Andromeda

    Andromeda Member

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    Not sure, but I think he may also have been a spiritualist.

    The Medium & Daybreak magazine dated 20 Mar 1885 has this:

    NORTH SHIELDS: 6, Camden Street, March 10.- "The Man Jesus," was the subject taken by the guides of an old friend Mr. Gilbertson, of North Seaton. It was an extensive discourse and was well received.- J. T. McKELLAR, Sec

    A discrepancy in the years, but this event was advertised in the Shields Daily News 9 March 1887:

    North Shields Spiritual and Investigating Society, 6 Camden Street
    SEANCE by Mr Wm Gilbertson
    For Members only, on Thursday evening, March 10th, at 8 O'Clock.
    Collection to defray expenses
    .
     
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  18. Brentor boy

    Brentor boy Well-Known Member

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    Thank you, Andromeda, for that interesting and exciting contribution which requires further investigation.
    I have just made one simple search which has proved a little disappointing. William Gilbertson, as William Seaton Gilbertson, died in March Q 1902. I have had a quick look on Newspaper Archives, hoping for an obituary, particularly as he seemed to be so well connected, but found nothing, which is a little puzzling.
     
  19. Archie's Mum

    Archie's Mum Always digging up clues

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    Found on Genesreunited :
    Blyth News Northumberland 6 Jan 1899
    Alleged Wounding Case.
    Morpeth (County) Petty Sessions, before Mr C G Rayne High House Sarah Gilbertson was charged with wounding with intent at North Seaton Colliery on the 26th ult., William S Gilbertson and Mary Gilbertson, who in their (esidenco)? said that the defendant was their daughter in law......
    The rest I cant get to as I don't have a sub to genesreunited
    10th Jan 1899......Blyth News. At the Northumberland Quarter Sessions on Thursday Sara Gilbertson 30, laundress, pleaded guilty to wounding William Seaton Gilbertson at the parish of Woodhorn on December 26 and also wounding Mary Ann Gilbertson.......
     
  20. Genie1

    Genie1 Well-Known Member

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    Blyth News 10 January 1899.
    Sarah Gilbertson age 30,pleaded guilty to wounding William Seaton Gilbertson at the parish of Woodhorn/Woodborn on December 26th,and also to wounding Mary Ann Gilbertson at the same time and place.
    Prisoner said she was the daughter-in-law of them and expressed sorrow for what she had done, and said she was worse for drink when she used the knife upon them.
    She further alleged that they had attacked her first. She was sent to prison for 6 months.
     

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