Tytherton Lucas Census Records 1841 to 1911

With guidance from the Bremhill Parish History project, I have been studying the census records for Tytherton Lucas from 1841 to 1911. The census was taken every 10 years and 1911 is the most recent publicly available record. The current village of Tytherton Lucas included parts of 2 other parishes. The records are not easy to follow being handwritten, with most addresses being simply “Tytherton Lucas”. The family names vary from one census to the next which is explained by most properties being let on short tenancies. However, many surnames repeat, including families still in the parish today e.g. Gingell, Tarling and Ferris. Most were born in Bremhill or neighbouring parishes. In some cases, I have managed to trace the same person through successive census records e.g. Isaac Strange at the age of 26 was at Barsmore in 1841, then age 35 at Mr Crook’s Cottage in 1851, then at age 46 at the “Adjoining Cottage to Goldney’s” in 1861 and finally at age 56 at Goldney’s Cottage in 1871.

In 1841 there were 8 farms and 1 mill. In 1861 Barsmore farm was described as “Very old – let as a cottage”, in 1881 “uninhabited” and thereafter is not recorded. This tallies with looking at old maps, as Barsmore farm, which was towards Stanley, disappeared from the maps at about this time. Scott’s mill was a grist or corn mill on the other side of the river Marden to Scott’s Mill farm. There were 6 other farms, some of whose names varied, but can be traced by their acreages e.g. Mr Fell’s farm (10 acres) became Carter’s farm (30 acres) and then Field farm (30 acres). Mr Coleman’s farm (152 acres) became White’s farm (160 acres), then West Tytherton farm and today is known as Bosmere farm. Manor farm, Stokes farm, Currycombe farm and Gaston’s farm appear throughout the census records. These were probably all dairy farms with occupations listed as farmers, bailiffs, agricultural labourers, cow men and dairy maids, as well as a miller at Scott’s Mill. The farmer’s wives and dairy maids would have made butter and cheese to go to market.

In 1881 only 2 of the farms had resident farmers, 3 were uninhabited and 3 were run by bailiffs. Perhaps this reflects the national farming depression at that time.

In 1901 there were 4 carters – does this reflect a change in farming? And an 18 year old was an “Engine fireman” – was this for a steam powered threshing machine or tractor? In 1911 there were 2 railway workers: a packer and a porter. This coincides with Stanley Halt railway station opening in 1905.

Approximately 40% of the population were children age 12 or under and from 1881 onwards many were described as “scholars” and probably attended East Tytherton elementary or primary school which had opened 9 or 10 years earlier. Older boys became farm workers and some of the girls became servants, dressmakers or a “bird keeper” (presumably looking after hens?).

It is interesting to speculate on how different the 2021 census records will be. There are just a few more dwellings – mainly conversions of old farm buildings. The mill no longer exists. Only one small farm has cattle. And only one large farm still has a resident farm manager. Many properties have a few acres, and most of these keep horses for pleasure. The current population is about half of what it was in 1911, with far fewer children and with an average number of people per dwelling reduced from 5 to just 2. The majority of current adult residents were not born in the parish and occupations are mainly professional or small businesses with most travelling to work outside the village or working from home using the internet. I wonder what changes there will be in the next 100 years!

Helen Stuckey