January 21


Finding cousins in the 1921 Census of England and Wales

By Cathie

January 21, 2022

I guess many of you were like me earlier this month – eagerly awaiting the launch of the 1921 Census of England and Wales, which is exclusively available online at Findmypast.

[I’ve posted some links at the end of this post so you can find out more about the cost and how to access the records.]

Once the initial rush had died down a little, I dipped my toes into the records. Now I have education on my mind at present because I am preparing for a Legacy Family Webinar, my first for 2022. (It is on education in Australia and where you might find records. For Australians, education records can be very helpful in locating ancestors because we don’t have access to any census records in the 20th century.)

There were family stories about the children of my great uncle, William King-Wood, being educated at a small private school in England. William had been the Director of the Indo-European Telegraph Department, based in Teheran, Persia (now Iran). Sadly, he died unexpectedly in January 1921. Daisy, William’s wife, stayed on in Persia for a short time afterwards, writing numerous letters to request that William’s pension be paid to her so that the four children could continue their education.

Finding the four King-Wood children proved to be much easier than anticipated. From the home landing page for Australia/New Zealand, I searched by name but could also have selected by address or tried an advanced search.

Bingo! All four were found, with two of them at the same school. Three of the four census entries noted that their father was dead.

Joyce aged 13 and Oliver David aged 7, both boarders from Teheran, Persia, were attending a private school in Haddenham, near Aylesbury. The headmistress was Miss Charlotte Hogg aged 51. Her small school had students from across the world: the King-Wood children and another from Persia, one from South Africa, and three from Canton in China.

During the summer holidays in 1921, the children lived with their nanny at Haddenham.

Edward, Joyce’s twin brother, also aged 13 was at Pinewood in Hampshire, with Colonel Shirley the headmaster. This 1921 photo of the Pinewood 1st and 2nd Cricket XI was taken in the summer of 1921, around the time of the census which was on 19 June 1921. Edward is in the back row, fourth from the left, next to Colonel Shirley. Also in the photo in the second row, third from the right, is Frank Whalley, from Bengal, India.

Rayner, aged 15, the eldest of the King-Wood children was at Cheltenham College in Gloucestershire. Like the other schools, Cheltenham had students from South Africa, India, Egypt and most counties of England.

A second cousin gave me the photos of his father at school and the one of the children together in 1921.  To find out more about where they were educated through the 1921 Census means that I now look at these wonderful images and know more about the story behind them.  Others from British colonies were educated with them and in would have been a very sad year following the death of their father, the children spent their holidays together.


Landing pages:

Main 1921 Census landing page – www.findmypast.com.au/1921-census

Address Search landing page – www.findmypast.com.au/1921-census/address

Employer Search landing page – www.findmypast.com.au/1921-census/employer

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