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Home Page Kelsall 19th Century Social History

Academic & Family Community History
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Contents Last Updated 22 April 2008

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Acquired Data

Census Data

Take part in a Global Survey on Migration between censuses ... Your own experiences are important

This site focuses on the Victorian period of the small village of Kelsall in Cheshire, England. The primary purpose is to be an information resource for persons who want to know about Victorian Kelsall that had a population never greater than 700 persons. If you are family historian you will find the tithe & census transcriptions interesting, especially as you can download a copy for your own use. On the academic front, because I have used Kelsall as a study resource there are opportunities to review my work. Feel free to use it as a resource but please do not plagiarise it.

If you are more interested in modern day Kelsall, or would like a more broad overview of the village and it's surrounding area, there is an excellent site www.kelsall.org.uk devoted to the community that is maintained by others, it is well worth a visit.


Many micro-study local history projects focus on migration by examining the enumerated birthplaces as a start data-point and comparing them with an end-point, usually as part of an in-migration study. The outcomes are then compared with prior studies by Pooley & Turnbull (1998) and Michael Anderson (1990) as well as the earlier historic E G Ravenstein studies. The publication in 1999 of the complete census for England, Scotland & Wales provides an opportunity to revisit earlier work and assess the out migration of the Cheshire village of Kelsall. The tutor's comments were "An interesting and very relevant study using local sources comparable to ones used in the course material.  You use secondary sources effectively to set the context for your own work". The submission was marked at 75%.
You can download the complete report as an Adobe Acrobat file (580Kb) for which you will require Adobe Acrobat Reader version 4 or preferably Version 5. You can download Adobe Acrobat Reader as a free file.

This, although an ambitious project, collects only some basic data to establish how likely people are to move between National Censuses. In today's globalised world where many people move home for a variety of reasons, this work will look at the number of persons who respond to an on-line questionnaire about how many times they moved and why. You are encouraged to participate by submitting your own experiences. No personal data is requested or collected. I anticipate a similar Kelsall focused survey soon.

During the 19th century, England moved from an agriculturally focused to industrial focused economy and the population moved from rural townships to urban and industrial conurbations. After 1851, decline in the numbers employed in agriculture and widespread rural depopulation stimulated rural-urban migration (Bellerby 1958).

However, most of rural Cheshire was unaffected by sharp population growth (Elrington 1980), yet industrial conurbations south of the River Mersey continued to develop.

Given this situation it would pre-suppose that villages and rural townships were limited in their potential for growth unless they adapted to the new external environment.

Testing this hypothesis, this paper provides the initial results of an exploratory content analysis of the 19th Century Township of Kelsall in Cheshire, between 1832 and 1897, that confirms such a demographic change took place.


This project will be of great interest to those family historians who would like to appreciate what was involved in keeping a school running in the late 19th century. Whilst many historians have written in detail concerning the history of major universities and public 'boarder' schools of England, this projects examines the social & community history associated  with the ordinary elementary school in Kelsall. Of particular interest to family historians will be the information relating to pupils and staff for the period under investigation.

This project is currently in it's very early stages. It has the object of identifying the level of migration from Kelsall (of it's inhabitants) between 1841 and 1881. The project sets out to identify by name all the persons who left Kelsall between the Census years of 1841 and 1871, and seeks to establish if they were recorded in the 1881 census of England & Wales. The data sources used are the Census Enumerator Books for Kelsall, and the England & Wales database of persons enumerated in the 1881 census.

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Web Site Information

This site has been developed within THE DICKSON NET as an academic support for projects relating to the social history of Kelsall during the 19th century. Much of the information is academically speculative, however in support of the research a great deal of information relating to the inhabitants of Kelsall is extracted from numerous sources, including official records such as Parish Registers and Census Enumerator Books (CEBs). Much of the data will therefore be of interest to family historians who may be searching for a genealogical link.

To maximise the information contained in this site you would benefit from having copies of the following software.

Adobe Acrobat Reader version 3.x is an absolute must have. A free copy of the most recent version may be downloaded from the Adobe web. The most recent version is available free from the Adobe Internet Site at http://www.adobe.com 

Most of the files are that are available were created in either Microsoft Excel 97, Microsoft Access version 7.0 format. or Microsoft Office Word 97 format. In the majority of cases these have been recreated in Adobe Acrobat (pdf).

It is also possible to download free "reader" software from the Microsoft Web Site that will allow you to read Word 97 & Excel 97 files.

If you want to go to Microsoft and download the viewer files now (don't forget to save this site in your favourites folder in your browser first) then Go Microsoft

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Biographical Information

Don Dickson

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Contact Information

Electronic mail address
donATthe-dicksons.org (replace the AT with @)

Web address

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Personal Interests

Software I use for Genealogy
I use Family Tree Maker software to maintain my own family history having settled on this after some considerable time spent using Brothers Keeper. To maintain a central database of Vital Statistics (BMD & Census data) I use Custodian ll that replicates official documentation & forms.
Software I use for academic work
I use Microsoft Office modules Word, Excel and Access, though earlier databases of sources are kept in Microsoft Works. This site was created using Microsoft FrontPage. To "shrink" the file sizes and make them easier to download, much of the material has been converted using Adobe Acrobat Exchange so that they may be read in Adobe Acrobat Reader.

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Hot List

This section is reserved for providing a link to other interesting web sites that can provide some additional information that may be useful for your research. There are two pages, one for academic support, and one for genealogy stuff if you would like to request a link for your own site then click here.

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Comments and Suggestions

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Copyright Don Dickson http://www.the-dicksons.org 1999, 2000, 2001
Last revised: April 22, 2008.