We’ve made some progress on our investigations of the Holmes family – and it turns out that the Ellis we found on Anglesey was a complete red herring!
Searching through the 1861 Census the family have turned up living in Tranmere but the key bit of information this has given us is their ages – this census shows William Holmes (the head of the household) to be 42 and Margaret Holmes (his wife) to be 35.
The 1871 Census was never very clear – someone had drawn a line right through his age – but it looked very much like he was 32 and considerably younger than his wife Margaret. Now we can be reasonably confident that his age in 1871 was actually 52 and so other things start to make much more sense.
For example Ellis Holmes – the eldest son – is shown as 23 on the 1871 Census and would therefore have been far too old to have been William’s son. Now we can resonably assume that Ellis is the son of both William and Margaret and we’re not looking for some third party to explain the discrepancy in their ages.
More good news is that the place of birth for both Margaret and Ellis is actually legible on this Census – both are shown as being born at Mostyn, Denbighshire on the North Wales coast.
As both William and Margaret were born long before Civil Registration in England and Wales, this at least gives us a starting point when delving into the world of Parish Registers…