Discussion:
Occupation - Assistant Overseer Boy bailiff?
(too old to reply)
Doc Shenley
2005-12-19 10:41:56 UTC
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Can anyone with access to 1861 census images (RG9/2746 f49 p32) please help?
My interest is in 15-year-old Thomas Wilcock, described as a farm servant.
He's living/working at a farm headed by Henry Swift, whose son William is
described as 'Assistant Overseer Boy bailiff'. Is Thomas Wilcock working
under some kind of bondage/restraint?

I would also appreciate help interpreting the name of the farm, ?? Farm
Griffin.

In 1871, Thomas is back living with his parents in Billinge, about 8-10
miles away.
Jenny M Benson
2005-12-19 10:54:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by Doc Shenley
Can anyone with access to 1861 census images (RG9/2746 f49 p32) please
help? My interest is in 15-year-old Thomas Wilcock, described as a farm
servant. He's living/working at a farm headed by Henry Swift, whose son
William is described as 'Assistant Overseer Boy bailiff'. Is Thomas
Wilcock working under some kind of bondage/restraint?
I think you have rather mis-read the entries.

The farmer is described as employing 3 men and 1 boy. His son is
described as an Assistant Overseer. The enumerator has then written
Bailiff as an alternative (preferred) job title.

It is very unlikely that Thomas was anything other than an employed
labourer, probably hired by the year but possibly on a casual basis.
--
Jenny M Benson
Eve McLaughlin
2005-12-19 23:12:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jenny M Benson
Post by Doc Shenley
Can anyone with access to 1861 census images (RG9/2746 f49 p32) please
help? My interest is in 15-year-old Thomas Wilcock, described as a farm
servant. He's living/working at a farm headed by Henry Swift, whose son
William is described as 'Assistant Overseer Boy bailiff'. Is Thomas
Wilcock working under some kind of bondage/restraint?
I think you have rather mis-read the entries.
The farmer is described as employing 3 men and 1 boy. His son is
described as an Assistant Overseer. The enumerator has then written
Bailiff as an alternative (preferred) job title.
This makes sense - an 'Overseer' would be understood normally as being a
Poor Law official (one of those who operated on parish level).
Therefore, although what the farm person was doing was helping his
brother oversee the farm, it was plain confusing to call him an
Overseer. The term 'farm foreman' was not normally in use, so 'bailiff'
and 'assistant bailiff' fitted the bill better, and could be used uin
classification.
The lad of 15 was just an 'odd boy' on the farm, doing whatever he was
told to do.
--
Eve McLaughlin

Author of the McLaughlin Guides for family historians
Secretary Bucks Genealogical Society
Hugh Watkins
2005-12-20 18:09:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Eve McLaughlin
Post by Jenny M Benson
Post by Doc Shenley
Can anyone with access to 1861 census images (RG9/2746 f49 p32) please
help? My interest is in 15-year-old Thomas Wilcock, described as a farm
servant. He's living/working at a farm headed by Henry Swift, whose son
William is described as 'Assistant Overseer Boy bailiff'. Is Thomas
Wilcock working under some kind of bondage/restraint?
I think you have rather mis-read the entries.
The farmer is described as employing 3 men and 1 boy. His son is
described as an Assistant Overseer. The enumerator has then written
Bailiff as an alternative (preferred) job title.
This makes sense - an 'Overseer' would be understood normally as being a
Poor Law official (one of those who operated on parish level).
Therefore, although what the farm person was doing was helping his
brother oversee the farm, it was plain confusing to call him an
Overseer. The term 'farm foreman' was not normally in use, so 'bailiff'
and 'assistant bailiff' fitted the bill better, and could be used uin
classification.
The lad of 15 was just an 'odd boy' on the farm, doing whatever he was
told to do.
I would call a bailiff a farm manager today

eg a son running the place for his widowed mother in my own family

Hugh W
Eve McLaughlin
2005-12-21 00:16:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by Hugh Watkins
Post by Eve McLaughlin
This makes sense - an 'Overseer' would be understood normally as being a
Poor Law official (one of those who operated on parish level).
Therefore, although what the farm person was doing was helping his
brother oversee the farm, it was plain confusing to call him an
Overseer. The term 'farm foreman' was not normally in use, so 'bailiff'
and 'assistant bailiff' fitted the bill better, and could be used uin
classification.
The lad of 15 was just an 'odd boy' on the farm, doing whatever he was
told to do.
I would call a bailiff a farm manager today
depends, in the past, whether he was in full charge with right to hire
and fire (manager) or in charge of the daily working, but subject to the
whims of the owner as to whom he employed (foreman).
--
Eve McLaughlin

Author of the McLaughlin Guides for family historians
Secretary Bucks Genealogical Society
Doc Shenley
2005-12-20 05:19:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jenny M Benson
Post by Doc Shenley
Can anyone with access to 1861 census images (RG9/2746 f49 p32) please
help? My interest is in 15-year-old Thomas Wilcock, described as a farm
servant. He's living/working at a farm headed by Henry Swift, whose son
William is described as 'Assistant Overseer Boy bailiff'. Is Thomas
Wilcock working under some kind of bondage/restraint?
I think you have rather mis-read the entries.
Thank you. It looks very obvious once it's pointed out. I was also misled
by the idea of a bailiff being a 'quasi judicial' officer, and imagined that
Thomas may have been up to mischief and 'sentenced' to work on the farm as
an alternative to 'reformatory'. Clearly, I've maligned him.

It was also useful to be reminded that different people at different times
have written on the census sheets. Colour would make the differences
clearer, as well as making the files very much larger - pros and cons.
Post by Jenny M Benson
The farmer is described as employing 3 men and 1 boy. His son is
described as an Assistant Overseer. The enumerator has then written
Bailiff as an alternative (preferred) job title.
It is very unlikely that Thomas was anything other than an employed
labourer, probably hired by the year but possibly on a casual basis.
--
Jenny M Benson
S***@aol.com
2005-12-19 13:42:48 UTC
Permalink
In a message dated 19/12/2005 11:13:29 GMT Standard Time,
***@cedarbank81.fsnet.co.uk writes:

The enumerator has then written
Bailiff as an alternative (preferred) job title.



________________________________________________________________

Bailiff would have been written in by a Census abstracting clerk who had to
classify occupations, to a uniform principle, as laid down in a dictionary of
occupations, the first of which was devised for the 1861 census. On the
original enumerator sheet 'Bailiff' will be in coloured pencil or crayon.
Regards Stan Mapstone
www.mapstone.org
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