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1911 Census

The 1911 Census, known as the Fertility Census, was the first  to be completed by the householder who had to provide names, ages and occupations of all inhabitants, the length of time married, number of children in the marriage and number of children were still living and how many had died. 

The 1911 Census for Thorndon makes an interesting read!

The inhabited dwellings recorded were 115, excluding Kerrison, with 453 people occupying them.  Compare that with 1870 when there were 139 dwellings and a population of 675 - Thorndon was in decline!  Many of the houses only had three rooms; likely to be two bedrooms and one living room and they were frequently overcrowded.  The private school at The Rectory accounted for a number of young boys being boarded in the small houses their birthplaces were recorded as being from as far away as Shropshire.  One wonders why parents, who could afford private education, would submit their sons to such discomforts.  The largest houses had the smallest occupation - The Rectory with 16 rooms housed the Rev. Harold Harris, his wife and one live-in servant, the same went for Thorndon Hill Farm with 15 rooms.

Generally couples didn't marry until their mid-twenties, sometimes much later, although there were some very youthful exceptions with young families.  Occupations were mostly agricultural labouring and men in their 70's were still at work.  Agriculture accounted for much of the local employment.

The High Street was not so named then, confusingly just The Street; fortunately a number of people included the number or name of their house which made it easier to identify them.  The names of the Black Horse Pub and four farms are mentioned but little else, couple that with the fact that a number of houses have since been demolished.

View the summary of households on the  1911 Census Summary  along with the The Kerrison Reformatory 1911 Census Summary