This Census Return marks another small, but significant breakthrough in my quest to find more information about my Great Great Grandfather, Christopher Christmas BERRY born Norwich, Norfolk, England.
Earlier research has shown that Christopher had left family in the UK to take up residence in Port Phillip (Melbourne), Australia c1837.
Records I have been able to get access to show that in 1837 two of his children, James-Newdick and Elizabeth-Newdick could have still been alive, together with Wife, Elis(z)abeth nee NEWDICK.
Following the line of thought that if Christopher was in Scotland in 1836 with the Orissa Shipping Company at Grangemouth (as is recorded in the Seamens Register) it was possible that Elisabeth and surviving children had accompanied him in the move north, I turned to the Census Records. Here, in the Census conducted on 3 June 1841 I found two contiguous entries with the name Elizabeth BERRY, ages 46 and 11, not born in Scotland, resident at East Craigies Cottages in the Parish of Cramond, with the occupation of the elder given as Agricultural Labourer.
It is perhaps significant also that Grangemouth, Christopher’s home port, is only 34.6 km distant from Cramond.
Further research is required to verify that these two with the name Elizabeth BERRY were Christopher’s wife and daughter and I plan to follow this up on a trip to Edinburgh early next year.
The fact that wife Elisabeth was still alive in 1841 would explain why I cannot find any record of Christopher and Harriet having married. Marriage would have been bigamous for both. It is interesting though that many of the family have claimed that they were married; the reason being that society in those days was much more intolerant of children born out-of-wedlock and many such incidents were hidden from the public domain.
I have entered this information into my article headed The Three Lives of Christopher Christmas UNDERWOOD/BERRY (born Norwich, Norfolk, England 1796; died Auckland, New Zealand, January 1851) .