My great grandmother, Louisa Jane Shortland, was born in Weedon, Northamptonshire. Louisa’s father was William Shortland (also born in Weedon) and his father was John Shortland born in Flore.
I have been able to trace my family through census returns. The 1881 census shows Louisa Jane, living in Weedon, aged three, with her father William (a widower) and his sister Emily, also Louisa’s brother Ernest and their grandparents. The 1891 census shows Louisa is still at home with William in Weedon but he is now married to Alis and there is is a daughter Bessie. In 1901, Louisa is still in Weedon but now working as a parlour maid.
By 1911, Louisa has married my great grandfather Albert Edward William Clarke, a police sergeant and they are living together at Factory Row Police Station, Pottersbury – they have been married for seven years. Their two eldest children, Dorothy and Edward who died aged four in October 1911, are also shown, together with a visitor, Cecilia E Glenn, a certified midwife. The 1911 census doesn’t appear to coincide with the births of any of Louisa’s children that I can see but my father believes Louisa had a number of miscarriages, so that could be the reason.
It has also been possible to keep track of Louisa’s father William – aged seven, he is shown living in Weedon with his parents John and Jane and siblings, Henry (recorded as an invalid), Richard, Sarah and Emily. Between 1871 and 1881, William has been married and widowed. He remains a resident of Weedon on both the 1891 and 1901 censuses.
The census returns also show my great great grandfather John Shortland – aged 36 in 1851, he is married to Jane and living with children John, Richard, Sarah and Mary. In 1861 William and another daughter Emily appear and Louisa Jane and her brother Ernest show on the 1881 census.