My Life in 6 Censuses

Having read Janet’s and Helen’s interesting posts, I thought I’d have a go too. To my surprise, I’ve done a lot between censuses that’s not recorded. Makes me think how much I don’t know about my family’s lives when I’m looking at documents. The other thing I’ve noticed is that I am the family photographer, so there are very few photos of me. I need to change that!

1st April 1971

My 1st communion, 2 May 1971

Any eagle-eyed readers might spot the date of the first census I appear in. Although my father was English, we were living in New York. I’m the oldest of 6; my second to youngest sibling was only 2 months old in 1971. We lived in an apartment and I went to the local school, P.S. 122.

5 April 1981

Summer Holiday, Norfolk Broads, Summer 1981

It’s incredible how much happened between 1971 & 1981. My youngest sibling was born in 1972. The family moved from New York to South London. I went to Alphea Middle School from 1972 to 1976 and the Ursuline Convent in Wimbledon from 1976 to 1981. I met my future husband at a party at the start of sixth form. This photo was taken on our first holiday together. We got married in the summer of 1982. I went to work after my A levels, partly because I was with Adrian and partly because my A level grades weren’t good enough for me to go to university. I had no real career plans, working in a variety of office jobs to pay the bills.

21 April 1991

At Granddad’s house in Sarasota, June 1991

After our marriage, we got on the property ladder, buying a 1 bedroom maisonette in the mid 1980s. We moved to a 3 bedroom house a year before our 1st child was born in 1989. Adrian’s job relocated to Northampton, so we swapped our 1930s terraced house for a thatched Lutyens cottage in Ashby St. Ledgers, an idyllic place to bring up a young family. We went on holiday to New York & Florida this year and managed to visit my Granddad in June. I gave up work when we moved to Northamptonshire.

29 April 2001

Venice, Summer 2001

We had our 2nd child in 1992. I may have got a little bored of country life because by 1994 I started a BSc in Biomedical Science at De Montfort University. I really enjoyed the course but I didn’t make it easy for myself. I managed to get pregnant in the second year just as Adrian’s job moved temporarily back to London. At one point, I was a full time, heavily pregnant student living on my own with 2 small children & a dodgy car that never started (during the week). Interesting times. While the rest of my cohort worked in industry, I took a year out to look after the baby & my other children. Adrian found a job nearer home and I finally graduated in 1998 with 1st class honours. I didn’t know what to do with my degree but thought teaching would be sensible because at least I’d get school holidays off so in 1999 I completed my post grad. certificate of education and started teaching science at an independent school in Northampton. 1999 was also the year we moved to our current house in Welton, having outgrown the pretty but tiny thatched cottage.

27 March 2011

Cape Verde, Summer 2010

The 2000s was definitely the decade of travel. Adrian and I both had good jobs and could afford to take the children abroad. We even managed to take them around the world in 2005. I switched subjects, teaching ICT & Business Studies in schools around Coventry and Rugby. Looking at the 2011 census return, I can see that my eldest was at university & my middle child was taking a gap year before starting university in the September, the beginning of our empty nesting.

21 March 2021

Freddie’s birthday March 2021

I became Head of IT at an independent school in Banbury in 2013 and retired from teaching 2018. Retirement & an empty nest (my youngest child having left home in 2016) allowed me to pursue my passion for family history. I completed my post grad. diploma in Genealogical, Palaeographic and Heraldic Studies last year. I had intended to do the MSc but the pandemic has put a (temporary) stop to that. My first grandchild was born the week before 1st lockdown. As we are in a bubble with his mum & dad, I was able to be there for his 1st birthday this month.

I wonder what the next decade will bring.

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