Jump to content
Free downloads from TNA ×
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

1911 census, child mortality


davidfegga

Recommended Posts

Hi all,

Recently researching a casualty of an artillery brigade from Coseley in The Black Country on the 1911 census, I noticed that his mother (43) had given birth to 16 children, 10 of whom had died. While I'm aware that at this time child mortatlity was higher (my own Grandmother lost 2), I've never seen this many before. Has anybody else?

Dave

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dave

Ii recently undertook some analysis of burials in Prescot Churchyard going back to the early 1800's, when they started to record the age of the person being buried. I don't have the figures to hand, and will dig them out, but if I recall correctly, they showed 25% mortality before the age of 5.

The area was heavily populated with poor Irish migrants, such as my own family. Large numbers of deaths per family were not uncommon

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know if this would be of interest for an overall class related perspective, from Britain between the wars 1918-1940 Charles Mowatt

(It's a bit skewiff so apologies. I took the photo for something else and it's been lurking on my iPhone)

post-8866-0-56523700-1399721070_thumb.jp

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I once saw a quote that women in the nineteenth century "often bore ten children and buried six". This is a very similar ratio to that in the original post. Unfortunately I cannot recall the source.

Ron

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it's the case that congenital syphilis in the mother can be the cause of an abnormally high number of miscarriages and neonatal/perinatal deaths over many years, even when the mother is relatively symptom-free.

Sue

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think that Sue has hit the nail on the head #5.

Until the release of the 1911 census with the self-recorded entries for living and total children, it was very difficult to gauge infant mortality within a family.

There is an interesting article on the prevalence of syphilis in Edwardian society here:

Probably the two most relevant published statistics for evaluating this question relate to British wartime experience and the Swedish civilian notification system. With around 400,000 military cases treated during the Great War, a ratio of about 2.75 cases of male gonorrhoea per case of syphilis was reported.83 During the two years of 1918–19 the Swedish system recorded 3.97 times more visits to doctors for gonorrhoea than for syphilis among adult males.84 These two figures suggest, therefore, that a judicious central estimate might be a ratio of about 3.25 for the pre-war civilian male population of England and Wales.85 This would indicate that gonorrhoea infected between 23.0 per cent and 27.5 per cent of adult men in addition to the 7.0–8.5 per cent infected with syphilis. Even if a proportion as high as one-half of those infected by syphilis were also infected by gonorrhoea, this would still imply that on the eve of the Great War somewhere between 26.0 per cent and 32.0 per cent of the entire male population by their mid-thirties would have had an infection by either gonorrhea or syphilis. Although this is well below Pankhurst's claim of 75–80 per cent, nevertheless it is a truly pervasive level of venereal disease in the population, which, given that it relates to men of prime marrying age, could be of considerable epidemiological, socio-cultural and demographic importance.

http://shm.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2014/02/25/shm.hkt123.full

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's the data I referred to earlier.

One table shows an analysis of just over 20,000 deaths up until 1902, showing over 22% dying before their first birthday. Note that this is percentage of burials and not necessarily a percentage of people !!

The second image shows a list of Prescot women in the 1911 census who recorded that they had lost more than 8 children. I didn't include those with less than eight deaths because it would have been quite a long list. (Alice Knight's age is questionable!!!)

post-1356-0-89781800-1399881977_thumb.pn

post-1356-0-00663600-1399881988_thumb.pn

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the replies. Hard to imagine this day and age that kind of loss.

Dave

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it's the case that congenital syphilis in the mother can be the cause of an abnormally high number of miscarriages and neonatal/perinatal deaths over many years, even when the mother is relatively symptom-free.

Sue

Yes, that came up on one program of 'Who Do You Think You Are' (although I can't remember whose family was being investigated)

Andrewr

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, that came up on one program of 'Who Do You Think You Are' (although I can't remember whose family was being investigated)

Yes, I think that's where I saw it originally in an interview with a medical expert. I think he also said that where a child had been born alive and later died, the cause of death was often attributed to things such as 'failure to thrive' and 'inanition' rather than any mention of syphilitic disease.

Sue

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My great great grandmother in law had 13 children and by 1911 nine had died. She lost her son John in the war in Jan 1915 and passed away the same month. There is only so much a heart can break.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...