Monday, 17 April 2017

One Census entry, 1861

Chinese pagoda sculpture and part of skyscraper on a sunny day
Birmingham, April 2017

A guest post today, written by Hugh. This is the story of an investigation sparked off by a previous blog post in which I described some of the history of Lola Towers.
It started innocently enough some years ago, tracing my wife’s family on a genealogy website (Genes Reunited). Then mine. Then the family trees of friends. None of them properly, you understand. No physically visiting out-of the way Registries or parish registers, like you see on “Heir Hunters”.

Then I found Family Search, the Mormon website which generated the standard programme for formatting and processing information. I don’t use Free BMD, or other sources, much. But it’s fascinating how much you can find out with minimal tools, and with time on your hands.

It begins

Then Lola I put some information on her blog about the history of her house in Leamington. Out of interest, I looked up the residents starting with Joshua Fardon, stated to be the licensee of the house (it used to be a beerhouse) in 1861. I should say that by now I had a Platinum membership, giving me unlimited online access to original Census returns, not just the transcribed version that gets into Web searches including Family Search.

This turned out to be just as well, because the transcribed 1861 Census entry for the Cricketers Arms pub, Archery Road, says, [with calculated birth year in square brackets]

Samuel Boid Head M 40 Knowle, Warks, Inn Keeper [1820/1]

Ann Fardon Dau M 25 Milverton [1835/6]

Marie Boid Dau Un 19 Leamington, Milliner [1841/2]

Ellen Boid Dau Un 17 Leamington [1843/4]

William Beesley nephew Un 16 Leamington gardener (apprentice) [1844/5]

Elizabeth Boid Dau 7 Leamington [1853/4]

Frederick Fardon Grandson 4 Leamington [1856/7]

William Fardon Grandson 1 Leamington [1859/60]

This is odd, because the licensee I was looking for was Joshua Fardon (from 1854), and I had already failed to find him in Leamington Censuses. I was unable to identify Samuel Boid and his daughters in either the 1851 or 1871 Censuses.

Tracking down Joshua Fardon

There is a Joshua Fardon Pork Butcher b 1811 Gloucester, in Coleshill Street, Birmingham in 1861. He has several children, one a son, Alfred, born in Leamington in 1850/1, so Joshua’s wife was there at that time. Another son, Albert, was born in 1851/2 in Stafford, so it looks as if they moved about a bit, or maybe one or both “sons” were adopted or stepsons. Maybe a family name, might conceivably be the 1854 Leamington licensee?

So I looked at the scan of the original Census form, and it suggests that Samuel and his daughter are actually named Bird, and they are (some of them) in the earlier and later censuses. It is also rather unlikely that Ann Fardon, married, is the daughter of Samuel Bird given their ages, though I guess she could be a step-daughter. So let’s find out who her husband, Mr Fardon, was.

Family Search rapidly comes up with a marriage of Ann Beasley to Emmanuel Fardon.

Ann Beasley, christened 15 May 1835, m Emanuel Fardon 19 June 1855 at All Saints, Leamington Priors. Her father Richard Beasley Dairyman, his father James Fardon Blacksmith.  (PS James Fardon, b 1793 Temple Guiting was in Leamington in 1851 as a shoeing smith.)

This may be a light-bulb moment, as one of the residents in 1861 was William Beesley, aged 16, born Leamington.  According to the 1851 Census, we have the right Richard Beasley and Ann Beasley, from their occupation and birthplace:

1851 Census Living 8 Brook Street, Leamington

Richard Beasley Head  Mar 46  Warwicks Burton Dassett, Milk Mann (sic) [1804/5]

Maria do Wife Mar 39 Warwickshire Borsell [1811/2]

Ann Do Dau 15 Milverton [1835/6]

James Do Son 13  Leamington [1837/8]

Maria Do Dau 10 Do [1840/1]

Ellen Do Dau 8 Do [1842/3]

William Do Son 6 Do [1844/5]

Elizabeth Do Dau 2 Do [1848/9]

Charlotte Do Dau 2 Do [1848/9]

Servant Thomas Spittal 18

Notes: guessing slightly, Borsell is Balsall Common near Knowle, Warwickshire; and Burton Dassett is a vanished village 11 miles South of Leamington.

Elizabeth and Charlotte were both christened on 14 Feb 1849.

So is William, born Leamington 1844/5, the same William as in the 1861 Census? If so, why is Ann Fardon described as “Daughter” and William as “nephew”?

Unravelling the mystery

One hypothesis for the 1861 Census is that Samuel Bird married the widow Beasley, if Richard Beasley had died. She would have been Maria Beasley b 1811/12 Borsell, according to the 1851 Census (by which we established that Ann Beasley 1835/6 Milverton and William Beasley 1844/5 Leamington might be sister and brother). Alternatively, maybe Maria Beasley 1811/2 Borsell was a relative of Samuel Bird, 1820/1 Knowle, near Borsell.

I have tried and tried, and cannot resolve these alternatives by any confirmatory evidence, indeed Richard Beasley had NOT died (see below). The most likely hypothesis is that the Census taker, either at the house or when transcribing his field notes, has confused two separate people, or left a line out in the transcription, so that the Bird children are indeed Samuel Bird’s children, but Ann Fardon is NOT his daughter, but the wife of absentee Emanuel Fardon and relative-in-law of absentee landlord Joshua Fardon, and the Fardon children listed as grandchildren are in fact the grandchildren of Ann or Emanuel’s father. There’s a thought: is the missing person Ann’s father Richard Beasley?

The family listed for Richard Beasley in 1851 are widely scattered by 1861 – son James in the army, Elizabeth in service in London, Maria, Charlotte and Richard not to be found on Genealogy websites. The only William Beesley 1844/5 Leamington is the one we have already as “nephew”. In 1871, the only candidate for William Beasley 1844/5 is in Leamington, married, a painter and glazier.  So maybe “nephew” is another error by the Census taker in 1861. Also, in 1871, Richard (widower) and daughters Elizabeth and Maria, and a son Thomas, but not William 1844/5, are living in Leamington at “cottage back” Archery Road, round the corner from the Cricketers Arms.

The next step

We were going to find out more about the Fardons.

On Googling “Fardon”, we find on Geni an immense labour of family love which suggests that the Fardons came originally from Temple Guiting, Gloucestershire, had Joshua and Emanuel as family names, were given to calling themselves by other Christian names than their own, and had a number of publicans in the family. I have to add that the family site on Geni is not wholly consistent with other sources.

It is possible, but not certain, that Joshua (1811) and Emanuel (1822) are cousins, the sons of brothers James and Richard Fardon. Another Fardon, Henry Fardon, lived in Leamington in 1861. He was born 1803 in Temple Guiting and died Milverton 1875. Emmanuel 1822, though, was away from Leamington in 1851, in service in Reigate, not to be found in 1861, and in 1871 in Harrow with his wife Annie and three children, including Frederick and William all identified by their ages and birthplaces.

And this is just one entry in the 1861 Census!

Monday, 10 April 2017

Commissioning Structured Education

Outside view of the tent pitched in my garden
April 2017
I bought a tent! It arrived on Tuesday but I was working all five days last week, and had commitments on all five evenings so I didn't even open the box until Saturday. I had to mow the lawn before I could try it out, but it's looking good so far. The first test will come in July with a camping trip to Devon.

The extra day's work last week was a course all about advanced features of the Roche Bolus Advisor. This is the algorithm that is used in one particular blood glucose meter and insulin pump handset to try and suggest the right amount of insulin in any situation. It was a brilliant course but I don't have my notes with me at the moment, so that blog post will have to wait. In the meantime, I shall complain about a different meeting I went to on Wednesday.

The Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) for the area where I work is a baffling organisation. Maybe all CCGs are baffling, but I couldn't say. Its role is to decide which health services should be provided to the local population and, as the name suggests, commission those services. Obviously I am affected by the commissioning of services relating to diabetes, but I couldn't tell you the mechanism by which commissioning is done, or how we are paid as a result. I think I know the names of one or two people in the whole chain of management that administers this process but I have no understanding of the process at all. No idea whatsoever. Not at all.

Recently there has been a national campaign to promote the provision and take-up of Structured Education for people with Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes. Structured Education isn't just any old course, it has a definition within the national guidelines. It has to be evidence-based, have specific aims and learning objectives, have a curriculum that is written down with supporting materials, be delivered by trained educators, be quality assured by trained, competent, independent assessors who measure criteria that ensure consistency, and be audited.

Recently a pot of money was announced for Structured Education and bids encouraged from CCGs. The email from the CCG asking what we deliver in our area ended up with me, so I responded describing our courses as well as asking more about the bid in case I could provide some insight, given that I am actually delivering Structured Education to actual patients. "No thanks, we're fine" was the reply.

I heard no more, and then a colleague forwarded a message to me describing a workshop that the CCG were proposing to hold to discuss Structured Education. All sorts of people had been invited, but not me. They were happy to add my name to the list, though, and then a few days before the meeting was due to be held we received the documents that were going to form the basis of a discussion about what is delivered in our area, where the gaps might be, and how we could improve things.

That's all very admirable, but when we came to read the figures in the documents for the programmes that we were actually delivering, it became clear that they had spoken to nobody who was actually doing the job. The figures suggested that no courses at all for Type 1's were being run in one area, and that courses that were being run in the other area were completely inaccessible.

I try not to get annoyed about how the NHS is run, but this was very provoking. The CCG was convening a workshop to discuss a service that I personally deliver along with just four other people. Not only had they not spoken to any of us, but they hadn't bothered to even invite those who deliver the service that was to be discussed, and had circulated completely inaccurate data. My colleagues tend to assume conspiracy, but I generally believe it's either laziness, ignorance, or lack of time. The seeming inability to pick up the phone is particularly annoying though.

Anyway, we wrote a short rebuttal of the data and asked for this information to be circulated (it wasn't), and turned up at the meeting anyway. The person who presented the data did express doubt about its accuracy, but we weren't given an opportunity to clarify. We will be getting together with CCG representatives as a result of the meeting, but my confidence in their competence is pretty low. As for outcomes - there was a lot of the usual talk about how things could be better, but my experience is that nothing changes as a result of a meeting, especially if there is no new money. The CCG doesn't yet know the outcome of their bid.

By chance this has all coincided with a change in the administration of our course. I had long been dissatisfied with how patients were identified and notified about courses. We would set dates for courses a few months in advance, but when people were referred they were simply stuck on a waiting list. About a month before a course was to start (which might be a very long time since the referral was made) about twenty people on the waiting list were contacted in the expectation that we'd get about eight to turn up.

So the waiting list was full of people who, despite having presumably agreed to the referral, had no intention of attending. Many of those who had intended to come had forgotten what it was all about by the time they received an invitation. Although we wrote back to some referrers, most never found out whether their patient had attended or not. And we couldn't tell how long anyone might have to wait.

I got together with one of the other educators and our administrator and suggested how things might work better. I was taken aback by their resistance to any change at all, and it became clear that if I wanted improvements I was going to have to take over the admin myself, at least temporarily. So I fired up Excel and made a start, and so I had a good idea of how things stood in time for the CCG's meeting.

Last year we were struggling for staff with only two of us available to deliver the course. Now we are getting up to full strength with four (and soon five) of us, but at the same time referrals have increased dramatically. The waiting list stands at about ninety people, and there are virtually no referrals from GPs, so if this starts to happen (as it should) we will be properly overwhelmed.

So the next thing to do is to get in touch with everyone on the waiting list to weed out those who can't or won't attend - that should reduce numbers significantly. Then I'll be offering actual course dates to fill up all the courses to the end of the year, and we'll see how many people are left over and if extra capacity is needed. We can't just put more people on a course, because (due to an error of the previous administrator) we had 12 attending the last course, and it didn't work very well at all.

The full course takes four days over three weeks - so what about those who can't spare the time for this? I am putting together a much shorter version which will be piloted in May over just four hours, and if successful we can at least offer something to people who can't commit to four days. But that won't be Structured Education.

When I started this job I was determined to keep my head down and have no bright ideas that would result in extra work. Nobody thanks you for extra hours, and I don't work with the sort of people who inspire any sort of innovation - as evidenced by their reluctance to consider admin change, even though they now see how much better it will be. I have started to hope that this job will be my last, if I can get an early retirement date. But I can't seem to help wanting to change things and making extra work for myself.

Inside view of the tent with porch and 'bedroom'

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...