The TIMMINS Surname Distribution in 1851

Following my experiences with Excel and Surname Atlas, recording the TIMMINS folk in the 1881 census, I now need to take this a step further.  Surname Atlas is only able to provide mapping for the 1881 census, so I have purchased GenMap which enables all sorts of distribution mapping.  My first project with GenMap is to discover how to make sense of the 1851 census, then to re-map the 1881 census to GenMap, this will then give me a standard method of presenting TIMMINS population distribution over the census years.

To begin I downloaded the 1851 data required with Outwit Hub from FindMyPast, I then loaded this into an excel spreadsheet.  The first task was to check all the 1329 TIMMINS matches for any obvious errors in the County Born and Parish Born columns.  It is these columns that I will use in GenMap for plotting the distribution.  The obvious transcription errors were soon rectified by using the AutoFilter on the said columns, then looking at the drop-down list for any issues.  West Bromwich was the biggest culprit AGAIN with 5 different spellings!  See one of my previous blogs about this!  The GENUKI site was a brilliant tool for sorting out the issues on identifying parishes and townships – highly recommended.

From the 1329 TIMMINS matches I now extracted only those individuals that were born with the surname, a total of 1073. These records were now copied into a separate worksheet within Excel to enable an easier conversion process.

With all the obvious errors corrected I now converted the Excel file into a dBase IV file, unfortunately GenMap does not accept Excel files.  This dbf file is now loaded into GenMap with the Import Wizard.  The result is not quite as I expected, the import log file tells me that there are many import errors!  Basically the GenMap Gazetteer failed to recognise a large number of parishes even though they were spelt correctly and in the correct county, I also found them manually in the Gazetter (very odd).  These parishes had to be manually input via the copy and update features in the Gazetteer.

I subsequently tried exporting Excel (2003) spreadsheets in every different format that GenMap recognised, then I imported them into GenMap.  Each import presented data error problems with some imports not recognising any counties at all!  Eventually through trial and error I found that the only way to import the data accurately was to use a Microsoft Access database file.  I created a new Access (2003) database then used the Get External Data command to drag the Excel file into a new Table.  This now imported perfectly into GenMap.

As many genealogists use Excel to store their data it is a pity that GenMap cannot import directly from an xls or csv file.

Below is my first GenMap surname distribution map for TIMMINS in 1851.  It depicts the location of birth for the people born with the TIMMINS name from the 1073 matches identified.

GenMap 1851 born timmins

The cluster of dots in the centre this surname distribution map again confirms my previous conclusions, that the TIMMINS surname probably originates in the Dudley area of the West Midlands.

With the help of some Excel formulae we can now take a further look at the statistics obtained from the 1851 census.

stats  Table1                                 Table 2                                     Table 3                                       Table 4

  • Table 1 – This shows the variants of the TIMMINS surname as defined by the search in FindMyPast.   This is an area of the study I shall expand on at a later date when I have more information.
  • Table 2 – Shows a breakdown of individuals born with the surname by the county born.
  • Table 3 – Is the number of individuals born with the surname but by parish born.
  • Table 4 – Is an age breakdown from the 1851 census of individuals born with the surname TIMMINS.

From another viewpoint – The Industrial Revolution in Great Britain lasted for about 100 years from c1750 to c1850, where changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology had an impact on the movement of people. Workers tended to move away from their agricultural homelands to the new places of employment in the industrialised areas.  It would therefore be interesting to evaluate from this census the birthplaces of TIMMINS individuals who were born in the 18th century.

This census gives 65 individuals born before 1800.  Those born in Dudley amounted to 13 followed by Sedgley with 11.  These were the only two parishes in double figure births.  If you add the 5 born in Tipton then 29 of the 65 (nearly 50%) were born between 1766 and 1799 in the Dudley PLU (Poor Law Union).

My next objective is to produce a similar Surname Distribution Map for the 1881 census using GenMap.

TIMMINS Surname Frequency Revisited!

Since my last blog post I have been busy collecting census data relating to the surname study. One area that interested me was the 1851 census as this is the earliest census to include place of birth. It was also 30 years earlier than the information I had written about to date (1881 census).

After downloading the 1851 census data relating to the Timmins’ I started to produce statistics of birth locations for County and Parish. It was during this that the penny dropped – I had up to now been looking at ALL people with the surname, but what I should have been doing at this point, to determine the geographical origin, was to concentrate on people BORN with the surname. Hence some of the statistics that I had produced in previous blog posts were probably inaccurate. One obvious error is in the surname frequency table that I produced for the Searching for the Geographical Origin article.

The 1851 census spreadsheet that I produced from the downloaded data was easily adapted to exclude people not born with the surname – Widow in the Condition field; Wife, Mother and Mother-in-Law in the Relation field were all excluded via a filter. Interestingly when analysed further this amounted to roughly 19% of all Timmins’ in each census year!

Since my previous data gathering exercise to produce a frequency table, FindMyPast had included Scottish records in their census collections. So version 2 of the table below now includes England, Scotland,  Wales, Channel Isles, Isle of Man, and Ships & Overseas Establishments, although the later two vary depending on census date.

Note – The 1841 census does not have a Condition or Relation field so the Born a Timmins figure is estimated (1108 – 19%)

A future development for this table is to include the Timmins’ found in Ireland and Australia. If anyone is able to help with this, it would be much appreciated.  I also need to fill in the census gaps for USA and Canada.

As seen in the graph below there are a couple of dips in the number of Timmins recorded for both 1851 and 1891 census. It is not clear why this is the case. There are known issues with most of the census collections, I was surprised to see just how many missing records there are. You can see the complete list of issues for each census at FindMyPast Known Issues.

More light might be thrown on the dips by looking at the statistics for births and deaths of Timmins’ in the preceding 10 years of each census. This however is research for another day!

I am now in the process of cleaning up the Timmins 1851 census data ready for use in some surname distribution maps – watch this space.