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Durham e-Theses
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Chopwell Township 1851-1911 : Aspects of Residency Using A Microcosmical Approach

WRIGHT, ALAN (2012) Chopwell Township 1851-1911 : Aspects of Residency Using A Microcosmical Approach. Masters thesis, Durham University.



This thesis presents the results of an exploration into aspects of the residency of the inhabitants of four County Durham mining villages over the period 1851-1911. These four
villages - Chopwell, High Spen, Blackhall Mill and Victoria Garesfield - were all within a few kilometres of each other and housed the population of a region known, historically, as Chopwell Township. Miners in High Spen and Victoria Garesfield had been working coal from the middle of the nineteenth century but major developments at Chopwell from 1895 created a new colliery village of over 5000 inhabitants by 1911. This large in-migration created some unusual conditions for this inquiry into residency.
The basic data for the analysis was obtained from the on-line versions of seven Censuses (1851-1911), supported by parish registers (1890-1911) and the 1910 Property Valuation
Survey. Generally the ten-year Residential Persistence rates determined for three of the villages are comparable to other published figures, while the ten-year rates of Chopwell differ. It is suggested that the low values found for Chopwell, over the decade 1901-1911, were the result of the influx of workers which created a transient period of social ‘churning’ as the migrants adjusted to their new environment. A study of the inter-censal period, 1901-1911 for Chopwell and High Spen, revealed frequent short-distance migrations with residents moving between streets. Some of these migrations seem to occur for housing reasons, either up-sizing (for larger families) or down-sizing (for smaller families). A limited examination was also made of the conjecture that the presence of large numbers of children in a household restricted mobility but the results were equivocal.
To untangle the web of relationships that develop in communities it was necessary to create Household Histories. This exercise revealed ‘hidden’ illegitimate’ children, frequent re-marriages with surname changes, wider kin networks and some doubtful birthplaces.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Science
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Anthropology, Department of
Thesis Date:2012
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:11 Sep 2012 10:10

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