The Gaulls in 1911

In my last post, I shared some new information about my direct ancestral Hadden family, revealed for the first time through the release of the 1911 Scottish Census. The census was taken on April 2, 1911 and the census records were released following a statutory 100 year wait on April 5, 2011. It struck me, looking at the census record for my Hadden family that all of them, a whole generation, of family members were gone. Uncle Alec (Alexander Gaull) Hadden is sadly missed having passed away a week shy of his 93rd birthday. Aunt Edith Groves (nee Hadden), who was adopted as a young child into the family, was the last of the generation to pass away, more than nine years ago.

The 1911 census also shows what was happening in other family branches, notably the Gaull family (shown above in a photo from the 1920’s). Interestingly, if you search for someone named ‘Gaull’ in Aberdeenshire of either gender and of any age, you will find my one Gaull family of five. John Gaull (born in 1860), along with his wife of 27 years, Harriet (nee McKenzie), and three of their eleven children: daughter Elsie and the two youngest, William Fowler Gaull, then aged 14, and Elizabeth ‘Lizzie’ Fraser Gaull, then aged 11.

The census also shows that John and Harriet had 12 children but that only 11 were still living in 1911. They had lost a son, also named John Gaull in 1888 at the age of sixteen months. Little John Gaull (Jr.) died following an eight day battle with diphtheria, according to his death registration. In 1911, everyone’s age was listed accurately on the census record except Harriet who shaved a year off for good measure.

John was listed as a crofter and cattleman by trade which confirms information passed along verbally to me by my late Uncle Alec who spent a lot of time in his youth at the Gaull farm. Uncle Alec’s description was more pointed, John Gaull was a dairy farmer who sold his milk from barrels that he would take by wagon to neighbouring villages. If, according to Uncle Alec, John found that his supply of milk was running low because of brisk sales, he would stop at a creek to top up the barrels!

Daughter Elsie, aged 26 in 1911, was working at home on her “own account” as a dressmaker. When Elsie would later live in Canada for some years, she worked as a dressmaker for the T. Eaton and Co. department store. William Fowler Gaull was working on the croft, assisting his father while Lizzie was attending school.

Meanwhile, further south in Scotland, John Gaull’s twin brother, George Irvine was aging at a slower rate than his twin. George listed his age as being a year younger than his actual age. George can be found living at 47B Eglinton Road in Old Monkland, Lanarkshire with his wife of 27 years, Isabel Watt. George and Isabel reported that they had five children but that only four were still alive. George listed his occupation as being the Foreman Fitter for the General Engineering Company. Three of their children were living with them in 1911: 23 year old Isabella was working as a clerk at a local grocery store, 19 year old Margaret was working as a typist at an Iron Works company, and 16 year old John Gaull Irvine was working as a grocer.

The geographic distance between the twin brothers, John and George was not that great but as I have recounted previously, I’m not certain they bridged the gap.

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