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  • Wendy Percival

Revealed in the census!

I was most upset last week, having excitedly looked forward to finding where my great aunt, Mary Ann Diggory (known as Annie) was living in 1921, only to hit a blank in locating her on the newly released census.



But thanks to the help of David Underdown, who took pity on me when I shared my disappointment on Twitter, I found her! He read last week’s post (and if you haven’t had the chance to read it yourself, you’ll find it at Lost in the 1921 census) and tracked down my great-aunt by searching for her by occupation as a nurse. He tweeted the link to the search result and I went to take a look.


Handwriting


Other than her age, which was 3 years out, the rest of the information given seemed to fit so I took a gamble and paid for sight of the entry’s original image. And I'm so glad I did, as there she was! I immediately knew it was her because I recognised her very distinct handwriting. (Which is one very good reason to pay the extra for an image of the original rather than a transcript.)



A sample of Annie's handwriting. Any experts on handwriting analysis out there?

Annie (or Mary, as she is recorded on the form) was listed in a large house in Atcham, Shropshire, called Frogmore. The head of the household, and Annie’s employer, was recorded as Ada Noel-Hill, a 74-year-old lady who, presumably, needed the services of Annie’s nursing skills, and so why Annie was resident in the property, along with a cook, called Emma Hughes.


Related to Royalty


It seems Ada was born in France and her full name was Kate Marie Louisa Ada Noel-Hill. The Noel-Hill family also owned a large grand house a short distance from Frogmore, called Attingham Park which now belongs to The National Trust. According to Burkes Peerage, the family have "blueblood" and can trace their line back to Edward I.



Sadly, in July of 1921, Ada Noel-Hill died and so Annie’s services as nurse would no longer be required. As for where she went to live and work afterwards... that’s another part of her story yet to discover!


Meanwhile, if there are any experts in the analysis of handwriting reading this, I'd be fascinated to hear what you can glean about Annie from her very individual style!


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