The picture below is from the 1841 England Census for my 4th great grand uncle William Chichester.

enter image description here

"England and Wales Census, 1841," index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/M7MX-XKY : accessed 30 Nov 2014), William Chichester, Dymock, Gloucestershire, England; from "1841 England, Scotland and Wales census," index and images, findmypast (www.findmypast.co.uk : DC Thomson, n.d.); PRO HO 107, The National Archives, Kew, Surrey.

I think the occupation next to his name might be Judge but it does not look quite right. In the 1851 Census his occupation is given as Land Proprietor and he died in 1854. Prior to 1841 he seems to have spent perhaps 30 years in British Guiana (Guyana) where he was frequently listed as an Executor on Wills, and his own Will stretched to nine pages, so he certainly seems to have been well versed in the law.

Does anyone think the word might be something other than Judge?

I have thought of trying to find a "list of judges" at the time to see if he is on it, but have had no luck googling for one. If consensus is that the word is Judge, then I will ask separately about how to find a "list of judges".


2 Answers 2



I think the word is "Indep", meaning "Independent", as in "Of Independent means".

"I" and "J" do seem to be very similar in many hands and I'm not sure what to say the difference is. I've just looked through this census book and can't see any other use of a capital "I", and of course found several "J" for "Jane", etc., that look very similar.

"n" and "u" are notorious for just ending up as 2 verticals and a diagonal - all in the same directions.

"d" is clear in both.

Then I think the enumerator has just got plain tired and sloppy and finished "Ind" off with a squiggle to indicate "Indep" perhaps.

Gut feeling also says that if this were "Judge" then the downward squiggle would represent the "g" and that wouldn't be the last letter, whereas it is the last letter here - which it would be in "Indep".

  • I think you are right - that would make more sense - it was that downward squiggle that made "Judge" not seem right to me either but for "Indep" it fits. Perhaps the "sloppiness" came in as the enumerator remembered that the abbreviation instructions said to abbreviate "Independent" as "Ind.".
    – PolyGeo
    Nov 30, 2014 at 22:24
  • @PolyGeo I agree with Adrian -- but if he is a landowner, I still think a search for evidence that he was a local magistrate might be worthwhile. See the FamilySearch wiki I linked to in my other comment - a justice of the peace might have been a local landowner.
    – Jan Murphy
    Dec 1, 2014 at 2:44
  • @JanMurphy I'm not sure why but I had no luck trying to access any of the four links on the FamilySearch wiki page. The first three went to Google Books where I rarely am able to get them to open and the other went to the Inner Temple website but only displayed a picture. With no other evidence to suggest him being a Judge or Lawyer I'll add this to my list of things to try and check again later.
    – PolyGeo
    Dec 1, 2014 at 2:52
  • @JanMurphy I have another ancestor recorded in a Census as a Solicitor which I think is incorrect. I expect that I'll ask about how to verify that one way or the other in another question sometime, and then I'll pursue those links harder.
    – PolyGeo
    Dec 1, 2014 at 2:55
  • @PolyGeo I wanted to alert you to the information in the sections marked "Judges" and "Justices of the Peace" -- there are no links in those sections. If you can't get Google Books to co-operate try the Hathi Trust Digital Library or the Internet Archive.
    – Jan Murphy
    Dec 1, 2014 at 3:01

William Chichester of Dymock was a landowner and farmer (not a Judge) with two farms which he ran and also sub let to his nephew.

I have a copy of his will and the court case that arose as a consequence.

As an aside, I have a complete and detailed family history for the Chichesters of Somerset going back to 1620 etc which will answer most of the Chichester questions you have posted.

  • Welcome to G&FH SE! This site works quite differently to bulletin boards, discussion forums and other Q&A sites (see our Tour) and so I encourage you to answer any and all Chichester from Somerset questions here using its format. However, to help frame/answer questions on this very interesting family I also hope you will contact me via my user card. I'll now edit your answer so that it directly addresses this question.
    – PolyGeo
    Dec 28, 2014 at 21:34

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.