I was recently researching the siblings of my 3x great grandmother, Catherine Mills, and was working on her sister Sarah.
Sarah had married Alfred Taylor in 1847, and by 1861 she was a widow. The surname Taylor is a fairly common one, (as are most surnames that are occupational surnames), which is one of the reasons why you wouldn’t think there would be much chance of the surname being mis-transcribed.
I had earlier found Sarah on the 1881 census, when I was working on her sister Maria, as the two were living together at the time at 3 Soho Road, Handsworth, Staffordshire. I had also found Sarah on the Probate index:
TAYLOR Sarah of the “Limes” 3 Soho-road Handsworth Staffordshire widow died 29 July 1902 Probate London 19 September to Jane Barnett and Elizabeth Barnett spinsters Effects £5371 14s 6.
My earlier research had found that Sarah’s sister, Ann, had married Edward Barnett, and two of Ann’s daughters were called Jane and Elizabeth.
I then found Sarah on the 1901 census. But when I tried searching for a Sarah Taylor, born about 1820 in Birmingham, in Handsworth, Staffordshire on the 1891 census, none of the results seemed to fit. There was nothing left to do but to try leaving the surname blank, and just look for a Sarah, born about 1820 in Birmingham who was living in Handsworth. In the results was an entry that I thought might have been a mis-transcription:
|View Record||Sarah Gaitor||1820||Birmingham||Head||Handsworth , Staffordshire|
Sure enough, she was living at 3 Soho Road, and was therefore Sarah Taylor (nee Mills):
I had found Sarah on the 1861 census, but had been unable to find her on the 1871 census as well. It was time to try the trick of leaving the surname blank again. This time, the surname had been transcribed as Saylor
Finding this record also filled in the gap in the information I had for Maria, as I hadn’t been able to find Maria on the 1871 census.
What made finding the entries for my Sarah even more challenging was the fact that there was another Sarah Taylor who was a widow, born about 1820 in Birmingham, and living in Handsworth. She had also been living in Soho Street on the 1861 census. This Sarah was a greengrocer. The census records for my Sarah had shown she was of independent means.