1921 Census

Tollerton in 1921

With the on-line publication of the 1921 Census in 2022 we can now build up a picture of Tollerton and its residents about a hundred years ago. This Census took place on 19 June 1921 and was undertaken nearly 3 years after the end of WW1 and at a time of great change across the country.

This Census was originally due to have been taken on 24 April, but industrial upheaval intervened and it was delayed until June. On that date in June there were 141 people in Tollerton but this includes visitors and lodgers. For the first time lodgers had to complete their own Census form, and not be reliant on the head of the house to include them in their return.  Not all households recognised these changes and some clearly did not correctly distinguish between a lodger and a visitor, which resulted in some errors. Data for Tollerton suggests there were nine visitors in the village at the time of the Census so this would take the ’normal’ population of the village down to 132.

One person logged themselves as a visitor, but we know he was a lodger working on a casual basis at one of the farms and there are two other families who logged themselves as visitors who could well have been lodging at the properties and assisting in farm duties.

Like many small villages in 1921, few properties beyond the farms and larger properties in Tollerton were identifiable as many still had no house name, house number or road name. There were 11 cottages listed for Tollerton which had no name or any indication of their exact location though they would all have been clustered close to Tollerton Hall. To ensure each household in the village was captured in our research, initial searches focused on the stated schedule numbers but even that threw up anomalies. It is clear that the schedule number for two properties in Tollerton were incorrectly transcribed (see the comments in the schedule number column below) so we have assumed what the correct schedule number might have been.

With these assumed corrections we have determined there were 30 Tollerton households in 1921. Schedule Number 1 was Russells Farm, the household furthest from the centre of the village and the last schedule number was 30 (Tollerton Hall).

We believe this is a full listing of all Tollerton residents on the night of 19 June, 1921 including all boarders and visitors. The listing is presented in alphabetical order by family name.

Family NameFirst NamesYear of BirthPlace of BirthLocation in Tollerton and OccupationSchedule Number
AdcockBernard1901Canterbury, KentRussells Farm – Cowman (lodger). Logged in records as a visitor but this is incorrect.1
BeardsleyArthur1884Radford, NottinghamHall Farm Cottage – Farm Labourer2
BeardsleyBetsy M1891TollertonHall Farm Cottage – Home Duties2
BrookerBertha Ellen1878HucknallHall Farm – Home Duties. Brooker has been transcribed as Booker in the records.3
BrookerFrancis John1900HucknallHall Farm – Assisting father (John) on farm3
BrookerGeorge Harry1903LinbyHall Farm – Assisting father (John) on farm3
BrookerHelen May1909 NottsHall Farm3
BrookerJohn1877HucknallHall Farm – Farmer. Brother of William Brooker of Russells Farm3
BoughenEdith1888Wimbotsham, NorfolkTollerton Hall – Cook30
BrookerAlbert1905NottsRussells Farm – Helping father in farm work1
BrookerMary Elizabeth1882LincolnshireRussells Farm – Home Duties1
BrookerWilliam1881NottsRussells Farm – Farmer1
BrownEdith Emma1909NottsManor Farm – School (Plumtree School)8
BrownEmma1874NottsManor Farm – Home Duties8
BrownGeorge Ernest1904Staythorpe, NottsManor Farm – Groom on farm8
BrownJohn Edward1901Newark, NottsManor Farm – Under waggoner on farm8
BrownKathleen Irene1919TollertonManor Farm8
Brown  Margaret Lowain  1915TollertonManor Farm8
BrownWilliam Thomas1874TollertonManor Farm – Stockman on farm, working for Holbrooks8
BrownWinifred Doris1907TollertonManor Farm – Ray Girl Domestic8
BurnsideAlice Mary1865ManchesterTollerton Hall – Head of Household/Landowner; now a widow30
ChambersAgnes Mary1890Kidsgrove, StaffsNorth End Cottages – Home Duties23  
ChambersArthur Geoffrey1918TollertonNorth End Cottages23
ChambersGeorge Robert1882TollertonNorth End Cottages – Farmer23
ChambersMary Poynton1856 AmericaP.O. – no cottage name given, believe this is schedule number 11 not 211. Home Duties, Sub Postmistress211/11?
ChambersWinifred Hilda1894NottsP.O. – no cottage name given. Believe this is schedule number 11. Home Duties211/11?
ClarkeMabel1902Underwood, NottsTollerton Hall – Housemaid30
DaceHannah1869DerbyshireNorth End Cottages – Home Duties. Samuel Hicks lodging with John and Hannah Dace24
DaceJohn H1863StaffsNorth End Cottages – Cowman working for Wilds24
DraycottEdith1903Newton, DerbysTollerton Hall – Between Maid30
EdgsonAnnie S1877Long Clawson, LeicsCottage (not specified) – Home Duties21
EdgsonC Maurice1907Riddings, DerbysCottage (not specified) – Farm Boy working for Plowrights21
EdgsonHenry Daniel1869Langham, RutlandCottage (not specified) – Farmer working for Plowrights21
EdgsonJohn Cyril1902Langham, RutlandCottage (not specified) – Farm Boy at George Chambers Farm21
ElliotAnne1866Shouldham, NorfolkTollerton Hall – Housekeeper30
GrindellHannah Maria1883Burton Pidsea, YorkshireTollerton Hall – Housemaid30
GrindellMary Eleanor1901Ingoldsby, LincolnshireTollerton Hall – Kitchen Maid30
HarmerJohn1880Suffield, Norfolk  Park Lodge – Gamekeeper for Mrs Burnside19
HarmerJohn1909LincolnPark Lodge19
HarmerSarah1877Heanor, DerbysPark Lodge – Home Duties19
HarmerThomas1908Burton, LincolnshirePark Lodge19
HeslopMargaret B1914NottsCottage (not specified)14
HeslopMargaret S1885NottsCottage (not specified) – Home Duties14
HeslopThomas1885DerbysCottage (not specified) – Working as cabinet maker and joiner for Smart & Brown Ltd14
HewittAlbert George1891HuntingdonshireCottage (not specified) – Farm Labourer working at Hall Farm10
HewittAlbert Gordon1920Ab Kettleby, LeicestershireCottage (not specified)10
HewittCharlotte Sarah1892Woodnewton, NorthamptonCottage (not specified) – Home Duties10
HickmanMary1870TollertonCharwoman.  Lodging with Shaws16
HicksSamuel1859OxfordshireNorth End Cottages – Roadman. Lodging with Dace family.24
HiscockAlfred Tomas1872WiltshireNorth End Cottages – Farm Labourer at Hall Farm. Swanboroughs living with them (stepchildren).67? Think this is 27.
HiscockHenry Thomas George1908DorsetNorth End Cottages – At School. Listed as stepchild to Alfred Tomas Hiscock.67? Think this is 27.
HiscockAnnie Ethel May1908DorsetNorth End Cottages – At Home. Listed as stepchild to Alfred Tomas Hiscock.67? Think this is 27.
HiscockAda1872WiltshireNorth End Cottages – Home Duties67? Think this is 27.
HiscockJames Charles1912DorsetNorth End Cottages – At School. Listed as stepchild to Alfred Tomas Hiscock. At school.67? Think this is 27.
HolbrookAnnie1866Adlington, CheshireManor Farm – Home Duties7
HolbrookGladys1896PlumtreeManor Farm – Home Duties7
HolbrookJohn D1863Bunny, NottsManor Farm – Farmer7
HolbrookJohn W1899Bunny, NottsManor Farm – Farm Duties7
HolbrookSam D1894NottsManor Farm – Assisting Fitter in general, Farm Duties7
HopkinsonFrancis1871Kneeton, NottsCottage (not specified) – General Servant to Mrs Burnside.15
HopkinsonMary1875Gainsborough, LincolnshireCottage (not specified) – Home Duties but employed by Mrs Burnside.15
HopkinsonMay1913TollertonCottage (not specified)15
HubbardCharles1864Rearsby, LeicestershireNorth End Cottages – Farm Labourer for Holbrooks22
HubbardElizabeth Ann1864LeicestershireNorth End Cottages – At Home.22
HubbardGeorge Edward1907TollertonNorth End Cottages – At Home.22
HubbardSarah Ellen1892PlumtreeNorth End Cottages – At Home.22
LaceyHerbert1871Retford, NottsTollerton Hall – Butler30
LaneCharles Edward1914TollertonGlebe Cottages – son of Nancy Jane Lane26
LaneGladys Mary1916TollertonGlebe Cottages – daughter of Nancy Jane Lane26
LaneHerbert1914TollertonGlebe Cottages – grandson of Sarah Ann Lane29
LaneHorace William1909TollertonGlebe Cottages – son of Nancy Jane Lane26
LaneNancy Jane1886West BridgfordGlebe Cottages – No occupation stated. Mother of Charles, Gladys and Horace26
LaneSarah Ann1863Exton, RutlandGlebe Cottages – No occupation stated. Mother of Thomas William Lane and grandmother of Herbert Lane. Henry Whitaker lodging with them.29
LaneThomas William1898NottinghamGlebe Cottages – Ag Lab for Holbrooks. Son of Sarah Ann Lane29
LesterAnn1888Hucknall, NottsRussells Farm – Visitor/Lodger? Think Lesters were visitors.1
LesterGeorge1919Hucknall, NottsRussells Farm – Visitor/Lodger?1
LesterPhilipp(s)1918Hucknall, NottsRussells Farm – Visitor/Lodger?1
LesterRalph1888Hucknall, NottsRussells Farm – Visitor/Lodger?1
MarriottAnnie1870NottsCottage (not specified) – No occupation stated12
MarriottHarry1870Morton, NottsCottage (not specified)- Horseman for Holbrooks12
MarriottJohn Henry1895Bulwell, NottsCottage (no specified) – Farm Labourer at Holbrooks  12
MaxtedLulrette Elizabeth – as stated in census but believe this is Juliette 1879Loughborough, LeicsRectory – Cook  6
MooreAgnes Alice1880Batley, YorksPark Lodge – No occupation stated4
MooreAlice1905NottsPark Lodge – No occupation stated4
MooreThomas1879Dewsbury, YorkshirePark Lodge – Head Gardener at Tollerton Hall4
MuirClara1884YorksCottage (not specified) – No occupation stated9
MuirDavid Francis1914TollertonCottage (not specified)9
MuirFrank1884NottsCottage (not specified) Chauffeur Mechanic working for Mrs Burnside at Tollerton Hall9
OrtonAgnes1909Kegworth, LeicsCottage (not specified)18
OrtonEmma1908Kegworth, LeicsCottage (not specified) – Home Duties18
OrtonJohn Henry1900Kegworth, LeicsCottage (not specified) Horse Keeper for Plowrights18
OrtonMary Ann1874SheffieldCottage (not specified) – Home Duties18
OrtonWilliam Henry1872LeicsCottage (not specified) Farm Labourer for Plowrights18
OrtonWinnie1912Kegworth, LeicsCottage (not specified)18
ParkesArthur1903NottsTollerton Hall – Footman30
PennockCharles1891Kensington, LondonCottage (not specified) -Gardener working at Tollerton Hall17
PennockMabel1895NottinghamCottage (not specified) – Home Duties17
PlowrightAdeline Mary1911TollertonBassingfield Farm13
PlowrightMabel Annie1886PlumtreeBassingfield Farm – Farmer’s Wife13
PlowrightMyra Annie1910TollertonBassingfield Farm13
PlowrightRichard Henry1882Ruddington, NottsBassingfield Farm – Farmer13
PlowrightWilliam Henry1912TollertonBassingfield Farm13
PotterMinnie1863Hull, YorksRectory – Own Account6
PotterSidney Pell1859LincolnshireRectory – Clerk in Holy Orders6
RichardsWilliam1905NottinghamPark Lodge – Visitor (apprentice to engineering company in Nottingham)19
RichardsonIndiana Maria1863NewarkTollerton Hall – Visitor30
RichardsonStanley1851Appleby, LincsTollerton Hall – Visitor. A stockbroker30
ScreatonBeatrice Mary E1889Willoughby, NottsRectory – Servant6
ShawAdelaide Eggleston1864CotgraveGlebe Farm Cottage – Home Duties. Wife of Charles16
ShawCharles1868Coningsby, LincolnshireGlebe Farm Cottage – Cowman for Plowrights16
ShawEdward Eggleston1898Wymeswold, LeicsGlebe Farm Cottage – Ploughman for Holbrooks. Son of William and Adelaide28
ShawEthel May1912TollertonGlebe Farm Cottage – daughter of Charles and Sarah Ann16
ShawGladys Mary1914TollertonGlebe Farm Cottage – daughter of Charles and Sarah Ann16
ShawHarriett Annie1902NottsGlebe Farm Cottage – Teacher (Notts County Council). Daughter of William and Adelaide28
ShawSarah Ann1872TollertonGlebe Farm Cottage – Home Duties. Wife of Charles16
ShawWilliam1865Willoughby on the Wolds, NottsGlebe Farm Cottage – Horseman at Holbrooks. Husband of Adelaide28
ShawWilliam Robert1897LeicsGlebe Farm Cottage – Horseman on Farm; working at F James Farm, Edwalton. 28
SmithJane1871Stockton, DurhamTollerton Hall – Ladysmaid30
StubbsArchie1895LeicsNorth End Cottages – Farm Labourer for Plowrights25
StubbsArchie H1916PlumtreeNorth End Cottages25
StubbsEdith Phyllis1920PlumtreeNorth End Cottages25
StubbsEthel1914PlumtreeNorth End Cottages25
StubbsGladys1913PlumtreeNorth End Cottages25
StubbsSarah1893PlumtreeNorth End Cottages – Home Duties.25
SwanboroughAlfred Thomas1900Cardiff, GlamorganshireNorth End Cottages – Under Waggoner at Wilds.  Listed as son to Alfred Tomas Hiscock67? Think this is 27.
SwanboroughAnne Ethel May1906DorsetNorth End Cottages – Listed as stepchild of Alfred Thomas Hiscock67? Think this is 27.
SwanboroughHerbert Albert1902WarminsterNorth End Cottages – Farm Labourer at Wilds.  Listed as son to Hiscock family67? Think this is 27.
SwanboroughWilliam Frank1904WarminsterNorth End Cottages – Farm Lad at Wilds. Listed as son to Hiscock family67? Think this is 27.
SweetAlice Mary1910TollertonStables – At school5
SweetBertha1903Radcliffe on Trent, NottsStables – Shop Assistant in West Bridgford, working for Mr Mee of Radcliffe on Trent.5
SweetCharles1855Spaxton, SomersetStables – Forester for Mrs Burnside5
SweetEmma1867Aslockton, NottsStables – No occupation stated5
WarrenEdward Shaw1889StaffordshireHall Farm – Visitor/Lodger? (Crate maker – out of work)3
WarrenEthel Mary1889StaffordshireHall Farm.  Visitor/Lodger?3
WarrenMay1912StaffordshireHall Farm. Visitor/Lodger?3
WhitakerHenry1864Shardlow, DerbysGlebe Cottages –Horseman at Bassingfield Farm. Lodging with Sarah Ann, Thomas William and Herbert Lane. 29
WildArthur1885TollertonChestnut Farm – Farmer  20
WildBarbara Mary1883LincolnshireChestnut Farm – Home Duties  20
WildBarbara Mary1916TollertonChestnut Farm  20
WildChristiana Joan1920Tollerton Chestnut Farm  20
WoodElsie Sarah1899Stow, LincsChestnut Farm – Domestic Help  20

What makes the 1921 Census particularly interesting is that it is the last Census release we can now access until 2052 when the 1951 Census should be available. Sadly the 1931 Census records were destroyed in a fire in 1942 and no Census was taken in 1941 because of Second World War. There is a register for 1939 but this is not a ‘true’ Census. Information gathered for this register was used to produce identity cards, to issue ration books, to administer conscription and to support evacuation plans during World War 2. 

The 1921 Census was the most comprehensive census since 1841 in that it asked for information not previously requested. For instance, it did not just ask for a person’s occupation but also asked for the name and address of employers and, if unemployed, the name and address of last employer.

Prior to 1921 the head of the household had to submit all information about those living in their household but, given the detailed personal information requested in 1921, individuals could choose not to give their data to the head of household and instead submit a separate confidential return.

Analysis of 1921 Census data for Tollerton

The national population in England and Wales in 1921 was around 38 million so Tollerton was a very small place with only 141 residents on that day, including visitors/lodgers and just 30 households. The population of the village was 16.5% lower than in 1911.

It is suggested that the population of Cotgrave in 1921 was 617 and 836 in Keyworth so Tollerton was more like a hamlet when compared with these neighbouring villages.

As you might expect, the majority of those in employment were farmers, farm labourers or working at Tollerton Hall. Most female residents of an employable age indicated that their occupation was “home duties”. One young woman was a teacher, employed by Nottinghamshire County Council, though we do not know where she taught and another female resident worked in a shop at Edwalton. A further resident, Mary Hickman born 1870, is listed as a ‘charwoman’ but there is no indication of who she worked for.

Looking at the gender split 53% of Tollerton’s population in 1921 were female and 47% male. This compares with 56.2% female and 43.8% male in 1911. The gender data for Tollerton in 1921 is very similar to the data from across England and Wales for that year when 52% of the population was female and 48% male.

In 1921 in Tollerton there were 35 children and young people under 14 years of age (nearly 25% of the village’s population). This age was significant as it was the age at which children left school (previously 12). Presumably most of those under 14 and eligible to be at school attended Plumtree School since the school room at North End Cottages had closed well before 1921 and there would have been no other ‘local’ school. Plumtree School had been extended in 1905 so would have been better placed to accept all children 5-14 from Tollerton and other neighbouring villages. Even then, it was a fairly long journey on foot, particularly for the younger ones, though not dangerous given the lack of transport apart from an occasional horse and/or farm vehicle. Presumably a few of the older children might even have had a bicycle they could use to get to school.

School classes would have been large and learning was by rote. Books would have been shared between groups of pupils as books and paper were expensive. Writing was still practised with a tray of sand and a stick, progressing to a slate and chalk as the children became more proficient. Apart from the 3Rs, the children may have had opportunities to engage in nature study, sewing, woodwork, country dancing and the singing of traditional folk songs.

The following graph shows the breakdown of Tollerton’s population in 1921 by age groups, excluding visitors.

The oldest resident in Tollerton in 1921 was Charles Sweet who worked for Mrs Burnside at Tollerton Hall. Charles had worked for Mr and Mrs Burnside long before they moved to Tollerton Hall from Radcliffe on Trent so was a long standing and valued employee. Sadly, Charles died just over 4 years later in 1925 whilst working at the stables.

By 1921 Mrs Burnside of Tollerton Hall had been a widow for about 10 years, her husband William Elliott Burnside having died in 1911. She still had a number of staff including cook, butler, housekeeper, maids, footman, gamekeeper and gardeners, 7 of whom lived in. Alice Burnside died 6 years later in 1927. The Burnside family was the last family to own the Tollerton Estate and live in the Hall before it became a college, school etc.

There were a number of recognisable family names in the 1921 Census – families that had remained in Tollerton after 1911 and were still here in 1921, these include the Chambers, Wilds, Muirs. 25 Tollerton residents in 1921 had been born in the village. Of these 19 were 16 years of age or less, one in their 30s, two in their 40s and three in their 50s.

It is interesting to compare some of the 1921 data for Tollerton against that of 1911. The following graph compares the age profile of residents in those two years.

This graph shows a considerable drop in young children under the age of 5 years in 1921. National data across England and Wales shows that in 1921 there was the lowest number of children under 4 years of age in 40 years.  In 1921 Tollerton had an ageing population with far more residents 50 years plus than in 1911. The overall population of the village dipped even further after 1921. Records show that Tollerton’s population in 1931 was just 127 but then increased significantly as a result of new houses being built and families moving into these new homes. To think a hundred years later in 2021 the village’s population stood at 1,634!

It is incredible to think that in 1921 there were 25 residents living in the six small North End Cottages at the northern end of the village; that’s around 18% of the whole population of Tollerton. They would all have been sharing the outdoor toilet facilities at the back of this block of cottages. Alice Burnside had these six properties converted into four cottages later in 1921, after the Census was undertaken.

There are 10 cottages in the village not named in the 1921 Census. Maps from around this time would indicate that these cottages were located on Tollerton Lane near Tollerton Hall.

Accessing the 1921 Census data

This Census data has been accessed from the ‘Findmypast’ (FMP) website which is the only genealogy site that currently offers the 1921 data for England and Wales. This is because this company won the contract to digitise the Census records. Other than accessing the data online at home it is free to view on the FMP website at The National Archives at Kew, at the Manchester Central Library, and at the National Library of Wales, in Aberystwyth. 

Non-subscribers to this genealogy site can view these records on a pay-per-view basis. Viewing transcriptions costs £2.50 per record; viewing images of the original records costs £3.50 each. Pro subscribers to this site do get a 10% discount on all 1921 Census pay-per-view purchases.

You can search by name or by address if you know it. Searching by address is OK if the properties have name or number and a street name but many small villages did not have any of this information. Initial searches for Tollerton, Nottinghamshire yielded a very long list as it included those who had been born here but had moved away from the village before 1921.


The Tollerton Village History Group are grateful for financial support from Tollerton Parish Council that enabled us to fund the purchase of records for each household within the village.