Jews In the Oxford 1861 Census Pt 2

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Further to the earlier article describing the history of a (probable) Jew living in Oxford’s Cornmarket St in mid 19th century Oxford, the same correspondents also noted the presence of a Family Wolf, also Jewellers and residing nearby at 30½ Cornmarket St.  The ½ implies that they are living in the upper part of the house over a shop.


The Wolf  household comprised:

  • Levi aged 27, head of the household, occupation Jeweller,  born in Middlesex, London
  • His wife, Catherine, 20 years born in Warsaw, Poland
  • Belinda, Daughter, 5, scholar, born Oxford, Oxon
  • Isaiah, Son, 3, Scholar (sic), born Oxford, Oxon

I have searched with and found the following;

  • The 1841 Census, which was the first truly national census ever carried out in the UK, reveals the family living in Penson’s Gardens, which was destroyed in the 20th Century for the St Ebb’s Development.  Isaiah is shown now as a Jeweller aged 45, his wife, his children, Hannah and Harris both 15years, and Levi aged 7.
  • The Census of 1851 reveals a Levi, but with a double ‘o’ ie Woolf, although the spelling change may be an error on the part of the enumerator.  The age is correct, given as 16.  The family is living in New Road, part of the Enumeration District entitled, St Peter le Bailey, and was adjacent to a road known as Jews Mount[1] also part of the same enumeration district and specifically mentioned in the description of the Enumeration District on page 1 of the 36 pages in the Return for District 10b (Ref HO 107/1728).   
  • Also at the address in New Road is Levi’s Father,  Isaiah, aged 56, occupation General Dealer and born in Poland, as was his wife, Catherine, 53 years, and elder son, Jonas aged 30 also a General Dealer.  Levi is shown as born in London, as is his nephew, Jacob aged 1 year, referred to as ‘grandson’ and who I assume is Jonas’ son, but there is no wife for Jonas in residence.  I assume Hannah and Harris are married by the time of the 1851 census.   The only other female is Ann Blunsdon, a servant of 20 years, born in Berkshire.   The birth of a Jacob Woolf, is registered in Lambeth London for 1849.
  • In 1871, the census has a Levi Wolf, aged 39, a Jeweller, but now living at 2 Augustus St, in Manchester (Postcode for this address now is M3 1HZ).   Also at that address are, his wife, Kate 35 years, his sons, Isaiah aged 13, Hyman, 10, Augustus 8, and Benjamin 6, and his two daughters, Belinda 15 and Esther aged 2.  All the children apart from the youngest two are shown as born in Oxford, the last two in Manchester, so I calculate he moved to Manchester between 1863 and 1869.
  • In 1881, the family has moved again to 34 Clarence Street, Cheetham, Manchester (now M2 4DW, a part of Salford now), an area which received a significant Jewish influx in the late 19th Century.  Levi is now 46, and his occupation shown as Traveller.  In the household are his wife, Catherine, Belinda, unmarried and now 24, Hyam aged 19 and also unmarried whose occupation is Warehouseman, Augustus, working as an Office Boy aged 17, and Esther and another 4 younger daughters, Rose, 9, Rebecca, 7, Francis, 5 and Catherine S aged 2.
  • The Census of 1891 now shows Catherine as the Head of the household, a Widow aged 50, living at Stocks Street, Cheetham (M8 8QJ) with her five daughters, Esther, a cap maker, aged 21, Rose 19 a teacher, Rebecca also shown as a teacher aged 17, Francis, 15 and Catherine S 12, and two lodgers, both Italian Shipping Agents from Aleppo, Raphael Silvera and Nasse Cohen (Aleppo had a large Sephardi community).
  • Levi Woolf’s death is registered in Prestwich Lancashire at the age of 49 in the first quarter of 1885 (vol 8d pg 255).

       Michael Ward  August 2013





[1] This name was applied to an artificial mound thought to have been constructed in the 12th Century as a placement for fortifications for the nearby Oxford Castle.  Some authorities believe it to be a corruption of the original name ‘Juis Mount’, juis being a medieval word for pit, which may have remained to one side being the source of the earth used in its construction.  It may however hark back to the special place afforded to Jews within the security of the Castle since they were the ‘property’ of the King.  See Roth, 1950, The Jews of Medieval Oxford

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