Jews in the Oxford 1861 Census Pt1

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The Oxford Jewish Heritage Committee is grateful to two members of the OJC who have made us aware of some entries in the 1861 England Census for Oxford City that might be of interest;

  The current position of the house at 29 Cornmarket St in 1861 which no longer exists.

It was then attached to St Michaels Church and was on the corner of Cornmarket and Ship Street.

The first is Schedule no:69 for 29 Cornmarket Street where the Solomon Family lived, and worked.    The family at the time of the Census consists of:

·      Lewis Solomon, the head of the household, aged 32 whose occupation is given as Jeweller and Watchmaker, born in Germany, but a naturalized British subject.
·      Diana Solomon, his wife, aged 31, born in Whitechapel, London
·      Their four children;  Matilda, aged 9, Levi, aged 8, Joseph, aged 5 and Harriett, aged 3; all born in Oxford
·      Ann Powell, their unmarried servant, 16, born in Bicester.


Using found the following:

  • A search for Lewis Solomon in the 1851 Census does produce a positive result for a Lewis Solomon living in Oxford at 25 Queen Street, but I think it not to be the same man, in spite of the fact that the occupation is given then as Jeweller, since the age for Lewis in 1851 is given as 28 and his place of birth is Poland.  Further his wife’s name is Mathildae aged 26.  See note added later in next paragraph

Following publication of a brief version of this article in Menorah,  the Oxford Jewish Congregation’s quarterly magazine, my attention was drawn to the following by Harold Pollins, a longstanding member of the OJC:  “There is no mystery about his wife’s name in 1851 being Matilda.  She was the first wife of Lewis Solomon, Matilda Levi, and they were married  on 10 November 1847.  She died in childbirth on 11 May 1851, the child survived and was named Matilda after her.  Lewis Solomon married Diana Kauffman within weeks of Matilda’s death, in the late summer of 1851.”   It appears therefore that in spite of the discrepancy in the ages given for Lewis, this 1851 entry is his.   Harold also wrote about Lewis Solomon in an earlier edition of Menorah,  (issue 168, summer 2003 ) and his details are available on in their 1851 Anglo-Jewish Database.

Harold adds further:  “In the 1851 Census Lewis Solomon is living at 25 Queen Street. His wife Matilda died in May 1851 at Queen Street [I have a copy of the death certificate].   The Lewis Solomon, Jeweller, who married Diana Kauffman on 5 September 1851 lived at 25 Queen Street. He is therefore the same man. [I have a copy of the marriage certificate].”

Harold’s copy of Matilda’s Death Certificate issued on 11th May 1851 is shown below and reveals she died of puerperal sepsis, also known as Childbirth Fever some days after the delivery of her infant, wjho was then named Matilda in her memory.

A search for a marriage of Lewis Solomon in the years 1850-53 finds one Lewis marrying a Diana Kauffman in the third quarter of 1851 in St James, Westminster. A copy of the Marriage Certificate reveals that it took place at the Western Synagogue in London on September 3rd 1851, and that Diana’s father’s profession is given as Watch and Clock Maker.

  • The 1861 Solomon family is at the same address in 1871, but with a slightly changed family and with Lewis’s occupation now given as Jeweller and Tobacconist, this time his place of birth is given as Cracow, Germany.  Dinah is still with him, as are Matilda and Harriet (sic) but Levi and Joseph are not shown, and in their place are Leah, aged 8, Hester, 7, Charles 5 and Albert 2.  The servant is now Ann Smith aged 19 shown as Oxford born.
  • In 1881, the family still resides at the same address in Cornmarket, Lewis’ age is now given as 55, Dinah’s as 52.  Their children with them are Harriett (22), Leah, 18, Esther, 16 and Leopold aged 7. 
  • By 1891, the house has been split, Lewis’s part now being numbered as 29½, and his wife has died, as he is shown as a Widower aged 65, with an occupation given simply as Tobacconist,  living with his unmarried daughter Liddie, aged 26 (perhaps a corruption of Leah?) and an unmarried General Domestic Servant, Ada Bland, aged 17.
  • Lewis moved away from Oxford shortly after and the 1901 census shows him living in Hampstead London, aged 73, as a retired Jeweller, with his daughters, Liddie (37) and Ettie, perhaps a corruption of Hester (36), son Charles, now 35, whose occupation is given as a wholesale jeweler, and two servants, Bertha Saunders, 20 housemaid domestic and Kate Pieeny, a cook aged 20.
  • Lewis’s death is registered in the first quarter of 1902 in the Registration District of Hampstead at the age of 74.   I have not seen the Death Entry in the register so can give no information as to the cause of death.

Michael Ward  July 2013

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