Capturing Cambridge
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18 Hooper Street

Railway workers, a boiler maker, a groom and a gardener

18 Hooper Street is in Leeds Terrace, which was built by 1881.


Elias Prime, 49, railway servant, b. Newton, Cambridgeshire
Jane Prime, 48, b. Thriplow, Cambridgeshire


James Walsh, head, 40, assistant boiler maker, b. London
Sarah Walsh, wife, 37, b. Biddestone, Wiltshire
Minnie Walsh, daughter, 20, b. London
Frank Ruffell, lodger, 25, telegraph linesman, b. Norwich, Norfolk

Curiously, ten years earlier the Walsh family had lived three doors along at no. 15 – a house of identical size. Even more curiously,  they seem to have become younger, having been 54 and 46 in 1881! The earlier birth dates tally with the ages 45 and 37 given for the 1871 census, when they lived in West Ham, Essex.

Minnie later married a publican, Richard Quittenton. They ran a pub together in Deptford, London, and had several children.


Arthur Munsey, 27, groom, b. Haslingfield, Cambridgeshire
Ada Munsey, 26, b. Gamlingay
Arthur Theodore Munsey, 1, b. Cambridge
Lewis Victor Munsey, 2 months, b. Cambridge
Sarah Enderby, mother-in-law, 50, b. Gamlingay

Arthur Muncey (or Munsey) came from a very large family in Haslingfield, and his father was a shepherd. In the 1880s and 1890s two of his elder brothers had worked as fossil or coprolite diggers.

By 1911, now with four sons, the Muncey family had moved around the corner to 53 Ainsworth Street.


Ephraim Oakman, 66, gardener, b. Foxton, Cambridgeshire
Elizabeth Oakman, 58, b. Harston, Cambridgeshire
Frank Oakman, 24, compositor, b. Cambridge
Percy Oakman,  22, shop assistant for boot manufacturer, b. Cambridge
Sidney Oakman, 20, shop assistant for boot manufacturer, b. Cambridge
Flossie Oakman, 17, b. Cambridge
Winnie Oakman, 13, at school, b. Cambridge
40 years married, 11 children, 1 died

Ephraim and Elizabeth Oakman previously lived for many years at 14 Edward Street, a larger house, so perhaps they had downsized as their many children grew up and moved out. Ephraim had worked as a maltster for a brewery, but now, aged 66, he was working as a gardener.

Ephraim died two years later in 1913. Elizabeth stayed at the house until at least 1945, sometimes alone and sometimes with relatives. In 1930 she lived with Harry and Florence Thaxter – her daughter Flossie. In the 1939 register she is described as ‘infirm’, and lived with a carer, Annie Hill.


UK census records (1841 to 1911), General Register Office birth, marriage and death indexes (1837 onwards), the 1939 England and Wales Register, and electoral registers.


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