James Seckers life in Holme Hale is well reflected in the available 19th Century records and we start to see both the power of the state to compel individuals to surrender information about themselves and for the lives of individuals themselvesto become recordable in their diversity. It is always easierto follow men in the record and it is always easier to follow men with an unusual given and family name. Whilst “James” as a name is not unusual we may accept that “Secker” is easier to spot in a crowd and less likely to be confused with other names.
The first appearance of James Secker in the Census record is for “Jas Secker” who is recorded in the 1841 record for England as the 10 years old son of James and Susan. In 1851 James is seen as a 19 year old “Farm Servant”
James met Charlotte by the 1861 Census and has children Elizabeth (6), Arthur (4) and George aged 2. The increase of their family continues in 1871 when James as an “Agricultural labourer” continues to live with his dress maker wife. The census continues to record our arrival and departures in and out of the world and it continues to record our address and occupation.
The 1881 Census shows James and Charlotte with George (21), Sophia (13), Charles (10), Alice (8), and Wilhemina aged 5 although it is unusual to find the name Wilhemina in Norfolk. I wonder what the influence was for this name and at this time?
The 1891 record shows an older James and Charlotte living near the Red Lion in Holme Hale accompanied by Sophia and Charles. In 1901 James is still working on the land as a horseman (Ostler?) and Charlotte is still with him although all the children have gone.
The life of James and Charlotte is well recorded in the Census records and further research will doubtless reveal the dates for family members and their circumstances