In the course of finding my own family history I came across the 1881 census on
CD's. Apart from being a huge source of information on people it gave a good
but not perfect picture of surnames in the UK, plus a few typos or misreads of
the written census.
As a result I found that in 1881 there were not all that many folk around with
my surname or variations on it. In fact there were only :
A grand total of 492 !
I soon found out that spelling of surnames was not as definitive as
these days because the owner of the name was not the person who wrote it. And
most times the owner couldn't read what was written. So you come across the
same person with different spellings of their surname in different documents or
occasionally in the same document.
231 of these 492 folk were born in Norfolk & Suffolk with others in
(34), London (30), Surrey (24), Kent (22) & Durham (21). The remainder were
scattered across about 20 other locations.
As my name is Chatten and my family came from East Anglia I have concentrated
on this area in digging
through church records. In addition all information from the 1881 and 1901
and the IGI records has been included or is intended to be. Lastly the three
county 1851 census on CD has been used. This covered Norfolk, Devon &
Warwickshire. This was supplemented by a manual search of the Suffolk paper
version of the 1851 census and more census information from the Family Records Centre in London.
It turns out that many of the folk outside East Anglia on the 1881 census have
roots there. I had hoped to find one source of the family name in East Anglia
but have found two main groups and many smaller families that I have not yet
The major group is in the area just north of Diss. It includes the villages of
Shimpling, Brockdish and Carleton Rode. A close second is the group around
Aldeburgh and Sudbourne. Some of these folk seemed to be sailing families with
links to the North & South Shields areas.
I have tried to trace all the Chatt*n's on the 1881 census born in Norfolk &
Suffolk back to 1800. There are as well those born & living outside these
counties but with parents from there. So the number of people with links
back to East Anglia is more than the 231 mentioned above.
This information is based on 'best effort' and no claim is made to total
When you get this much information together there are always going to
be mistakes. So part of the reason for making this information more visible is
to get more eyes to spot errors and more sources of information to make the
So help please if you can.
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