E J Smith in the 1901 Census


N. James Wright

Found in the 1901 Census, done on the night of the 31st March 1901.

At 181 Lunster Gardens, Northwich, Runcorn.

Thomas Jones — Spirit Merchant Wine.

Vistors are:

Edward J Smith, aged 50, Married, Master Mariner SEAS - (leu? R.U?.R) , born Hanley, Staffordshire.

The other Smith’s listed were Sarah E? Smith, aged 39, born Newton le Willows?, Lancashire, and Helen M Smith, aged 2, born Waterloo, Lancashire.
In 1901 the South Africa (Boer) war was still on the go and Edward J was seconded to the Royal Naval Reserve taking troops to S.A., on the Majestic I believe. 'Seas' was added by the enumerator - a job to second-guess what that meant.

Sarah Eleanor, was his wife:
Helen Melville, his daughter
On the 1901 Census, his occupation was effectively amended to thus read Master Mariner of the sea. The ( leu R.U?.R) shown above is really Lt. RNR. i.e. Lieutenant, Royal Naval Reserve.
There is an interesting post on the TRMA forum confirming this: the 1871 census showing that Smith was 21. This would make him 63 in 1912. Wasn't the mandatory retirement age 60? If so, how did the White Star Line "get away" with this?


Hi Paul

The 1911 census was taken on 2 April 1911, and E J records his age as 60, he would have been 61 (born 27 January 1850). His occupation was described as Master Mariner R D, R.N.R.
Present were his wife and daughter, two visitors and two servants. It was a large house in Winn Rd Southampton with 13 rooms. The 1911 census gave more information than the previous ones. He was obviously at home when the census was taken.
The census was taken on Sunday 2nd April 1911.

On the 1911 census and onwards the head of the household was required to sign the sheet, so it should have Captain Smith's signature on it.

Hi James

Yes, there was a single sheet for each household and each householder, or his representative, was required to sign a declaration in a box at the bottom on the R/H side. It was indeed signed by the man himself, Edward J Smith.