Once again the magazine arrived at a most
appropriate time to lift my spirits. In
particular I found the article on Farm
service to be very interesting as the Davis
family that I have been researching originally
lived in the villages of Ashampstead and Boxford.
Clearly they were all farm workers and must have
been involved in the type of employment described
in the article. The families were in nearly all
cases large, around eight or more children, and
almost certainly needed for the older children to
have become employed as soon as possible to
reduce the number of mouths to feed at home.
Similar arrangements certainly operated in the
cities in the second half of the nineteenth
century when the children of my great grandfather
went into service of one form or another as soon
as they could. My great great grandfather was the
first of the family to move from Boxford in the
183 os or 1840 s to Birmingham, followed by his
next brother, the remainder of that generation,
eight children, apparently continuing in
Berkshire. My grandfather, who was the eldest
child, was employed as a junior gardener and that
was where he met his wife who was employed in a
similar domestic role. The 1901 census shows his
youngest brother similarly 'farmed out'. Thank
you for such an interesting magazine.
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