With the 2021 census just completed, lets look at how Northam and Appledore appeared in previous censuses. The FreeCEN website gives free access to 1841, 1851, 1861 and 1891 censuses of Northam and Appledore. White's Devonshire Directory from 1850 can fill in some gaps. How would your life look to future historians, if they could only read a few lines every 10 years?

Three traces of past lives, 

  • William Clibbett, Shipbuilder
  • Grace Hamlyn, Baker
  • William Keats, Admiral RN



(top left) Ss Peter & Paul Church, Appledore: Julian P Guffogg https://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/2944016

(middle left) Sea Green, Market Street, Appledore: Robin Drayton https://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/3070142

(top right) Northam Church: Roger A Smith https://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/1241042 

(middle right) [Seafield] House on the cliffs at Westward Ho!: Steve Daniels https://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/1460142 

(bottom) Pebble ridge at Northam Burrows: Steve Daniels https://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/1394286 



William Clibbett, Shipbuilder

1841 Devon, Shebbear, Northam
CLIBBETT, William, 73, Shipbuilder
CLIBBETT, Susanna, 73
CLIBBETT, Mary Ann, 30
CLIBBETT, George, 30, Commercial T
CLIBBETT, Mary Ann, 29
KEEN, Jane, 17, F S

1841 Devon, Shebbear, Northam
COUSINS, Elizabeth, 38
CLIBBETT, William, 38, Shipbuilder
CLIBBETT, Thomazine, 36
CLIBBETT, Elizabeth, 10
CLIBBETT, William, 8
CLIBBETT, Harriet, 5
CLIBBETT, Richard, 3
CLIBBETT, Susanna, 1
JOHNS, Mary, 20 F S

White's Devonshire Directory 1850
Page 774. BOAT BUILDERS. Clibbett Wm.

1851 Devon, Bideford, Northam Appledore, New Quay
CLIBBETT, William, Head, Widower, 82, Retired Ship Builder, Northam
TETHERLY, Lucy, Servnt, 69, House Serv, Westleigh
DAVY, Charlotte, Servnt, 39, House Serv, Northam

1851 Devon, Bideford, Northam Appledore, New Quay
CLIBBETT, William, Head, 48, Ship Builder 12 Men, Northam
CLIBBETT, Elizabeth, Dau, 20, Northam
CLIBBETT, William, Son, 18, Shipwright, Northam
CLIBBETT, Harriet, Dau, 15, Scholar, Northam
CLIBBETT, Susannah, Dau, 11, Scholar, Northam
CLIBBETT, Mary, Dau, 8, Scholar, Northam
CLIBBETT, Thomazina, Dau, 4, Scholar, Northam
CHAPMAN, Harriet, Vistor, 51, Annuitant, Monkleigh

1861 Devon, Northam, New Quay
CLIBBETT, William, Head, Widow, 58, Ship Builder Emp 18m 2b, Appledore
CLIBBETT, William, Son, 28, Ship Builder Son, Appledore
CLIBBETT, Harriet, Dau, 25, Appledore
CLIBBETT, Susanna, Dau, 21, Appledore
CLIBBETT, Mary, Dau, 18, Appledore
CHAPMAN, Harriet, Hsekpr, 67, House Keeper, Monkleigh

Grace Hamlyn, Baker

1841 Devon, Shebbear, Northam
HAMLIN, Robert, 45, Ag Lab
HAMLIN, Grace, 40
HAMLIN, Mary, 9
HAMLIN, Robert, 7

White's Devonshire Directory 1850
Page 774. BAKERS. Hamlyn Grace

1851 Devon, Bideford, Northam Appledore, Market St
HAMLYN, Grace, Head, Widow, 52, Shopkeeper, Welcombe
HAMLYN, Thomas, Son, 23, Carpinter, Welcombe
HAMLYN, Mary Ann, Dau, 19, Dress Maker, Welcombe
HAMLYN, Robert, Son, 17 Mason, Welcombe
HAMLYN, William, Son, 13, Mason, Welcombe
HAMLYN, Elizabett, Dau, 10, Scholar, Welcombe
HANDFORD, James, Lodger, 28, Master Mariner, Alwington

1861 Devon, Northam, Market Street
HAMLYN, Grace, Head, Widow, 61, Bread Baker, Brixham
HAMLYN, James P, Son, 32, Sailor - Invalid, Welcome
HAMLYN, Elizabeth, Dau, 20, House Maid, Welcome
HILL, William, Boardr, 23, Joiner, Barnstaple
BARRETT, Edward, Boardr, 12, Scholar, Northam

William Keats, Admiral RN

1841 Devon, Shebbear, Northam, Porthill
KEATS, William, 45, Ind
KEATS, Augusta, 24
KEATS, William, 4
EYRE, Elizabeth, 20
ESCOTT, Mary, 30, F S
MELHUISH, Catherine, 40, F S
ESCOTT, Charles M, 20, M S
HOOKAWAY, Elizabeth, 20, F S
JAMES, Richard, 35, M S

White's Devonshire Directory 1850
Page 773. Keats Capt. Wm., R.N. Port Hill

1861 Devon, Northam, Port Hill House
KEATS, William, Head, 66, Admiral Rn (Half Pay), Tiverton
KEATS, Augusta, Wife, 40, Admirals Wife, Winchester
LARAMY, Elizabeth, Visitr, 57, House Servant, Warkleigh
ESCOT, Mary, Servnt, 50 House Keeper, Kings Compton
JONES, Stephen, Servnt, 30, Butler, M-----
JONES, Jane, Servnt, 34, Cook, IOW, Cherrywood
LARAMY, Emily, Servnt, 20, House Maid, Northam
WHITE, John, Servnt, 17 Groom, Codligh

Historic England: Port Hill House 1760 with alterations square stucco house. 2 storey 5 window principal front, eaves cornice with dentils and brackets. Central 3-bay Doric porch with disc ornaments to frieze and tympanum, later glazing. Residence formerly of Augustus Millet who may have built it. A dignified house with interesting interior features.




General Information on Northam and Appledore

GENUKI provides a virtual reference library of genealogical information of particular relevance to the UK and Ireland. It is a non-commercial service, maintained by a charitable trust and a group of volunteers.



Welcome to the Devon Heritage website where you will find information and articles about the people and places of this County, both past and present. 





British History Online has copies of the late 19th Century Ordnance Survey maps.



Census 2021 The census is a survey about all the households in England and Wales. The last census took place on Sunday 21 March 2021. Everyone must complete the census and provide accurate information. It helps decide how services are funded in your area.



A Vision of Britain Since 1801 the Census has created a uniquely detailed record of our changing communities. For data on your chosen town or village, search by place from our main home page. 

Northam https://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/place/297 

Appledore https://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/place/21317 

Westward Ho! https://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/place/25964 


Extract of the Northam entry from William White's Devonshire Directory of 1850



FreeCEN The aim of FreeCEN is to provide free internet searches of the 19th century UK census returns. The first UK census to include names and other details of UK residents took place in 1841. Since then, a census has been held every ten years.

The FreeCEN project was begun in July, 1999, with a pilot transcription for Devon, coordinated by Brian Randell. Since then, the project has moved on, outgrowing its original database and website: we are now based on this site and have plans to improve the database and the ways you can search it.


Coverage for Northam and Appledore on FreeCEN is for the years 1841 (census district Shebbear), 1851 (Bideford), 1861 (Northam), and 1891 (Bideford)



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