An important question about villagers is where they were born and how long they stay in the village. The assumption is often made that the occupants of small rural villages stay in the same place from generation to generation and rarely travel many miles from it.
If anything, the evidence from the ‘where were you born?’ question significantly contradicts this.
To look into this, all occupants have been categorised into one of fours categories: born in Seaton Ross, born within 6 miles of Seaton Ross (nearby), born in Yorkshire, and born outside Yorkshire. The results look like this:
The figures for the whole population show slightly over 54 +/- 2.4% born in Seaton Ross, with most of the rest within Yorkshire. However, the children – almost all of who would be born in Seaton Ross, distort this, so next we analysed the adults (20 and over) population:
This shows a more representative pattern, with around 40% being born in Seaton Ross and most (about 96% total) of the rest also in Yorkshire. The proportion born nearby drops from 28% to 15% over the 60 year period.
Similar graphs were produced for heads of family and for farmers (low numbers) and reveal a similar pattern – about 39% born in Seaton Ross, although with more ‘noise’ because of the lower numbers. Perhaps more long term Seaton Ross residents – i.e. more born in Seaton Ross – would have been expected in these categories, but that is not the case.
The conclusion must be that there was a more mobile population than perhaps anticipated.