The Kay Family Association UK

Lancashire in 1841

This map is based on an analysis of Kays in the 1841 census for Lancashire. As with the earlier maps, we’ve kept to the old pre-1837 parishes (or what the census said was the parish), though the detached sections of Bolton and Middleton parishes are shown separately here, and Liverpool has been properly split out into Liverpool and Toxteth.

The variants Kay, Kaye, Key, Keay and Cay are included, but not anything ending in an ‘s’, beginning with ‘Mac’ or ‘Mc’, or the name ‘Quay’ that was found in Winwick – an interesting one that. See below for all the names we found.

We’re showing counts of both households (where the first person named was a Kay) and people (all Kays, including those in non-Kay households and institutions, such as the workhouse)1. You can use the radio buttons to display the information:

  • The basic numbers
  • Those numbers adjusted for the size of the parish
  • The numbers adjusted as a factor of the total population of the parish

Boundaries based on data from the Lancashire Archives
Key
Analysis
People in census
Adjusted by area
Per 50000 of population
Show households

More Detail

It isn't feasible to show a more detailed breakdown on a map, but an analysis has been made of the parishes and townships with greater numbers of Kays. Click on the link to view details:

This table shows the townships with the most Kays. The three columns of figures give respectively the number of Kays, the total number of people in the township, and the number of Kays per 50,000 people in the population. Figures in brackets are the number of households. Click on the link under this table to close it.

Parish
Township
Kays
Total
Per 50000
Bury
Bury
324 (61)
19134 (3562)
847
Manchester
Manchester
234 (42)
52020 (8526)
225
Bury
Heap
168 (32)
12613 (2248)
666
Bury
Tottington Lower End
160 (22)
8451 (1496)
947
Liverpool
Liverpool
156 (28)
71337 (10580)
109
Bolton
Great Bolton
144 (28)
19316 (3603)
373
Blackburn
Over Darwen
134 (16)
8353 (1445)
802
Bolton
Turton
134 (25)
3577 (647)
1873
Preston
Preston
132 (24)
21543 (4040)
306
Bolton
Little Bolton
115 (24)
12065 (2309)
477
Prestwich
Pilkington
95 (20)
9684 (1709)
490
Manchester
Salford
88 (20)
22208 (4050)
198
Bury
Walmersley cum Shuttleworth
87 (20)
4911 (813)
886
Rochdale
Spotland
82 (15)
6654 (1216)
616
Oldham
Oldham below town
66 (13)
11182 (2153)
295
Blackburn
Blackburn
64 (9)
12463 (2114)
257
Prestwich
Prestwich
60 (11)
3082 (564)
973

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This table shows the townships with the most Kays relative to the total population. The three columns of figures give respectively the number of Kays, the total number of people in the township, and the number of Kays per 50,000 people in the population. Figures in brackets are the number of households. Click on the link under this table to close it.

We're only showing townships where the total number of households exceeds 300. Otherwise there'd be some real anomolies - Quarlton in Bolton would be top of the list with 19 Kays out of a total population of 370; Chipping (21 out of 686) and Chaighley (7 out of 266) would also show. But these are not really statistically significant, hence the arbitrary cut-off of 300.

Parish
Township
Kays
Total
Per 50000
Bolton
Turton
134 (25)
3577 (647)
1873
Prestwich
Prestwich
60 (11)
3082 (564)
973
Bury
Tottington Lower End
160 (22)
8451 (1496)
947
Deane
West Houghton
59 (8)
3285 (602)
898
Oldham
Royton
38 (6)
2116 (405)
898
Bury
Walmersley cum Shuttleworth
87 (20)
4911 (813)
886
Manchester
Blackley
34 (8)
1972 (371)
862
Bury
Bury
324 (61)
19134 (3562)
847
Blackburn
Over Darwen
134 (16)
8353 (1445)
802
Bury
Heap
168 (32)
12613 (2248)
666
Radcliffe
Radcliffe
56 (8)
4231 (773)
662
Ashton under Lyne
Hartshead
28 (4)
2238 (396)
626
Rochdale
Spotland
82 (15)
6654 (1216)
616
Bury
Tottington Higher End
25 (4)
2201 (376)
568
Bolton
Little Lever
23 (4)
2249 (410)
511
Leigh
Tyldesley with Shakerley
37 (8)
3683 (1175)
502
Prestwich
Pilkington
95 (20)
9684 (1709)
490
Bolton
Little Bolton
115 (24)
12065 (2309)
477

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This table shows the townships in the parish of Blackburn. The three columns of figures give respectively the number of Kays, the total number of people in the township, and the number of Kays per 50,000 people in the population. Figures in brackets are the number of households. Click on the link under this table to close it, or use the Previous and Next links to move through the other parishes.

Township
Kays
Total
Per 50000
Blackburn
64 (9)
12463 (2114)
257
Lower Darwen
9 (2)
1376 (232)
327
Over Darwen
134 (16)
8353 (1445)
802
Samlesbury (chapelry)
5 (1)
721 (74)
347
Tockholes (chapely)
0 (0)
681 (90)
0
Walton le Dale (chapelry)
10 (1)
1056 (205)
473

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This table shows the townships in the parish of Bolton. The three columns of figures give respectively the number of Kays, the total number of people in the township, and the number of Kays per 50,000 people in the population. Figures in brackets are the number of households. Click on the link under this table to close it, or use the Previous and Next links to move through the other parishes.

Township
Kays
Total
Per 50000
Bradshaw
2 (1)
273 (53)
366
Breightmet
7 (1)
931 (151)
376
Darcy Lever
10 (3)
729 (136)
686
Edgeworth
15 (4)
1697 (321)
442
Entwisle
10 (1)
555 (93)
901
Great Bolton
144 (28)
19316 (3603)
373
Harwood
3 (1)
455 (99)
330
Haulgh
13 (3)
701 (134)
927
Little Bolton
115 (24)
12065 (2309)
477
Little Lever
23 (4)
2249 (410)
511
Longworth
2 (0)
149 (25)
671
Quarlton
18 (2)
370 (65)
2432
Sharples
14 (2)
1146 (207)
611
Tonge
12 (1)
1361 (241)
441
Turton
134 (25)
3577 (647)
1873

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This table shows the townships in the parish of Bury. The three columns of figures give respectively the number of Kays, the total number of people in the township, and the number of Kays per 50,000 people in the population. Figures in brackets are the number of households. Click on the link under this table to close it, or use the Previous and Next links to move through the other parishes.

Township
Kays
Total
Per 50000
Bury
324 (61)
19134 (3562)
847
Cowpe & Lenches
3 (1)
700 (136)
214
Elton
18 (3)
4079 (731)
221
Heap
168 (32)
12613 (2248)
666
Musbury
12 (2)
567 (101)
1058
Newhallhey & Hall Carr
6 (2)
1016 (175)
295
Tottington Higher End
25 (4)
2201 (376)
568
Tottington Lower End
160 (22)
8451 (1496)
947
Walmersley cum Shuttleworth
87 (20)
4911 (813)
886

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This table shows the townships in the parish of Deane. The three columns of figures give respectively the number of Kays, the total number of people in the township, and the number of Kays per 50,000 people in the population. Figures in brackets are the number of households. Click on the link under this table to close it, or use the Previous and Next links to move through the other parishes.

Township
Kays
Total
Per 50000
Halliwell
31 (5)
1544 (269)
1004
Horwich
17 (4)
2209 (380)
385
Little Hulton
4 (1)
656 (120)
305
Middle Hulton
2 (1)
285 (53)
351
Rumworth
1 (0)
592 (117)
84
West Houghton
59 (8)
3285 (602)
898

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This table shows the townships in the parish of Eccles. The three columns of figures give respectively the number of Kays, the total number of people in the township, and the number of Kays per 50,000 people in the population. Figures in brackets are the number of households. Click on the link under this table to close it, or use the Previous and Next links to move through the other parishes.

Township
Kays
Total
Per 50000
Barton upon Irwell
27 (4)
5413 (981)
249
Clifton
2 (1)
677 (118)
148
Little Houghton
21 (4)
979 (186)
1073
Pendlebury
9 (2)
1276 (229)
353
Pendleton
43 (10)
6203 (1155)
347
Roegreen
11 (3)
561 (89)
980
Swinton
1 (0)
736 (132)
68
Wardley
3 (1)
477 (85)
314
Worsley
5 (2)
1060 (181)
236

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This table shows the one township in the parish of Liverpool. The three columns of figures give respectively the number of Kays, the total number of people in the township, and the number of Kays per 50,000 people in the population. Figures in brackets are the number of households. Click on the link under this table to close it, or use the Previous and Next links to move through the other parishes.

Township
Kays
Total
Per 50000
Liverpool
156 (28)
71337 (10580)
109

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This table shows the townships in the parish of Manchester. The three columns of figures give respectively the number of Kays, the total number of people in the township, and the number of Kays per 50,000 people in the population. Figures in brackets are the number of households. Click on the link under this table to close it, or use the Previous and Next links to move through the other parishes.

Township
Kays
Total
Per 50000
Ardwick
24 (4)
4500 (913)
267
Blackley
34 (8)
1972 (371)
862
Broughton
14 (3)
1934 (417)
362
Cheetham
7 (1)
1949 (327)
180
Chorlton on Medlock
50 (11)
10602 (2005)
236
Crumpsall
20 (5)
2773 (553)
361
Didsbury
2 (0)
1342 (232)
75
Droylsden
2 (0)
1840 (295)
54
Failsworth
7 (1)
1301 (231)
269
Gorton
1 (0)
623 (113)
80
Haughton
3 (1)
489 (85)
307
Heaton Norris
17 (2)
5550 (1077)
153
Hulme
24 (2)
10896 (2069)
110
Manchester
234 (42)
52020 (8526)
225
Moss Side
1 (0)
436 (79)
115
Moston
3 (1)
309 (52)
485
Newton
19 (5)
3462 (629)
274
Openshaw
16 (3)
2366 (442)
338
Reddish
1 (0)
520 (86)
96
Rusholme
4 (1)
339 (59)
590
Salford
88 (20)
22208 (4050)
198
Stretford
1 (0)
345 (60)
145

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This table shows the townships in the parish of Oldham. The three columns of figures give respectively the number of Kays, the total number of people in the township, and the number of Kays per 50,000 people in the population. Figures in brackets are the number of households. Click on the link under this table to close it, or use the Previous and Next links to move through the other parishes.

Township
Kays
Total
Per 50000
Chadderton
10 (1)
429 (74)
1166
Oldham above town
33 (7)
9553 (1788)
173
Oldham below town
66 (13)
11182 (2153)
295
Royton
38 (6)
2116 (405)
898

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This table shows the townships in the parish of Preston. The three columns of figures give respectively the number of Kays, the total number of people in the township, and the number of Kays per 50,000 people in the population. Figures in brackets are the number of households. Click on the link under this table to close it, or use the Previous and Next links to move through the other parishes.

Township
Kays
Total
Per 50000
Fishwick
0 (0)
756 (125)
0
Preston
132 (24)
21543 (4040)
306

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This table shows the townships in the parish of Prestwich. The three columns of figures give respectively the number of Kays, the total number of people in the township, and the number of Kays per 50,000 people in the population. Figures in brackets are the number of households. Click on the link under this table to close it, or use the Previous and Next links to move through the other parishes.

Township
Kays
Total
Per 50000
Crompton
16 (3)
1275 (231)
627
Great Heaton
2 (1)
86 (16)
1163
Pilkington
95 (20)
9684 (1709)
490
Prestwich
60 (11)
3082 (564)
973
Tonge
9 (1)
1200 (222)
375

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This table shows the townships in the parish of Rochdale. The three columns of figures give respectively the number of Kays, the total number of people in the township, and the number of Kays per 50,000 people in the population. Figures in brackets are the number of households. Click on the link under this table to close it, or use the Previous and Next links to move through the other parishes.

Township
Kays
Total
Per 50000
Blatchinworth & Calderbrook
1 (0)
528 (83)
95
Butterworth
7 (1)
1137 (214)
308
Castleton within the Borough
24 (4)
3390 (670)
354
Castleton without the Borough
14 (5)
3870 (711)
181
Spotland
82 (15)
6654 (1216)
616
Todmorden
6 (2)
1574 (284)
191
Wardleworth
22 (5)
2981 (574)
369
Wuerdale & Wardale
16 (2)
2042 (372)
392

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Variants

In this era where the level of literacy was still low, we’re probably still at the mercy of how individual enumerators decided to spell the name. There was a family in Chorlton on Medlock where the father was spelt ‘Kay’ but the mother and children were ‘Key’. In one family in the Great Howard Street sub-district of Liverpool, father, mother and two sons were listed with the surname ‘Kay’. At the top of the next page, their 9 month old baby was given the surname ‘McKaye’. Make what you want of that! But outside Manchester and Liverpool, Lancashire mostly opted for ‘Kay’, as can be seen by this first chart:

Key
Kay (93.3%)
MacKie (0.0%)
Kaye (3.0%)
McKae (0.1%)
Kays (0.0%)
McKay (1.6%)
Key (0.8%)
McKee (0.1%)
Keyes (0.2%)
McKie (0.2%)
Keys (0.1%)
McQuay (0.0%)
MacKay (0.3%)
Quay (0.1%)
MacKey (0.2%)

Manchester shows a wider range:

Key
Cay (0.2%)
MacKie (0.6%)
Kay (78.9%)
MacQuay (0.5%)
Kaye (4.8%)
McKay (3.2%)
Keayes (0.6%)
McKaye (0.8%)
Key (2.3%)
McKee (1.8%)
Keys (0.2%)
McKey (0.5%)
MacKay (2.7%)
McKie (1.1%)
MacKey (2.1%)

while the differences in Liverpool are extreme:

Key
Cay (1.4%)
MacKie (0.7%)
Kay (28.7%)
McCay (0.4%)
Kaye (17.2%)
McKay (16.1%)
Kays (1.1%)
McKaye (0.7%)
Keay (0.7%)
McKee (5.0%)
Key (7.9%)
McKey (7.5%)
MacKay (8.6%)
McKie (0.4%)
MacKey (3.6%)

Liverpool’s status as a large port must have contributed to this totally different mixture, and a similar range, even more pronounced, can be seen in next-door Toxteth2:

Key
Kay (21.8%)
McCay (10.9%)
Kaye (3.6%)
McKay (1.8%)
Keay (3.6%)
McKee (10.9%)
Key (29.1%)
McKey (7.3%)
MacKay (1.8%)
McKie (1.8%)
MacKey (7.3%)

 

1
The number of households is therefore, to an extent, notional. A dwelling where the first person named was a Kay is counted as a Kay household. A dwelling where there was a family of Kays living but where the first person named was not a Kay is not counted as a Kay household. For any other approach, we’d have to start asking how many Kays constitute a family, and when does a family constitute a household. Two children live with a family with a different surname – has mother remarried, or have the children been farmed out? A young couple live with a family with a different surname – are they a married couple, or are they brother and sister who have moved to find work? A married couple and their child are working on someone else’s farm and living in the farmhouse – is that a household? We’d be making guesses in many cases, some of which will be valueless. This approach is at least consistent, and no better or worse than any other.
2
We know that five of the twelve Kays to be found in Toxteth originated from Bury, which makes this more extreme.