Subject Name :  John Hayes (b ca1830 – d?)

Researchers :  Mike Brock and Carol Thompson


The one fact that we know about John Hayes is that at the time of the 1881 Census, he was an inmate of the Guildford Union Workhouse, described as a 51-year-old widower and a plasterer born in Clapham, Surrey (1).  But is this actually correct?  There are no Census records from other years to back this up, nor are there birth, marriage or death records that match up either.

There are no admission or release records for the Guildford Union Workhouse available from that time which could’ve given a lead to his identity, and with John Hayes being such a common name, it’s not been possible to come to any definite conclusions.

Whether he invented the details or was just wildly inaccurate, we may never know, but for the time being, the life of John Hayes remains a mystery!

March 2022


  1. John Hayes 1881 England Census, Guildford Union Workhouse, Guildford, Surrey. Reference RG11; Piece: 778; Folio: 91; Page: 3.