I have now searched all of the 1851 for Shropshire [SAL]. I found four families, 13 people, the fathers all working on the land. Two were born in SAL - Moses and James -, one in Cheshire [CHS] - Henry - and one in Staffordshire [STS] - Thomas. They were all living within ten miles of each other, on the border with STS and close to CHS, but as James and his family were “visitors” I do not know where there home was; however the children were born in the place they were visiting.
I have seen the images for all those on the1851 STS census index; six families, 32 people, and one individual. Five of the heads of families were born in CHS. Three had married girls born in STS. A Thomas, aged 43, had married a girl from SAL and all four children living with them in 1851 were born there, in Market Drayton. However that is less than ten miles from Maer, where they lived in 1851 and both are adjacent to the CHS border.
So far, in CHS I have 14 familes with 60 people and 6 individuals. In Lancashire I have 18 families with 53 people and 3 individuals. This gives a total of 168 people in the four counties in 1851. There is also one couple in Sussex, John and Mary who were employed for all their working lives in the household of a lady, originally from CHS and SAL and her adopted son who settled in that County. At the age of 70, John now a widower, returned to CHS and in 1884 married Mary, aged 39, his first cousin once removed.
William H, 34 a potters stilt maker, was born in Burslem, STS about 1817 and his wife Margaret 32 came from Benthall SAL. They lived in Burslem where the five children with them were born between 1840 and 1850. However, I have a problem with this family. Neither the marriage nor any of the children’s births seem to have been registered, at least as Gidman, nor can I find any name variations in the registers which could account for them. What happened to everyone? Did they emigrate? Is the surname incorrect in the 1851 census - it certainly looks like Gidman to me?