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General => The Common Room => The Lighter Side => Topic started by: Stanwix England on Friday 28 August 20 11:50 BST (UK)

Title: Humour on the census
Post by: Stanwix England on Friday 28 August 20 11:50 BST (UK)
This made me laugh on the 1911 census. At first I thought the "head" was because they'd copied it rather literally from the instructions, but having seen the other comments I wonder if it was just sarcasm.  ;D
Title: Re: Humour on the census
Post by: Milliepede on Friday 28 August 20 11:52 BST (UK)
Brilliant, nice to see some humour like that  :D
Title: Re: Humour on the census
Post by: Mvann on Friday 28 August 20 12:15 BST (UK)
I have seen someone comment about including the cat in the census
Title: Re: Humour on the census
Post by: Pennines on Friday 28 August 20 13:29 BST (UK)
I can remember seeing - I think on a Find My Past email -- some comments they had found, or knew about on census records.

 On an Irish Census record a father had written in the Column headed 'Whether married, widowed, unmarried - etc' --- against his daughter's entry -- 'On the look out' !!

Also - an entry on the 1901 English census gives the female's relationship to the Head of the House as 'Concubine'. (There are other entries through the years which show this relationship for some females actually).
Title: Re: Humour on the census
Post by: Pennines on Friday 28 August 20 13:29 BST (UK)
Sorry - it was 1871!!
Title: Re: Humour on the census
Post by: stanmapstone on Friday 28 August 20 14:25 BST (UK)
Concubine is not necessarily a derogatory term at that time. According to the OED it means a woman who cohabits with a man without being his wife, as well as a kept mistress.

Stan
Title: Re: Humour on the census
Post by: josey on Friday 28 August 20 14:39 BST (UK)
There was an entry on the 1911 for the pet dog whose occupation was 'Ratter' & one on 1891 whose year old baby's occupation was 'mainly teething'  ;D ;D
Title: Re: Humour on the census
Post by: Pennines on Friday 28 August 20 14:41 BST (UK)
Oh Josey -- those are brilliant!
Title: Re: Humour on the census
Post by: Milliepede on Friday 28 August 20 16:30 BST (UK)
Quote
one on 1891 whose year old baby's occupation was 'mainly teething' 

Love that  ;D

Title: Re: Humour on the census
Post by: louisa maud on Friday 28 August 20 17:38 BST (UK)
I saw on ,   as think 1911 census, wife had written she was " husbands slave" did she have a sense  of humour?

Louisa Maud
Title: Re: Humour on the census
Post by: oldtimer on Friday 28 August 20 18:04 BST (UK)
 ;D
My favourite is from the 1911, for a London pub.

Henry James Hirst describes himself as a "persecuted publican" and he calls himself Head? (with a question mark after it!)  He describes his wife as a "persecuted publicaness."

He writes, " I have 100 chickens (incubators) 9 canaries 2 dogs (one under 6 mts) and 2 cats (do you want to know how often I go to the Pears?" not sure of that last word!  Perhaps someone else can read it better.
"Also some thousands of rats. They are uncountable."

 ;D
Title: Re: Humour on the census
Post by: johnhood on Friday 28 August 20 19:01 BST (UK)
Just looked up the last post, that is really funny!! ;D

John
Title: Re: Humour on the census
Post by: Gallicrow on Saturday 29 August 20 02:10 BST (UK)
Funnily enough earlier this week I was looking at the 1911 census entry for the magician, "The Great Lafayette". He gives his name as "The Great Lafayette" and under infirmities he has put "too good". He describes his dog, Beauty (given to him by Harry Houdini), as his daughter and her occupation as "independent means".

Tragically both The Great Lafayette and Beauty died the following month. Beauty apparently died of overeating and The Great Lafayette in a fire at the Empire Palace Theatre in Edinburgh.

This is from Wikipedia:
"The body of Lafayette was apparently soon found and sent to Glasgow for cremation. Two days after the fire, however, workers clearing the understage area found another body identically dressed as Lafayette. It transpired that the body at the crematorium was that of the illusionist's body double"
Title: Re: Humour on the census
Post by: Pennines on Saturday 29 August 20 10:54 BST (UK)
Oh Gallicrow - what a very tragic story after such a humorous entry on the census.
Title: Re: Humour on the census
Post by: hanes teulu on Saturday 29 August 20 20:39 BST (UK)
I have seen someone comment about including the cat in the census

I've long regretted the fact I didn't record the details of a 1911 Census I came across where the family cat was listed.
Title: Re: Humour on the census
Post by: Sloe Gin on Monday 31 August 20 13:57 BST (UK)
Concubine is not necessarily a derogatory term at that time. According to the OED it means a woman who cohabits with a man without being his wife, as well as a kept mistress.

Concubine should be revived, along with paramour.  So much more pleasing than partner, and less ambiguous.
Title: Re: Humour on the census
Post by: josey on Monday 31 August 20 14:20 BST (UK)
But what do you then call the male partner? [Other genders are available].
Title: Re: Humour on the census
Post by: Milliepede on Monday 31 August 20 15:24 BST (UK)
Porcupine?
Title: Re: Humour on the census
Post by: josey on Monday 31 August 20 15:46 BST (UK)
Mr Josey may be prickly sometimes but I'd hesitate to call him that   ;D ;D
Title: Re: Humour on the census
Post by: Sloe Gin on Saturday 05 September 20 00:30 BST (UK)
But what do you then call the male partner? [Other genders are available].

Paramour, as I suggested.  It is gender neutral.
Title: Re: Humour on the census
Post by: barryd on Saturday 05 September 20 04:49 BST (UK)
I once saw a film of a census that was filmed with a squashed bug on it.
Title: Re: Humour on the census
Post by: jbml on Saturday 05 September 20 08:48 BST (UK)
Funnily enough earlier this week I was looking at the 1911 census entry for the magician, "The Great Lafayette". He gives his name as "The Great Lafayette" and under infirmities he has put "too good". He describes his dog, Beauty (given to him by Harry Houdini), as his daughter and her occupation as "independent means".

Tragically both The Great Lafayette and Beauty died the following month. Beauty apparently died of overeating and The Great Lafayette in a fire at the Empire Palace Theatre in Edinburgh.

This is from Wikipedia:
"The body of Lafayette was apparently soon found and sent to Glasgow for cremation. Two days after the fire, however, workers clearing the understage area found another body identically dressed as Lafayette. It transpired that the body at the crematorium was that of the illusionist's body double"


There is a slight irony, is there not, in somebody dying in a fire ... and the body then being cremated!
Title: Re: Humour on the census
Post by: Pennines on Saturday 05 September 20 10:12 BST (UK)
Oh jbml --- you are right - I never thought of that!
Title: Re: Humour on the census
Post by: Wiggy on Saturday 05 September 20 11:15 BST (UK)
Love this one from 1851.


Hope you can read it  ;D
Title: Re: Humour on the census
Post by: oldtimer on Saturday 05 September 20 14:26 BST (UK)
I love the baby that is "nursed tenderly."  That is so sweet.  :)
Title: Re: Humour on the census
Post by: Treetotal on Saturday 05 September 20 15:06 BST (UK)
So funny these entries...I like the 3 year old who..."Stays at home, plays with baby"  ;D
Carol
Title: Re: Humour on the census
Post by: josey on Saturday 05 September 20 15:40 BST (UK)
There didn't seem to be any argumentative siblings amongst that lot....very unusual.
Title: Re: Humour on the census
Post by: Pennines on Saturday 05 September 20 17:44 BST (UK)
Wiggy -- brilliant!

 I am assuming the father completed the household form and the Enumerator, or his clerk had to write down exactly what was on the form --- it would give them a much needed laugh as well.
Title: Re: Humour on the census
Post by: hanes teulu on Saturday 05 September 20 18:24 BST (UK)
1851 Census - HO107  1692 219 19 (name Ellis)

The columns preceding the Occupation column also make interesting reading. Can anyone help with Henry Ellis' description of himself under "Relation to Head of Family?
Title: Re: Humour on the census
Post by: Mckha489 on Saturday 05 September 20 19:54 BST (UK)
Head
Fruitful wife then bracketed to both husband and wife is “Married  safe enough”
Olive Branches around the Table
Title: Re: Humour on the census
Post by: hanes teulu on Sunday 06 September 20 08:46 BST (UK)
1851 Census - HO107  1692 219 19 (name Ellis)

The columns preceding the Occupation column also make interesting reading. Can anyone help with Henry Ellis' description of himself under "Relation to Head of Family?

McKha489 - apologies. I identified the wrong column.
The word I was after was in the "Condition" column - above "safe enough". I was OK with the rest of the entries.
Thanks for working out "Married" - I just couldn't see it.
Title: Re: Humour on the census
Post by: josey on Sunday 06 September 20 11:34 BST (UK)
Did you see Henry was born in City of Chimney Pots! And In the right hand column - Can hear the church bells, talks tolerably & wears specs when daylight dims
Title: Re: Humour on the census
Post by: BumbleB on Sunday 06 September 20 11:47 BST (UK)
We also have to remember that the Enumerator obviously had a wonderful sense of humour.   ;D
Title: Re: Humour on the census
Post by: Milliepede on Sunday 06 September 20 11:52 BST (UK)
This is such a good topic and reminds us our ancestors were just as human and playful as we are today. 
Title: Re: Humour on the census
Post by: hanes teulu on Sunday 06 September 20 13:49 BST (UK)
Bumble/Millipede - both well said.
I accessed the original 1851 record just to check how the transcribers had treated the entries. When two hits were returned under the search key "Occupation - parents housemaid" I twigged the transcriber had been faithful to the original.
A real tonic.