Author Topic: Who filled out census form?  (Read 428 times)

Offline Nats185

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Who filled out census form?
« on: Saturday 02 February 19 18:41 GMT (UK) »
I'm wondering if there is a way of knowing if the census form was filled out by the householder or someone on their behalf? For example if they couldn't write? It would be really lovely to know that it was his handwriting but I don't want to take for granted that it is, particularly as his occupation of brickmaker doesn't necessarily mean he could read and write?
Thank you in advance.
Bugden, Corri, Bussey, Skinner

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Online Viktoria

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Re: Who filled out census form?
« Reply #1 on: Saturday 02 February 19 18:50 GMT (UK) »
I am not sure ,but my G.Grandmother was under another name not her second marriage name or first, or maiden name in Manchester.
Described as a widow but her second husband was in a lighter boat off Hull.
Own name but described as not married!
Something funny was going on,if they filled the returns themselves as they surely had broken the law.
If the enumerators filled in then they must both have been drunk.
Viktoria.

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Offline avm228

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Re: Who filled out census form?
« Reply #2 on: Saturday 02 February 19 20:01 GMT (UK) »
Have you browsed back and forth through the sequence of returns to see the handwriting on cover pages etc?
Ayr: Barnes, Wylie
Caithness: MacGregor
Essex: Eldred (Pebmarsh)
Gloucs: Timbrell (Winchcomb)
Hants: Stares (Wickham)
Lincs: Maw, Jackson (Epworth, Belton)
London: Pierce
Suffolk: Markham (Framlingham)
Surrey: Gosling (Richmond)
Wilts: Matthews, Tarrant (Calne, Preshute)
Worcs: Milward (Redditch)
Yorks: Beaumont, Crook, Moore, Styring (Huddersfield); Middleton (Church Fenton); Exley, Gelder (High Hoyland); Barnes, Birchinall (Sheffield); Kenyon, Wood (Cumberworth/Denby Dale)

Offline KGarrad

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Re: Who filled out census form?
« Reply #3 on: Saturday 02 February 19 20:49 GMT (UK) »
If it was the 1911 census, then someone in the household should have filled in the form.

In other censuses, it's the enumerator!
Garrad (Suffolk, Essex, Somerset), Crocker (Somerset), Vanstone (Devon, Jersey), Sims (Wiltshire), Bridger (Kent)

Offline Maiden Stone

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Re: Who filled out census form?
« Reply #4 on: Saturday 02 February 19 21:22 GMT (UK) »
If it was the 1911 census, then someone in the household should have filled in the form.

In other censuses, it's the enumerator!
Wasn't the onus always on the head of household to ensure that the census form was filled-in and ready to hand to the census collector? I assume that the latter then read it to check it had been done correctly.
 If nobody in household could write, a friend or neighbour might have been asked to do it. Only if the census-taker was presented with a blank form would he have had to fill it in himself by questioning whoever was present.
I think the original plan was for census collector to interview householders but a pilot-scheme showed it would have been impractical and taken too much time. A census enumerator was supposed to collect all census forms in his area in 1 day. The government had also underestimated the proportion of working-class people who could read and write.

Offline Ruskie

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Re: Who filled out census form?
« Reply #5 on: Saturday 02 February 19 21:30 GMT (UK) »
That is a very neat and confident hand. Can you compare the handwriting with the head of household’s signature on his marriage certificate?

Have you browsed back and forth through the sequence of returns to see the handwriting on cover pages etc?

This is a good idea. You may also find the enumerator’s signature (or description of his route) at the beginning of the census book - page 1.

Offline Maiden Stone

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Re: Who filled out census form?
« Reply #6 on: Saturday 02 February 19 21:47 GMT (UK) »
Amendment to my reply #4.
Householders from 1851 onwards were instructed to complete a household schedule. I'm not sure about 1841 census.
See these instructions to census enumerators for 1841 census.
"Directions
Respecting the manner in which Entries are to be made in the Enumerator Schedules"
www.hunimex.com/warwick/census/1841_enum_inst.html
 
1851 census
"Instructions for Completion of the Form
   To the Householder
 You are instructed to insert the particulars ….. in respect of every person who slept ……"
www.pbenyon.plus.com/1851_Census_Instr/1851_Census_Instr.html

I've seen a Irish census form which was filled-in by 2 people. One person wrote names and information for first 3 or 4 members of the family and another person wrote names and information for the rest. The two writers spelled the surname differently.

Online stanmapstone

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Re: Who filled out census form?
« Reply #7 on: Saturday 02 February 19 21:55 GMT (UK) »
As this was the 1911 census then it is highly unlikely that the householder was illiterate.Illiteracy was not as widespread as is commonly thought. Thanks to the growth in freelance schooling, all privately financed, literacy levels had risen to about 92 per cent by 1870 and Forster's Education Act.
It was also the custom for local clergy to assist in completing the forms in the week before the census, and there was also usually a neighbour who could help.
However if the householder could not fill in the schedule, perhaps because he or she was illiterate, the enumerator was to fill it in for them by asking the relevant questions on the doorstep. How many schedules had to be completed in this manner varied from district to district. In 1871 enumerators were asked to record the number of schedules they filled in themselves. In parts of Manchester 25 per cent had to be completed in this manner; in Colyton in Devon the proportion was 7 per cent; and in Christ Church, Spitalfields, the proportion was 15 per cent. In some Welsh-speaking parishes in Anglesey, however, the majority were filled in by the enumerators.
Just to add from the Enumerators Instructions
If, on enquiry for the Schedule, it is delivered to him not filled up, he must fill it up himself, asking all the necessary questions. He should if possible, see the head of the family for that purpose, and obtain the information from him. In the abscence of the Occupier, any other member of the family possessing the requisite intelligence, may supply the necessary particulars.

In other censuses, it's the enumerator!


The 1911 census is the only one where the householders schedules are available. For  all the censuses before then the schedules have been destroyed, the enumerator filled in the Enumerator Books from the householder schedule, which is what you see.

Stan
Mapstone, Mapston.
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Offline Maiden Stone

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Re: Who filled out census form?
« Reply #8 on: Saturday 02 February 19 21:59 GMT (UK) »
Does signature match handwriting on rest of form? Although that may not be proof. Another member of family may have filled in form and written signature.