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From: Stephen Hayes
To: All
Date: 2004-01-11 03:37:26
Subject: Instructions to enumerators (was Census query - general)

* Forwarded (from: GEN_BRITAIN) by Stephen Hayes using timEd/2 1.10.y2k.
* Originally from Roy Stockdill (8:8/2002) to All.
* Original dated: Sat Jan 10, 07:12

From: roy{at} ("Roy Stockdill")

I THINK it may help with this recent thread if I quote from the 
excellent book by Susan Lumas, "Making Use of the Census" which I 
have consistently advised listers to buy. This is now in its 4th 
edition (including the 1901 census) and is published as a Public 
Record Office Readers' Guide, ISBN 1-903365-35-X.

Very early in the book is a section headed "How the census was taken" 
and I quote it in full.....

"In the week preceding census night (see Appendix 1 for the date of 
each census) the appointed enumerator delivered schedules to all the 
households in the area to which he had been assigned. The schedule 
was a form that every householder was obliged to complete. A 
householder was anyone who rented or owned a dwelling, a lodger being 
a householder if he or she lived in the same building but had 
separate accommodation from the rest of the people living there. a 
boarder was someone who lived with the householder's family and 
shared their dining table, unlike a lodger who occupied a separate 
household (see p. 65 for a boarder and a lodger under one roof). 
Everyone who slept in the house on census night was to be included, 
even if it was not their permanent home. The instructions to the 
enumerator were that no person present on that night was to be 
omitted, and no person absent included. If individuals were working 
that night, or were travelling, they would be enumerated in the house 
to which they would normally return on the morning after they had 
finished their shift, or where they were to stay at the next stop on 
their journey.

"On the Monday after the census night the enumerator returned to 
collect the completed schedules If any had not been filled in, the 
enumerator had to do so by asking the householder for the 
information. The schedules were then copied by the enumerator into a 
book (several of which were bound together into folders) and handed 
in to the registrar who checked that everything was satisfactory.

"The books were then sent to the census office in Craig's Court, 
London, where they were checked again. Finally, when all the 
information had been analysed it was published as a Parliamentary 
Paper in the form of a series of tables relating to various subjects, 
and the original schedules were destroyed. The tables most used by 
searchers are the tables of population arranged by registration 
districts. Copies are available at the FRC. From 1891 women too could 
act as enumerators; it is not yet known how many accepted the 

As an example of someone who was enumerated despite being not at 
home or in any other premises on census night, Sue Lumas quotes the 
case of a George Jones of Hereford who, although usually living in 
Catherine Street, was recorded as "a labourer in search of work 
walking all night". The family of Charles Dickens in 1851 was
scattered in three different households. Dickens himself was staying 
with a doctor friend in Bloomsbury, while his children were at the 
family home in Marylebone being looked after by servants, and his 
wife Catherine was with her sister in a lodging house at Great 
Malvern (probably taking the waters). 

Undoubtedly, some people attempted deliberately to evade the census - 
usually because they were mistrustful of any government exercise or 
because they wished to avoid the police. However, Lumas says the 
painter Turner is reputed to have spent a census night on a boat on 
the Thames to avoid being enumerated.

Further to Sue Lumas's information, I am also prompted to ask how 
many people when looking at census films ever bother to read the 
"General Instruction to the Enumerator" which appears at the 
beginning of every enumeration district? YOU SHOULD   ! It explains how 
the enumerator was ordered to enter the details in his book and also 
gives a useful list of abbreviations he was instructed to use. 
Reading these wll help you to understand how the enumerators worked 
and, thus, help to solve some of those entries that have been 
puzzling you.

Roy Stockdill
Web page of the Guild of One-Name Studies:-
Newbies' Guide to Genealogy & Family History:-

"It is a good rule in life never to apologize. The right sort of
people do not want apologies, and the wrong sort take a mean
advantage of them." 

- P. G. Wodehouse

___ NewsGate v1.0 gamma 2
 - Origin: (8:8/2002) 

--- WtrGate v0.93.p9 Unreg
 * Origin: Khanya BBS, Tshwane, South Africa [012] 333-0004 (5:7106/20)
SEEN-BY: 633/267 270
@PATH: 7106/20 22 7102/1 140/1 106/2000 633/267

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