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Census entry crossed out.

Discussion in 'Any questions?' started by webwiz, May 24, 2020.

  1. webwiz

    webwiz LostCousins Star

    I have a family where the father''s details were entered but then crossed out. I am guessing that he was not at home on census night but his wife gave his details to the enumerator as she regarded him as the head of the family, and then later he found out so crossed out the entry. Any other ideas?
  2. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    These days people are asked to fill in the census forms ahead of time, and I imagine that in the 19th century some people did the same.

    You don't say which census it was, but if you're referring to the 1911 Census you should be able to work out from the handwriting and the signature who completed the schedule. Have you found the father elsewhere on the census?
  3. webwiz

    webwiz LostCousins Star

    Piece: 949
    Folio: 76
    Page Number: 22
    Household Members:
    Name Age
    Elizabeth Britten 46
  4. At home in NZ

    At home in NZ LostCousins Star

    He wouldn't have seen the census after it had been completed because an enumerator would have written it and taken it away.

    I can’t offer any explanation for the crossing out although my immediate thought was death but I can follow Edward/Edmond through the ensuing censuses so that isn’t the answer.
    Looking in Ancestry I can see a separate record for Edward with the same references and same image.
    On the surface the crossing out appears to be an error, it’s a pity we are unable to see any notes the enumerator may have made.
  5. webwiz

    webwiz LostCousins Star

    By "he" I meant the enumerator. My theory is that Elizabeth recited the family which the enumerator recorded but before he left the house he somehow discovered that Edward was not in fact at home, so crossed it out.
    It seems that Ancestry did not know what to make of it either, or how to transcribe it so they settled on treating Edward and the rest of the family as two separate households. I can't see what FMP did.
  6. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    For censuses prior to 1911 we don't get to see the household schedules, we only get to see the Enumerator's Summary Books - which are meant to be copies of the schedules.

    So the crossing out most probably indicates that the enumerator made a mistake when copying the household schedule. I suspect that the lady of the household entered her husband on the census form but added a note to say that he wasn't actually present on census night - a note that the enumerator didn't read until after he'd started copying.
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  7. webwiz

    webwiz LostCousins Star

    For censuses prior to 1911..

    I did not know that. A large number of my ancestors were illiterate. I don't know what they did.
  8. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    If the whole household was illiterate they could have asked a neighbour for help, or else left it to the enumerator. No statistics exist for the number of householders that filled in the form themselves but the surviving evidence suggests that it was about half in 1841 and upwards of 95% in 1911.
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