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Census Abbreviations


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In the course of copying out their returns, the census enumerators were given permission to use certain abbreviations for occupations. This practice was most extensive in 1841, and gradually diminished thereafter.

By 1871 the only abbreviation mentioned was ‘Ag. Lab.’ for agricultural labourer. In 1881 a more general instruction was given - such contractions may be used as ‘ag. lab.’ for agricultural labourer.

  • Ag. Lab. ~ Agricultural Labourer (1841-81 Census)
  • Ap. ~ Apprentice (1841-61 Census)
  • Army ~ Members of HM land forces of whatever rank (1841 Census)
  • Cl. ~ Clerk (1841-61 Census)
  • F.S. ~ Female Servant (1841 Census)
  • H.P. ~ Members of HM armed forces on half-pay (1841 Census)
  • Ind. ~ Independent - people living on their own means (1841 Census)
  • J. ~ Journeyman (1841 Census)
  • M. ~ Manufacturer (1841 Census)
  • m. ~ Maker - as in ‘Shoe m.’ (1841 Census)
  • M.S. ~ Male Servant (1841 Census)
  • Navy ~ Members of HM naval forces, including marines, of whatever rank (1841 Census)
  • P. ~ Pensioner in HM armed forces (1841 Census)
  • Rail. Lab. ~ Railway Labourer (1841 Census)
  • Serv. ~ Servant (1841 Census)
  • Sh. ~ Shopman (1841 Census)

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