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1841 Transcription Hints
The FAQ and help files should provide all the instruction information needed to transcribe. Also visit the project home page and read the information there, downloading anything useful.
SSCENS was created for the 1891 England/Wales census; there are a few things to be aware of when adapting it for the 1841 Scotland census. More specific instructions for Scotland are below.
General Notes on Transcribing
The general rule for transcription is to enter things "as is". There are a couple exceptions to this rule, which will be dealt with in the next section.
- The 1841 has several differences with later census returns. The enumerators collected less information. Ages were rounded down for people over 15. The books were written in pencil rather than ink, making the reproduction worse. There are no schedule numbers. Because of the poor quality of many of the fiche, you may be struggling to read some of it. Please just give it your best shot. Remember, behind you comes a checker and the validater.
- The 1841 census used a series of slashes to distinguish between families and households. The enumerators did not always follow the rules as laid out. Review your parish before you begin transcription to get a sense of the system your enumerator's were using. In general:
- A single slash ("/") after a name indicates that the people following are not members of the preceding household. Sometimes they are a separate household living in the same building and sometimes they are employees, lodgers, distant relatives, etc. living in the same household as the main household.
- A double slash ("//") after a name indicates that the people following were members of another household. There can be more than one household in a building, particularly in larger cities.
Each household must have a schedule number – default is 0. Uninhabited buildings must also be included as neighbourhood searching is expected to be provided as part of the final database.
- Take the time to read the enumeration information at the beginning of the ED and the enumerator's notes (if applicable), at the end of the ED. These may contain further clarification on proper address spellings and any questionable entries.
Notes on using SSCENS for 1841 Scotland
- Column E — Schedule number: Schedule numbers were not used on the 1841 census; however a schedule number MUST be entered in the row for each new head of household for the database to work. Please enter "0". Each household has to be determined. If the “slashes” don't solve the problem for you, then look at the complete picture, addresses, surnames, ages, occupations etc. Then decide what the household is.
- Column G — Address: All "dittos" and any abbreviations clearly derived from preceding place names should be expanded. For example the address "H. Cot." following the address "Hiltonhead" should be expanded to "Hiltonhead Cot”. If the abbreviation is unclear, enter it as is. Also, use the spelling used by the enumerator, no matter how unusual it seems.
- Column J — Forename: In 1841 no modern first names were likely. Before 1900, the majority of men in Scotland had one of the following names:
James, John, William, Alexander, Charles, or Robert.
The majority of women had one of the following names:
Mary, Margaret, Martha, Jane/Jean, Janet, Agnes, Elisabeth, or Isabella.
- Column Q — Occupation: Understandable abbreviations such as "Ag Lab" are acceptable, however please expand out other abbreviations (example: AL, FS, HLW) where you are certain of the meaning so that it is clearly understandable. All "dittos" should also be expanded. If you are unclear as to the meaning of the abbreviation, enter it as is.
- Column T — Birth County: The 1841 enumerators used "y" for born in county, "n" for not born in county, "i" for Ireland, "e" for England, and "f" for Foreign. Translate these over as follows:
y = AYR (or whatever county you are transcribing) n = OUC i = IRL e = ENG f = OVF no entry = UNK other = if enumerator quoted other county then enter code
1841 Common Occupations
"Instructions to Enumerators" for the 1841 Census required the use of standard abbreviations for Occupations. FreeCEN policy is to expand these whenever there is no doubt about the intended meaning.
|A. or Ap.||Apprentice - can be abbreviated as "appren"|
|Ag. Lab. or A.L.||Agricultural Labourer - can be abbreviated as "Ag Lab"|
|Army H.P.||Army, Half-Pay|
|Army Pen||Army Pensioner|
|B. Smith or B.S.||Black Smith|
|do||FYI - "ditto", indicates occupation is the same as the one above|
|Dressmaker||FYI - Occupation frequently given by prostitutes in larger cities|
|H.L.W.||Hand Loom Weaver.|
|H.L.C.W., H.L.L.W., or H.L.W.W.||Hand Loom Weaver - Cotton, Linen, or Woollen respectively.|
|J.||Journeyman - can be abbreviated as "jrnymn"|
|M. or m.||"M." is supposed to be Manufacturer and "m." is supposed to be Maker. Enumerator's often used them interchangeably and it is sometimes an abbreviation for Miner (e.g. Coal M.)|
|P. Pauper||Parish Pauper|
|Pirn Winder||FYI - Common occupation for women in weaving trade|
|Rail. Lab.||Railway Labourer|
|Sp. Deal||Spirit Dealer|
1841 Enumerator's Instructions
Respecting the manner in which Entries may be made in the Enumeration Schedule.
After "City or Borough of" write the name, if the District is in a City or Borough: if not, draw a line through those words, or through whichever of the two the District does not belong to. After "parish or Township of" write the name; if there is not Township in the Parish, draw a line through "Township:" if it is a Township, write the name of the Township and draw a line through "Parish". If it is Extra-parochial, draw a line through "parish or Township of," and write "Extra-Parochial" over those words, and after it the name.
In the column headed "Place," write the name of the house (if it has a name), or of the street or other part of the town, or of the village, hamlet, or extra-parochial place in which it stands, opposite to the mark denoting each house, or the first house in the street, etc, and write "do" opposite to every other in the same street, etc.
"Houses." Insert houses uninhabited or building in the manner shown in the Example, writing "1U" or "1B," as the case may be, in the proper column, opposite to the inhabited house to which each stands nearest. Every house which is unoccupied at the time of your visit and is believed not to have been slept in the night before may be inserted as uninhabited. New houses, not yet inhabited, may be inserted as "Building." Where there is a row of such houses the total number may be inserted before the letter "B" instead of the separate insertion of each.
By "House" is meant Dwelling-House; and every building in which any person habitually sleeps must be considered a s dwelling-house; but buildings, such as churches or warehouses, or any others, which were never used or intended to be used as dwelling-houses, must not be inserted.
"Names of each Person who abode therein the preceding night." Insert, without distinction or omission, every living person who abode or slept in each house. Leave no blank spaces between the names, but enter each immediately after the one preceding it, so that each page may contain 25. Set down one after the other those who have the same surname, beginning with the heads of the household, and put no others between them. As long as the surname is the same do not repeat it, but write "do." Where there are more Christian names than one, as in "John William," or "Maria Louisa," write down only the first.
When the person is a Peer or Peeress, the title may be written instead of the name. The words "Lord," "Lady," "Sir," "Rt Hon." "Hon," may be put before the names of those to whom they belong.
If no Christian name has been given to an infant write "n.k." for not known, as in the Example.
If, as may happen in a lodging-house or inn, a person who slept there the night before, has gone away early and the name is not known, write "n.k." where the name should have been.
At the end of the names of each household draw a line thus "/" as in the Example. At the end of the names of the inmates in each house draw a double line thus "//".
"Age and Sex." Write the age of each person opposite to the name in one of the two columns headed "Males" and "Females," according to the sex.
Write the age of every person under 15 years of age as it is stated to you. For persons aged 15 years and upwards, write the lowest of the term of 5 years within which the age is.
Thus — for Persons aged
15 years and under 20 write 15
20 years and under 25 write 20
25 years and under 30 write 25
30 years and under 35 write 30
35 years and under 40 write 35
40 years and under 45 write 40
45 years and under 50 write 45
50 years and under 55 write 50
55 years and under 60 write 55
60 years and under 65 write 60
65 years and under 70 write 65
70 years and under 75 write 70
and so on up to the greatest ages.
"Profession, Trade, Employment, or of Independent Means." Men, or widows, or single women, having no profession or calling, but living on their means, may be inserted as independent, which may be written shortly, thus "Ind."
The profession, etc, of wives, or of sons or daughters living with their husbands or parents, and assisting them, but not apprenticed or receiving wages, need not be set down.
All persons serving in Her Majesty's Land service as officers or privates in the Line, Cavalry, Engineers, or Artillery, may be entered as "Army," without any statement of their rank, adding "H.P." for Half-pay, and "P" for Pensioner.
All persons belonging to Her Majesty's Sea service, including Marines, may be entered as "Navy." Adding 'H.P." for Half-Pay, and "P" for Pensioner.
All domestic servants may be entered as "M.S." for Male Servant, or "F.S.." for Female Servant, without statement of their particular duties, as whether butler, groom, gardener, housekeeper, cook, etc, etc.
Insert all other professions, trades, or employments, as they are described by the parties, or by others on their behalf, writing 'J." for Journeyman, "Ap." for Apprentice, and "Sh" for Shopman, after a statement of the trade of those who are such. "Master" need not be inserted; everyone one will be so considered who is not entered as journeyman or apprentice.
Time may be saved by writing the following words, shortly thus, "M." for Manufacturer, "m." for Maker, as "shoem.” for Shoemaker, "Cl." for Clerk, "Ag Lab." for Agricultural labourer, which may include all farming servants and labourers in husbandry.
Use no other marks or abbreviations but those herein allowed. Rank, or any such terms as "Esq." or "Gentleman" must not be entered in this column.
"Where born — Whether in the same County" Write opposite to each name except those of Irish, Scotch, or Foreigners,) "Y." or "N." for Yes or No, as they case may be.
Whether in Scotland, Ireland, or Foreign parts. Write in this column, "S." for those who were born in Scotland; "I." for those born in Ireland; and "F." for Foreigners. This latter mark is to be used only for those who are subjects of some Foreign State, and not for British subjects who happen to have been born abroad.
Enter the Totals at the bottom of each page as in the Example, and enter and add up all the Totals in the summary n the last page. This may be done at home, and must be written with ink.
The entries in the pages of the Enumeration Schedule (except the Totals) may be written with a pencil, which will be furnished for that purpose. All that is written in the 3 pages following them must be with ink.