Hampshire Genealogical Society

Census jargon buster

Census returns were copied at speed. Hence they are full of abbreviations and symbols. Here are some of the most common…

  • DITTO/DO/” You will quickly become familiar with the ‘ditto’ sign meaning ‘same as above. It is often denoted by ‘do’ or a ditto mark (“). You may find, for example, a head of household named George Brown with his wife listed below him as ‘Jane do’
  • ABBREVIATED NAMES First and middle names are sometimes shortened: e.g. ‘Wm’ for William, ‘Chas’ for Charles, ‘Jas’ for James, ‘Elizth’ for Elizabeth
  • OCCUPATIONAL ABBREVIATIONS Common abbreviations include ‘Ag Lab’ for agricultural labourers, ‘FS’ for female servant, ‘dom serv’ for domestic servant
  • SLASH MARKS (// OR /) Double slashes indicate the end of one property. A single slash is a separate household within the same property
  • CROSSINGS OUT Don’t be put off by apparent crossings out. They are marks made when information was collated and do not mean that the entry is wrong

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