Census Abbreviations and Terms

Census Abbreviations and Terms

Because of limited space and the need to record so much information, the enumerators often used abbreviations.  Some were self-explanatory, but others are harder to guess at. You may also find yourself researching censuses in America or Australia, where terms are slightly different.

Here below is a list of abbreviations used across censuses.  The entries in bold indicate commonly-used British census abbreviations.

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A.

A.C.

Ad.

AdCl.

Add/AdD

AdGc.

AdM. 

Ads./AdS.

Ag. Lab.

App./Ap.

Army

Asst.

Att.

B.

Bar.

B.C.

Bl.

B.Boy

B.Girl

Bo.

Btm.

Bu.

C.

Cap.

Ca.

Cha.

C.C.

CiL.

Coa.

Com.

Cl.

Cw.

D.

Dl.

Dla.

Dw.

Dom.

Dir.

Emp.

En.

F.

F.

FaH.

F.C.

FaL.

FaW.

Fi.

Fl.

Fb./FoB.

FoSi/FS.

F.S.

H.L.W.

H.P.

Go.

Gcl.

Gd.

Gf.

GGF.

GGM.

GM/Gm.

Gn.

Gni.

Gs.

Gua.

Hb.

Hel.

Her.

HGi.

H.H.

H.K.

Hlg.

HSi.

H.W.

I.C.

I.

Ind.

J.

L.

La.

Lau.

Ld.

Ls.

Lw.

M.

Ml.

M.

m.

Man.

Mat.

M.S.

N.

Navy

Ni

Nu.

O.

Or.

P.

P.

Pa.

Ph.

Por.

Pr.

Pri.

P.R.O.

Prv.

Pu.

R.

Rail. Lab.

S.

S.

Sal.

Sd.

SeCl.

Serv.

Sf.

Sh.

Sl.

Sm.

Ss.

Ssi.

Ten.

Su.

U.

Vi./Vis.

W.

Wa.

Wa.

Wkm.

Wt.

The end of a household

The end of a dwelling or building

Aunt

Adopted child

Adopted

Adopted child 

Adopted daughter 

Adopted grandchild

Adopted mother

Adopted son

Agricultural Labourer (1841 - 1881)

Apprentice (1841 - 1861)

HM Forces of any rank (1841)

Assistant 

Attendant 

Brother

Bartender

Bastard child

Brother in law

Bound boy

Bound girl

Boarder

Bath maid

Butler

Cousin

Captain

Caretaker

Chambermaid 

Child in care

Cousin in law

Coachman 

Companion

Clerk (1841 - 1861) or Child

Charwoman

Daughter

Daughter in law

Day labourer

Dish washer

Domestic

Distant relative

Employee

Engineer

Foreign (1841)

Father

Farm hand

Foster child 

Farm labourer 

Farm worker 

Fireman

Father in law

Foster brother 

Foster sister 

Female Servant (1841)

Hand Loom Weaver

Member of Armed Forces on Half Pay (1841)

Governess

Grandchild 

Granddaughter 

Grandfather

Great grandfather (GGGF for great great grandfather)

Great grandmother (GGGM for great great grandmother)

Grandmother

Great- or grand- nephew

Great- or grand- neice

Grandson

Guardian

Half-brother (Hbl for half brother in law)

Helper  

Herder

Hired girl 

Hired help

Housekeeper

Hireling 

Half-sister (HSil for Half sister in law)

House worker

Illegitimate child

Ireland (1841)

Independent - Who can live on own means (1841)

Journeyman  (1841)

Lodger

Labourer

Laundry

Lodger's daughter

Lodger's son

Lodger's wife

Mother

Mother in law

Manufacturer (1841)

Maker of things, as in Shoe m. - shoe maker (1841)

Manager

Matron

Male Servant  (1841)

Nephew

Navy and Marine of any rank (1841)

Neice

Nurse

Officer

Orphan

Pensioner - In the Armed Forces (1841) 

Patient

Partner

Physician

Porter

Prisoner

Principal

Public Records Office

Private

Pupil

Roomer

Railway Labourer (1841)

Scotland  (1841)

Son

Salesman/saleslady

Stepdaughter

Servant's child

Servant  (1841)

Stepfather

Shopman (1841)

Son in law

Stepmother

Stepson

Stepsister

Tenant

Superintendent

Uncle

Visitor

Wife

Ward

Warden

Workman

Waiter/waitress

Terms

Piece number
Consists of usually between 100-400 pages.

Enumeration District
This refers to a group of streets, and has a special sheet which lists the streets which are in the following pages.

A PRO reference number

a number of Enumeration Districts represented by a file RG9-XXXX (where XXXX is the piece number).

Folio
Reference to two pages. The original book pages included a folio number on every other page in the top right-hand corner.  One road could be split between several 'folios'.

 

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