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What does this say ? Can anyone work it out ?

(33 Posts)
SirVixofVixHall Wed 29-Aug-18 21:02:02

I’m looking at a census, I’m not sure if this is the right person anyway, but what does this say her profession is ? The one that is crossed through. I am baffled.

HirplesWithHaggis Wed 29-Aug-18 21:07:25

Looks like "merkin abought" but that means nothing. confused Sorry, no help.

RomanyRoots Wed 29-Aug-18 21:12:13

Have you tried googling what you think it might say, or what you think it might say with "profession"

What does the head of the house do, sometimes this can be a hint if a family member.

What year is the census?

iklboo Wed 29-Aug-18 21:15:34

Could it be really badly spelled 'working abroad'

Werkin abought

Nuffaluff Wed 29-Aug-18 21:18:02

Yes as iklboo said, but I reckon it means ‘working about’ as in doing odd jobs here and there.

SirVixofVixHall Wed 29-Aug-18 21:21:12

It is the 1861 census. It does look like work in abought , but that would be a level of bad spelling that seems unlikely ? I’ve look at the rest of the page, it isn’t helping !

SirVixofVixHall Wed 29-Aug-18 21:22:41

Can’t see it being working abroad, this is a single , unmarried mother in rural Wales.

SirVixofVixHall Wed 29-Aug-18 21:25:26

Don’t know why it is crossed through either. I wonder how the census was collated, did people call from door to door ? I assume they must have, as some people would have been illiterate, and also everyone spoke Welsh.

myrtleWilson Wed 29-Aug-18 21:27:33

I've googled "abought" (but not the year) and it says it means "paying penalty" - could it mean a workhouse type situation or similar if she was unmarried mother?

elephantoverthehill Wed 29-Aug-18 21:27:49

A 'merkin' is a pubic wig, I don't think you can 'merkin abought'. I think the second word is 'about', in a different spelling.

Knittedfairies Wed 29-Aug-18 21:29:51

Try posting on the Genes Reunited chat boards; there are some very helpful posters there - someone helped me find a branch of the family living under an assumed name.

myrtleWilson Wed 29-Aug-18 21:32:54

cross through may have been because the Registrar through the information was incorrect
search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=7619

AdaColeman Wed 29-Aug-18 21:33:21

Yes, I agree with ikl it looks like Workin abought.
The first letter of the first word is similar to the W in Wife above it.

Is this from the register record book made by the census administrators? If so, have a further search for the actual census form completed by the householder, that might give clearer information.

Best of luck!

SirVixofVixHall Wed 29-Aug-18 21:46:47

I assume from the register book ? It is on ancestry, where you click to open and view the document, all written in the same hand so not by the householder. Would the house holders have written the documents then ? How did they cope with those who couldn’t write ?
She isn’t in the workhouse, she’s in a normal dwelling.
The other strange thing is that she has two sons, son A has a different surname, son B has her surname. Ten years later, I can find them all in a different town, but then son A is down as a “lodger” and only son B is down as son. Her age changes too, yet I am almost certain it is the same trio. Son/lodger might be my great great grandfather so I’m keen to work it out.

SirVixofVixHall Wed 29-Aug-18 21:49:14

Looks like Wakin abought to me, looking at other letters on the page. So frustrating !

AdaColeman Wed 29-Aug-18 22:11:51

The householders who were literate filled in census forms which were collected and copied into the register books. The illiterate households were visited and questioned and then their details copied into the register books by the census takers.

Once an area census was all entered and completed the actual forms were often destroyed. The later the census the more chance of seeing the actual form from the householder. !861 is quite early so
unfortunately less chance of finding the householder's form.

Age can often vary, either mistakes crept in with all the various copies, or people entered the wrong age deliberately for personal reasons.

I wouldn't discount the idea of abought meaning paying a penalty. She may have gone to the household as a servant, for instance instead of them contributing to poor law taxes.

SirVixofVixHall Wed 29-Aug-18 22:23:54

Yes, paying a penalty seems more likely somehow than a very bad spelling of “about” . However it seems to be just her and the two boys in the house. She is down as 27, A as 11 and B as what looks most like a 4 but it’s slightly faint. On the 1871 census she is down as 32, A as 19 and b as 12, but I’m pretty sure it is them. That is where A is down as a lodger. I wonder if A wasn’t hers ? But then why would he be with her ?

LittleCandle Wed 29-Aug-18 22:31:25

There is one of the censuses where the age is rounded down about 5 years, but I can't remember which one. I agree with it looks like 'workin abought'. The handwriting is fairly clear, but I have no idea what it means. You could also ask on the Who Do You Think You Are forums - there are a lot of helpful people on there.

myrtleWilson Wed 29-Aug-18 22:31:48

can you find her on the 1851 census at all sir - I wondered how they were "assigned" for that census...

AornisHades Wed 29-Aug-18 22:38:52

It's the 1841 census that usually rounded down ages to multiples of 5. And only recorded whether they were born in the county of residence.

SawnUpLooRoll Wed 29-Aug-18 23:00:44

Wondering if 'werkin' is an anglicised spelling of a Welsh word.

warchyn = guard
wyrchyn = bruising
wycyn = tip
wircyn = witch
wrychyn = wailing

Probably useless, but may be interesting.

SirVixofVixHall Wed 29-Aug-18 23:07:07

I can’t find her plus boy A on the 1851 census, so either he wasn’t born, he wasn’t hers, or I just can’t find them. I can find someone with her name aged 20, working as a servant fairly locally to where she is living in 1861, but the age is a bit out . As boy A is down as 11 on the 1861, he should be on the 1851, but no sign of him, and I am still baffled as to why he has a different name to her and boy B, and why he is a “Lodger “on the 1871 census.
I’m waiting for my great grandparents marriage certificate to arrive. I’m hoping it will help me be certain of her father’s place of birth as I can find what I think is their family on the census from 1881. Then I can do more hunting but I’m stuck on this trio.

SirVixofVixHall Wed 29-Aug-18 23:09:24

I can also find a possible her on the 1841, aged 10, again as a servant locally. sad . No sign of a family for her.

SirVixofVixHall Wed 29-Aug-18 23:10:40

I did wonder about a Welsh word, but again, couldn’t think of anything that might fit.

SallyGardens Wed 29-Aug-18 23:28:17

Could she have been an indentured servant? Did they exist in mid-19th century Britain?

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