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Census Abbreviations

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Catherine Report 24 Mar 2020 17:50

I have a Scottish census return 1911 that names my ancestor living in an odd address and with the initial BR under relation. I know its not brother. There ls also a number written in a different colour over his occupation which I don't understand either. There are numbers over similar entries on the page. I would appreciate some help please. Thank you'


ArgyllGran Report 24 Mar 2020 17:57

Boarder ??

Hard to say without actually seeing it.

I've just looked at a 1911 Scottish census record for which I'd already paid.

Yes, there are red numbers over all the occupations on the page.
I think they're code numbers. Each occupation would have a code number, and then the type of employer has another code number.
For instance, on the 1911 census I'm looking at, a woman in one household is a "shopgirl", with code 926, and a woman in another household is a "saleswoman" with code 931. However, both work in food-related places, which have the same code.. One works at a fruit shop, with code 47, and the other at a bakery, also with code 47.

Similarly, the places of birth each have a code number.

Well, I'm more or less right!

Here's an official explanation:


ArgyllGran Report 24 Mar 2020 18:13

Also more here, about Scottish codes specifically:

Scroll down to gerryfarrell's post.


mgnv Report 25 Mar 2020 05:47

One also sees occcuppation cpdes in Canada's 1911 census - e.g.,

1911 Census of Canada
Home / 1911 / Ontario / Toronto Centre / 5 ward 3 / page 15
Line # 3
88 Smith Mary 281 Church St F Daughter S Sep 1888 22

Cols 17 thru 29 were concerned with occupation(s)
Column 17. Chief occupation or trade = Salelady
Column 22. Place where person is employed = Gen Store
Column 18 has Mary's code = 10-6-77

First is the sector
10 Trade and merchandising
Second is the rank [0=owner]
6 Employees, workers, operators, skilled workers
Third is the type of firm within the sector
10 77 General store


There's more detail below if you're mad keen

A numerical code was used for column 18 (for example, 6-0-32, 6-6-32 or 6-9-32). The following explanations were taken from the publication
Index to Occupations, (PDF 33 Mb) Ottawa, Census and Statistics Office, 1911.

Column 18 Occupational Codes Chart: Census of Canada, 1911