Sunday, January 13, 2013

Census Humour - Who was Diddy DADDILUMS?

Census returns
I found an old page discussing Census Humour while reformating pages for the new picture buttons and it set me thinking. ...

The first full census to come out in digitized form was the 1881 census (on CD), although some local censuses (for instance the 1851 census for Berkhamsted and St Albans) had appeared in print. At that time several people reported returns which included fictitious people or inappropriate occupation descriptions which suggest that the house occupant was taking the mickey out of the census enumerator. 

One of these was Sampson J RUMBALL, who was living at Townsend Farm, St Peters, St Albans, and his live-in staff included a governess teacher, cook, domestic servant, nurse and attendant.

The "attendant" was 7 year old female  "Diddy Daddilums", who had been born in St Peters, Hertfordshire, and  the census enumerator had added "(DS)" - so that "Diddy" would be recorded in the census totals as a domestic servant.
I first posted details of this entry online in 1999 and I strongly suspect that "Diddy Daddilums" was the affectionate name of the family dog!

Now the opportunity for such records was reduced because the surviving 1841-1901 census returns were extracts made by the census enumerator who would have had to copy the original returns from the household forms (which have not survived) into the census books (which have) and who may will have censored obviously silly entries.The 1911 census is different. We have the actual household forms - so we know exactly what the householder recorded. Has anyone come across 1911 entries (preferably with a Hertfordshire connection) where, for example, it seems likely that a family pet has been included in the returns? Or perhaps you have found some other entry where the form was deliberately incorrectly filled in - and perhaps "silly" entries crossed out?

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