Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Musings on the Census

Tonight I was transcribing a little bit of the 1870 Craighead County, Arkansas census for I came across two items that gave me a chuckle. The first was a female who was born in the state of Tennessee whose name was Alabama. Obviously they didn't play football back then because no loving parent in Tennessee would have named their daughter Alabama if that rivalry had been in existence back then! The second was an occupation. As you know, relationships were generally not stated on censuses before 1880. There was one woman whose occupation was listed as "aged mother." I wonder what were the details of her "job description" as there were two servants in the household. She was only 66. I know life expectancy was shorter then, but if we called a 66-year-old woman "aged" nowadays we might be in "hot water."

1 comment:

Terry Thornton said...

That "elderly" business is a tricky one. I was listening to my lawyer son being interviewed on a live radio talk show six years ago and was amazed to hear both the son and the radio host referring to me and Sweetie as "elderly parents." I haven't let him forget those words either. LOL!