It has been a while since we ‘talked census‘ on the blog. There are so many stories we could share from our findings, but we do try to limit our blatherings to a few per month, maximum. There was a time when the blog posts were full of silly names or crazy finds and today, it’s time to return – to prostitutes. No, I am not joking. I was stunned to find that Richard Henry Auty was, in 1911, a married man aged 45 and a prostitute:
I think you’ll find that Richard was actually a Primitive Methodist Minister and I am sure he (and any of his descendants) would be surprised to find that Ancestry referred to his occupation as ‘Prostitute Methodist Minister‘!!! Other records in 1911 are perhaps more accurately recorded, including Beatrice Lee aged 22 whose occupation was as clear as crystal, and copied from ‘particulars copied from police return of homeless people’:
When searching the 1911 census, I was a little surprised as, I thought, most references to ‘prostitute’ would be erroneous. Well, it ain’t necessarily so! There are some entertaining transcription errors including a ‘demonstrator of prosthetic [prostitute] dentistry‘, a ‘Registrar Medical [Prostitute] Practitioner‘ and a ‘school [part time] prostitute‘, all of which are quite frankly nothing to do with ‘ladies of the night’ and in fact, some are male! But several characters in institutions (inmates) are correctly recorded though, as was Clara Scarff, a married 24-year-old lady:
…. ‘in open air wandering‘, in Aldershot on the night of the census. Not only that, one Sarah Brookes was detained at Manchester Police Station at the time of the census, recorded as a ‘prostitute’, though married for 11 years with three children. Well, you never know what you might uncover in the census, eh!?
Open Pandora’s Box – who knows what you’ll find!