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A five-year-old ‘watchdog’ and 15-year-old who ‘does as she pleases’: Some of the most creative census answers

By , in Finance , at August 10, 2021 Tags: , ,


From a dad who lambasted his wayward daughter and a five-year-old boy whose job was being his home’s “watchdog”, it’s fair to say the census has attracted some rogue answers over time.

Despite it being a serious government survey, households for decades have found countless ways to add some creative flair to their entries.

A list collated by Ancestry’s family historians has revealed some of the ridiculous answers given by households from as early as the 1880s ahead of the Australian Census on August 10.

One dad from the US in 1880 listed his 15-year-old daughter Catherine Cudney’s occupation: “Does as she pleases.”

RELATED: Census 2021: Big issue facing this year’s survey

The parents of 19-year-old Catherine Maud Lovell also had a unique description for the teen, which Australians in lockdown were likely to relate to.

In the UK’s 1911 Census, her occupation was listed as, “hiding at home”.

A two-year-old girl seemingly had been getting into some trouble with her grandma ahead of the same census, with widowed woman Annie Coasta saying the toddler’s job was “annoying other people”.

A five-year-old boy called Roger, also included in the UK’s 1911 Census, had been taking his household duties more seriously, as he was listed as the “watchdog, looking after [the] house”.

Rosina Mary Pott, loyal suffragette and friend of Emmeline Pankhurst, leader of the British suffragette movement, took a different approach.

In lieu of answering any questions, she wrote across the 1911 UK Census page: “No Vote, no information about my household”.

Her note was in protest of no women being allowed to vote in UK parliamentary elections before 1918.

Arthur Edward Callis, who at 37 was the head of the household for the same census, put himself down as the “Waiter, Boots, Chambermaid, God knows what”, while having a dig at his grandma.

He said that she “does nothing, sleeps” – a position many were likely envious of.

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