SS - C E N S

SSCENS Field Descriptions.

Last revised 07 Feb 2002
© FreeCEN Project.

Quick-jump Index
Header Information (Columns A to D)
Schedule & Address (Columns E to H)
Personal Details (Columns I to P)
Rank, Profession or Occupation (Columns Q to S)
Birthplace & Sundries (Columns T to X)
Notes & "Mynotes" (Column Y)
Appendix: Relationships
Appendix: Abbreviations Policy
Appendix: Chapman County Codes
The routine that will be used to convert the Spreadsheet to the FREECEN standard will also ensure that Upper Case is applied where required.
It is suggested that all data entry can be made using Lower Case - let the routine take care of Capitals where they are needed.
Column letter:
"Field" name
Description & Rules
Header Information
Column A

Civil Parish

Up to 20 characters
This information is found top-left of each Census Page and is normally constant for an Enumerator.
Do not confuse with Ecclesiastic Parish which is at the right of this row.
Column B


###a Up to three numerals + one optional suffix
This will be identified at the first page of the introductory pages to each Census District.
  • If there is no identifiable Enumerator Number then use zero.
    Note that "Enumerator =1" may not necessarily be the first District of a Census Piece.

    The suffix will be necessary if:

  • indicated alongside the Enumeration on the first page (as above)
  • Institutions and Shipping

    NOTE: In the unlikely case of an Institution booklet being listed under "Enumeration District "2a", the Enumerator number would be entered as the numeral "2" and the "special situation" suffix added as below.

  • Enumerator
    "Institutions & Shipping"
    Certain categories may feature in a Piece but are not included on the "normal" returns.
    These normally come at the end of the piece, as different format reports without record of Enumerator number.
    The following number should be used as the relevant suffix
    1. Barracks & Military Quarters
    2. HM Ships, at Home
    3. Workhouses & Pauper Schools
    4. Hospitals (Sick, Convalescent, Incurables)
    5. Lunatic Asylums
    6. Prisons
    7. Certified Reformatory & Industrial Schools
    8. Merchant Vessels & Lighthouses
    9. Schools
    The schedules for Institutions & Shipping should be entered in the normal Folio Sequence

    Example: Since no Enumeration District is identified on the pages, Column B should be entered as "0#3" (for a Workhouse).
    NOTE the need for the # sign!

    There will be no Schedule Numbers: Use "0" (zero).
    For Merchant Vessels, there may be no Page Numbers: Use "0" (zero)
    Some Institutions used a booklet in which each page has the individual lines numbered from 1 to 25: DO NOT type these numbers anywhere.
    "Relationship to Head" should follow the census detail (e.g. 'Passenger'), with any qualifying details (e.g. 'Master's Wife') being included in the Occupation field (Column Q), if room, or entered in the Notes field (Column Y).
    Note that for some Institutions it is not possible to maintain 'normal' family grouping; for example a Lighthouse Station which lists the staff first and then the various wives and children.

    Column C


    ####a Up to four numerals + one alpha-suffix
    This is the number hand-stamped at the top right-hand corner of every odd-numbered page
    Folio Numbers start from 1 at the beginning of a Piece and progressively increase regardless of changes to the Enumeration District
    Sometimes pages were missed (the number may have been pencilled in later) or even whole books may not have been numbered.
    Suffix letters are very rarely found.
    If a Folio Number is missing from its normal position DO NOT type zero EXCEPT for the first Folio position of a Piece.
    Column D


    #### Up to four numerals
    The Page Number is preprinted on the Census Pages (except for Shipping Schedules) and generally found top-right corner
    Schedule & Address Details
    Return to Descriptions - Quick Index
    Column E


    ###a Up to three numerals + one optional suffix
    This is the first column on most census pages except for the 1841 census, and on Institution & Shipping returns where Schedule numbers were not used.
    A suffix is entered only if present on the Census page

    A value MUST be entered in Column E for every New Household or empty premises.
    If no other value can be found then type a zero.

    In the conversion routine this column provides the 'trigger' to recognise each separate household or building.
    Care should be taken if the Enumerator has entered two separate families, each with its own "Head", under a single address - the second family should be entered as Schedule=0

    All Schedule Numbers must be accounted for (see also under Column H)

    Column F


    ####a Up to four numerals + one optional suffix
    On the census page this is in the second column, associated with the street name
    Please consult CENSFAQ regarding the rare occasions when the house number is compound (as in "2½" or "2 Back")
    Column G


    (hyphen '-')
    Up to thirty alpha/numeric characters
    Address must be copied precisely - even if it looks wrong! Abbreviation as St Rd Terr etc will be acceptable.
    Supplementary information should follow the Street Name (as in "High St, Anchor Hotel"}
    Column H

    Special Use

    One character, (b, n, u, v or x if needed).
    Any other entry will be rejected at conversion as "invalid"
    Column H may be set with an x to indicate that you have doubts about the interpretation of any of the columns from E to G.
    A brief comment in Column Y should explain the nature of your doubts, e.g. "?house no"

    Column H may, alternatively, contain one of b,u,v, or n

    • use b if this is shown in Column 4 of the Census Sheet
    • use u if this is shown in Column 4 of the Census Sheet (Unoccupied)
    • use v if the Census Sheet indicates "family away or visiting"
    • use n to show that the Census Sheet is missing specific Schedule Numbers
      (This proves the omission to be on the Census, not made at the Transcription!)
    • 'n' should also be used in case of deleted items, as for a note on the Census "Three schedules numbered for the Light House not required, being provided with a schedule from the Trinity Board". (Type the address as "Light House" and Column H as 'n'

    NOTE: where b, u, v, or n have been entered in Column H, any data entered in Columns I to X will be rejected. A comment may be entered in Column Y if there is a Query regarding the schedule or address entries
    Personal Details
    Return to Descriptions - Quick Index
    Column I


    Hyphen '-'
    Up to twentyfour characters
    Surname must be copied precisely - even if it looks wrong, or is known to be wrong!

    A name, or hyphen, MUST be entered in every cell in this Column
    Take care if using "Cut & Paste" or "Fill Down" spreadsheet tools!

    Column J


    Hyphen '-'
    Up to twentyfour characters
    Forenames must be copied precisely - even if known to be wrong!
    Abbreviated or mis-spelt names are to be typed as Enumerated

    A name, or hyphen, MUST be entered in every cell in this Column
    Allow one space between names, initials, or words.
    In the unlikely event of insufficient space being available, reduce later forenames to an initial, but always spell in full the first name (where known).
    Titles are to be typed after forenames, enclosed in brackets/braces as in (Rev), (Dr), (Prof) etc.
    In an extreme case "Elizabeth (Lady Chalfont)" is covered by this rule.

    Column K


    or 'x'
    One character
    Enter an x if you have doubts about the names.
    A simple "?Forename" in Column Y will pinpoint your query.
    Column L

    to Head

    Hyphen '-'
    Up to six characters
    While short words may be typed in full there are many relationships which will need abbreviation to suit this field.
    Appendix #1 comprises a table of Standard Abbreviations which must be used for such circumstances.
    The table will also be useful in demonstrating the principles to be applied if a 'standard' form cannot be found.
    Column M


    Hyphen '-'
    One character
    Do not make assumptions!
    Enter a single letter m, s, u, or w (Married, Unmarried, Single, or Widowed) as defined on the Census Page.
    If the Enumerator left it blank - so must you.
    Any other letter will be rejected, at conversion, as 'invalid'
    Column N


    M F or '-' One character
    The Census Page has two columns for "Age", Male and Female
    FreeCEN reduces this to a single letter M or F
    Do not make assumptions!
    If the age columns are empty then enter - (hyphen)

    Some Enumerators were careless, writing "Robert, son" or "Jane, dau" and then filling the age in the 'wrong' column. In these instances use the gender that matches the relationship

    Column O


    ###a Up to three numerals + one letter (y m w or d)
    A numeric value MUST be entered; zero is not acceptable:
    If age is blank or unreadable then enter 999
    Ignore fractions; if the census states "less than 1 month" then enter 1m
    Note: no space between numbers and letter!
      Standard Rules for Age
    • If only a number is entered, it will be converted as 'years'.
      Thus 46 or 46y will be converted to mean "46 Years"
    • y (Years) maximum value = 120
    • m (Months) maximum value = 24m
    • w (Weeks) maximum value = 20w
    • d (Days) maximum value =30d

    • If marital Status is M or W then male age must not be less than 14y; female age not less than 12y.
    • Scholars must be between 2y and 17y. Outside these limits a "Scholar" will need to be transcribed as "Student (orig: Scholar)"
    Any values outside the above guidelines will be flagged as "Invalid" at conversion
    Column P


    or 'x'
    One character
    Enter an x if you have doubts about entries in Columns L to O.
    A simple "?Age" in Column Y will pinpoint your query.
    Rank, Profession or Occupation
    Return to Descriptions - Quick Index
    Column Q


    Up to thirty characters
    Abbreviations are acceptable provided they are un-ambiguous, thus "gen dom serv"
    Occasionally descriptions may be lengthy: See here for guidelines on Abbreviations

    On the other hand, the 1841 Census in particular, thrives with abbreviations, such as "FS" which should be expanded where we are certain of the full meaning (Female Servant)
    Any "ditto" indication relating to earlier occupations must be expanded in full.

    Column R


    E R or N One character
    From 1891 the Census the form includes three columns to be marked if the person was "Employer", "Employee", or "Neither".
    FreeCEN Transcribes this information into a single column.
    Do not make assumptions! If these columns are all empty, then leave Column R empty.
    Otherwise enter r for "employeR"; e for "employeE"; n only when marked as "Not employer/employee"
    If a person is marked for both "employeR" and "employeE": enter r
    Column S


    or 'x'
    One character
    Enter an x if you have doubts about the entries in Column Q
    A comment in Column Y will be necessary only on rare occasions, since this Query concerns only Employment
    Birthplace & Sundries
    Return to Descriptions - Quick Index
    Column T

    Where born

    Code only
    Three characters, which must agree with FreeCEN's sub-group of Chapman County Codes
    This sub-group caters for all GB & Ireland Codes:
    Overseas entries are coded OVB where the person is stated to be a British Subject, or was born in one of the British Empire countries of the time; OVF is used for all other Foreign birth-places.
    Use UNK only as a last resort!

    Unless there can be no doubts, type only what is written on the census page: "Brighton" is in SSX; "Cambridge" (with no other clue) could refer either to the city or to any other place in the county.

    The 1841 Census requires different treatment since the information is merely "Born In This County? Yes/No"
    Permitted entries will be limited to:
    the Chapman Code for "this county"; IRL; SCT; OVF or UNK

    Column U

    Where born

    Hyphen '-'
    Up to twenty characters
    Enter what is written on the Census Page!:
    Avoid abbreviating where-ever possible
    The only exception permitted would be to rearrange a lengthy birthplace so that the principal town can be written in full at the start of the line.

    If, for example "Scotland" is all that has been written; you would have "SCT" as the County Code and a hyphen in this column.
    If born "Notre Dame, Paris, France"; then "OVF" and rearrange the place "Paris, Notre Dame" (there isn't any more space!)

    If you believe it to be incorrectly spelt then put 'x' in Column X and your suggested correction in Column Y.

  • The reason for this is that the Validation routine is capable of saving both the original entry and any chosen "correction". If the place-name is substituted ("corrected") prior to to Validation then we lose this "double entry" facility - and we may have made an incorrect assumption!
  • Column V


    or 'x'
    One character
    Enter an x if you have doubts about the entries in Columns T or U
    Column W


    Blank Up to six characters
    Strictly, the Census asked only "Deaf, Dumb, Blind"; many Enumerators also wrote such comments as "Imbecile", or "Cripple"
    We can record these options, with abbreviation as necessary (enter the full wording in Column Y).
    "Df&Dm", "Imbcil", "Crippl" would be acceptable.
    Column X


    One character
    Generally left blank, except for those returns which specifically ask the "Welsh spoken" question.
    Use W E or B if needed (Welsh, English or Both spoken).
    Notes & "Mynotes"
    Return to Descriptions - Quick Index
    Column Y


    Freeform Up to fortyfour characters
    This cell is provided to qualify any query raised and is intended as a brief indication of the nature of the problem
    It will be useful to make a file named MYNOTES.TXT (using "Notepad") into which you can write extended comments which you wish to convey to the Checker. Run Notepad in "background" so that it is always ready to use and please identify the record you are explaining by quoting (as a heading) Enum No x; Folio y; Schedule z; Person names .
    Please accept that while it would be easier to quote "Line No." from the spreadsheet this reference will have no meaning once the file is converted to FreeCEN format.

    Naturally, the MYNOTES.TXT file must be forwarded, in text file format, to conversion at the same time as you submit the completed Spreadsheet.
    (The CHEKCENS and VALCENS routines are written to expect a Transcriber's file called MYNOTES.TXT)

    The following Appendices are linked from the relevant section of Field Descriptions:

    "Relationship to Head" - Standard Abbreviations
    Return to Personal Details
    grandmothergranmapupil/scholarpupilwife's motherwif-ma
    grandsongrnsonrelativereltivwife's dauwifdau
    great auntgtauntservantservntwife's sonwifson
    great unclegtunclsistersister
    governessgvrnssnurse childnrs-ch
    Abbreviations Policy
    Return to Descriptions - Quick Index
    While the intention is that transcription should be AS IS, there will be occasions when space prevents transcription of the full Census entry.
    It is important that the average reader will be able to interpret any abbreviation we may use.

    Use accepted forms where-ever possible as in Lieut= Lieutenant, Capt= Captain, JP= Justice of the Peace, GP= Medical or General Practitioner, RN= Royal Navy etc

    It is often safe to remove vowels: schlr= scholar, mstr= master, mkr=maker, jrnymn= journeyman, blksmth= blacksmith, fshrmn= fisherman etc

    Some occupations will stand severe abbreviation: "Farmer, 150 acres, employing 4 men, 2 women and 1 boy" is still understandable if shortened to"Farmer 150ac emp 4m 2w 1b" (only 25 characters!).

    Always 'voice' what you have written, to ensure that it sounds something like the original entry.

    Chapman Codes for FreeCEN
    Return to Birthplace & Sundries
    CavanCAVChannel IslesCHICheshireCHS
    CornwallCONCounty DurhamDURCumberlandCUL
    DurhamDUREast LothianELNEast Riding YKSERY
    FifeshireFIFFlintshire FLNForfarshire (Angus)ANS
    Galway GALGlamorganshireGLAGloucestershireGLS
    Inverness-shireINVIrelandIRLIsle of ManIOM
    Isle of WightIOWJerseyJSYKentKEN
    LeitrimLETLeix (Queens)LEXLimerickLIM
    LincolnshireLINLondon (City)LNDLondonderryLDY
    MidlothianMLNMonaghan MOGMonmouthshireMON
    Norfolk NFKNorth Riding YKSNRYNorthamptonshireNTH
    Offaly (Kings)OFFOrkney IslesOKIOxfordshireOXF
    Ross & CromartyROCRoxburghshireROXRutlandRUT
    SelkirkshireSELShetland IslesSHIShropshireSAL
    WaterfordWATWest LothianWLNWest Riding YKSWRY
    Additional Codes accepted by FREECEN
    Overseas: Brit. SubjectOVBOverseas: ForeignOVFUnknownUNK