Questionnaire Text

Canada 1891
Canada 1911
United States 1850a
United States 1850b
United States 1860
United States 1870
United States 1880a
United States 1880b
United States 1900
United States 1910
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Canada 1891 — source variable CA1891A_0450 — Primary occupation, 1950 US basis
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16. Profession, occupation or trade: _______________________________
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Column 16. The profession, trade or occupation must be entered in full; as given to the enumerator. When two of these are united in one person both mayor may not be given; the point being decided by the importance attached to the fact by the person himself. When sons follow the professions or occupations of their fathers, and are associated with them, the same description is to be inserted. For instance, a farmer's son, working on his father's farm, is a farmer; a carpenter's son, working in his father's shop, a carpenter; and so other young men, when 'studying professions, are to be registered as "Medical student", "Law student", etc.; and when apprenticed to trades, are to be entered in a similar way. Young men at colleges (but not school children) are to be entered as students.

In the case of women, unless they have a definite occupation besides their share in the work of the family or household the column is to be filled with the sign "--"; as also in the case of children. If they have a special occupation, such as seamstress, clerk, factory hand, and c., then that fact should be entered accordingly.

Discrepancies in former census-takings as regards statistics of occupation have arisen from the lack of full description. Indefinite terms have been used, which the Department has.

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been unable properly to classify, owing to the absence of full particulars. As each occupation must have a fully descriptive designation it is the enumerator's fault if that designation is not found out and written at length upon the schedule. You cannot be too explicit in stating occupations. As a general rule, in each case you can give:

The general name of the occupation
The particular branch followed
The material worked upon.

Thirty years ago a shoemaker made a whole shoe, and a tailor made a whole suit of clothes; at the present time, owing to the sub-division of labour, few workmen begin and complete any article of manufacture. In very branch of work the specialist has succeeded the general worker, and statistics of occupation at the present day must possess the most specific detail or they will not satisfy the demands of the inquirer. To secure that specific detail we supply, for your information and guidance, the following:

Accountant: Too indefinite. State kind of business, as bank accountant, insurance accountant, etc.
Agent: Too indefinite. State kind of business, as book agent, commercial agent, cotton-mill agent, fire (or life) insurance agent, etc.
Animals, care of: Distinguish carefully between those driving horses and those doing work in barns, stables, etc.
Apprentice: Too indefinite. State kind of business, as carpenter's apprentice, painter's apprentice, machinist's apprentice, etc.,
Artist: Too indefinite. State branch of artistic work, artist-painter in oils; artist-water colours; artist-engraver; artist-sculptor, etc.
Author: Too indefinite. State whether editors, reporters, journalists (correspondents), magazine writers, novelists, historians, etc.
Bank officers: Too indefinite. State particular position filled, as bank president, bank cashier, bank teller, bank clerk, etc.
Book-keeper: State kind of business, as book-keeper-wholesale dry goods; book-keeper-grocery store; book-keeper, cotton manufacturing company, etc.
Broker: State kind of goods bought and sold, as stock and money broker, wool broker, real estate broker, insurance, broker, pawnbroker, etc.
Builder: Too indefinite. State whether house builders, bridge builders, etc., as the case may be.
Butcher: Distinguish between butchers who kill cattle, swine, etc. at au abattoir or slaughter-house, and provision dealers who sell meat and vegetables.
Clerk: Too indefinite. Write kind of business, as clerk grocery store; clerk, gas company; clerk, post office; clerk
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woollen mill, etc. Distinguish carefully between clerks, bookkeepers and salesmen.
Collector: Too indefinite. State business, as bill collector, etc.
Commissioner: Indefinite. Use a more explicit word to denote occupation
Compositor: Distinguish between compositors who set type, pressmen who run printing-presses and job printers who usually set type and run presses. Use "printer" for those who are not confined to one branch of the business, as above described.
Conductor: Indefinite. State whether steam railway conductor, horse railway conductor, etc.
Contractor: Indefinite. Use a more explicit designation.
Convict: State occupation followed in prison. If unemployed, give occupation, if any, before imprisonment.
Court Officer: State particular position filled, as, clerk, constable, marshal, etc.
Dealer: By dealers are meant merchants, storekeepers, traders, etc. -- those who buy and sell goods as a business. These terms are all too indefinite. The kind of business must be given in every case, and whether wholesale, retail, jobbing or commission; as, retail dealers, books and stationery; wholesale dealer; carpets; retail dealers, groceries; whole- sale dealer, coal; retail dealer, tinware, and c. The terms milkman and marketman are sufficiently explicit.
Driver: See "Animals, care of"
Engineer: Too indefinite. State whether a locomotive or railway engineer, stationary engineer, steamboat engineer, civil engineer, etc., as the case may be.
Employee: This term is too indefinite, and should not be used in this column. There is no business in which a more explicit word cannot be found.
Factory hand (or operative): This term should not be used. Even if the kind of business is given as cotton mill, factory operative-that is not sufficiently definite. The actual occupation or kind of labour done, as cotton mill spinner, is what is needed.
Farmer: Distinguish between farmer, market gardener, seed gardeners, orchard men, nursery men, florists, etc.
Farm labourer: A person employed by a farmer. (See "Labourers" for further instructions concerning them).
Finisher: Indefinite. Always state the "article finished"
Fireman: State whether railway fireman, steamboat fireman, stationary engine fireman, etc., or member of Fire Department.
Foreman: State kind of business in every case, as machine shop foreman, etc.
Government: State, first, whether, in Federal, Provincial, city or town service; second, in what branch of that service; and, third, the particular position filled, as captain, of Canadian force, Finance Department accountant, town constable, etc.
Housekeeper: Use this term only for such persons as receive wages or salary for their services.
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Huckster: State kind of articles sold.
Inspector: Indefinite. State "what is inspected", as gas inspector, milk inspector, etc.
Jobber: see "Dealer" and "Merchant"
Judge: State whether Federal or Provincial judge (or Justice) and particular position filled, as Supreme Court Judge; Police Court.
Labourer: State kind of labour, as farm labourer, market garden labourer, railway labourer, brick mason's labourer, etc., as the case may be.
Maker: Be careful not to confound makers and manufacturers. A maker of any article is the person who begins, continues and completes its fabrication. Thus, a person who makes a boot in every part himself is a bootmaker. Owing to the division of labour, previously explained, there fi.re now comparatively few persons in any branch of industry who make an entire article; but, instead, they make parts of the article, as, piano leg maker. Instead of furniture-maker, write chairmaker, sofa-maker, and c., as the calm may be. Of course, chocolate- maker, bonnet-maker, lace-maker, and such terms, where the article made is plainly defined, and where the labour is, not divided, can be properly used.
Manager: State "what is managed", as telephone company manager; express company-general manager, etc.; rail, way-general manager.
Manufacturer: Use this term for those who carryon the business of manufacturing. They are always employers, and this latter word is comprehended by manufacturers. State the article or kind of goods manufactured, as cotton goods manufacturer; chocolate manufacturer; woollen good manufacturer ; bonnet manufacturer; furniture manufacturer, etc., as much in detail as the case will allow.
Mason: Indefinite. State whether brick or stone mason.
Mechanic: A term that is indefinite and of no statistical value. Do not use it, but give the name of the occupation, as carpenter, painter, glazier, plumber, etc.
Merchant: See "Dealer". A merchant may be a wholesale, jobbing, retail, or commission dealer, or an agent. State always the kind of goods bought and sold.
Messenger: State "what kind of a messenger", as telegraph messenger, express company messenger, etc.
Musician: Indefinite. State whether a professional vocalist or instrumentalist, and, if the latter, what musical instrument as pianist, violinist, etc.
Officer: Indefinite. State always the particular held, as cotton manufacturing company-president; company-treasurer, etc., as the case may be.
Official: see "Government"
Overseer: State "what the person oversees", spinner-overseer; street labourers-overseer, etc. Operative: Indefinite (see Factory hand). Do not use term, but a more explicit one, giving the general name of the
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business, the material worked upon, and the particular nature of the work done, as woollen goods-dye-house finisher, etc.
Packer: State "what they pack", as paper packer; pork packer; wholesale crockery packer, etc.
Pauper.-Write pauper and give occupation, if any, before becoming a pauper.
Paymaster: State business, as railway paymaster, cottonmill, paymaster, etc.
Peddler: State kind of goods sold, as tinware peddler, notion peddler, etc.
Personal service: State plainly the kind of work done, as barber, bootblack, companion, janitor, nurse, watchman, etc. When possible, state where the work is performed, as schoolhouse janitor.
Physicians and surgeons: State, in the case of physician, whether regular practitioners and the school of medicine, as physician-allopathic. Designate particularly those who are physicians only, surgeons only, or physicians and surgeons; distinguish specialists as aurists, oculists, dentists, veterinary surgeons, etc.
Porter: State kind of business, as wholesale dry goods porter, etc.
Printer and Pressman: See "Compositor". State kind of business, whether newspaper, book, music, lithographic, chromolithographic, heliotype, artotype, etc.
Publisher: State "what he publishes", as newspapers, books, maps, engravings, etc.
Sailor: Distinguish between sailors or mariners, and fishermen. State whether on steam or sailing vessels.
Salesman: State kind of goods sold, as hardware salesman, dry goods salesman, etc. Do not confound with clerks, which heading see. Follow the above rule in case of travelling salesmen, as clothing travelling salesman, etc.
Scientific person: Distinguish by the most explicit names, as architects, botanists, naturalists, geologists, astronomers, surveyors, civil engineers, etc.
Secretary: Indefinite. State kind of business, as Insurance company-secretary, etc.
Servant, domestic: Many families employ but one servant, whose duties are of a general nature. In such cases say-general servant. Where possible give name indicating particular service, and place where service is performed, as cook, family; chambermaid, hotel; table girl, family, etc.
Speculator: Indefinite. State articles or goods dealt in, as speculator-mining stocks.
Storekeeper: see "Dealer" and "Merchant"
Superintendent: State "what he superintends", as horse railway superintendent; or the kind of manufacturing business.
Tailor: Distinguish custom-made and ready-made, and state particular part of work done, as ready-made, tailorcutter, etc.
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Teacher: Distinguish professors, tutors governesses and teachers. State whether in college; Latin, high normal, grammar or primary schools; academy; seminary, etc. State, whether public or private family. Specify branches taught as languages, music, painting, dancing, etc.
Teamster: (see "Animals, care of")
Trader: (see "Dealer and merchant")
Treasurer: State kind of business, as cotton-mill-treasurer, etc.


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Canada 1911 — source variable CA1911A_0440 — Principal occupation, 1950 code
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17. Chief occupation or trade
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103. Chief occupation or trade. Chief or principal occupation or means of living will be entered in column 17 and in column 18 the employment or occupation by which the person for whom the entry is being made supplements the earnings obtained from the chief or regular employment. An entry should be made in this column for every person of ten years and over. The record in column 17 should be either (1) the word or words which most accurately indicate the particular kind of work done by which the individual earns money or money equivalent, - as 'physician,' 'carpenter,' 'farmer,' 'stenographer,' 'nurse,' etc.; or '(2) 'income;' ,or (3) if no occupation the entry will be ' none.'

104. Income. For every person who does not follow a specific occupation but has an independent income, as from investments, pensions, superannuation, etc., the fact should be noted by writing the word 'income' in column 17; and the entry 'none' should be made for all persons ten years old and over who follow no occupation and who do not live on income.

105. Persons retired. Persons who on account of old age, permanent physical disability or otherwise are no longer following a gainful occupation should not be reported as of the occupation formerly followed. If living on their own income the entry should be 'income,' but if they are supported gratuitously by other persons or institutions the entry in this column should be 'none.'

106. Exceptions. Farmers or business men who have retired from active service but who still control an interest in the farm or enterprise in which formerly engaged are to be returned as under the name of the occupation, business or trade from which their living is obtained and the entry will be made thus: 'Farmer r.' for farmer retired, and 'Grocer r.' for grocer retired, or as the case may be.

107. Persons temporarily unemployed. Persons who are out of employment when visited by the enumerator may state that they have no occupation, when the fact is that they usually have an occupation but happen to be idle or unemployed at the time of the visit. In such cases the occupation followed by the person when employed should be obtained and recorded.

108. Farm workers. A person in charge of a farm should be returned as a farmer, whether he owns it or operates it as a tenant, renter or cropper; but a person who manages a farm for someone else for wages or salary should be reported as farm manager or farm overseer; and a person who works on a farm for someone else, but not as manager, tenant or cropper, should be reported as farm labourer.

109. Women doing housework. In the case of woman doing housework in her own home, without salary or wages, and having no other employment, the entry in column 17 should be 'none.' But a woman working at housework for wages should be returned in column 17 as housekeeper, servant, cook, chambermaid, etc., as the case may be; and the entry in column 22 should state the kind of place where she works, as private family, hotel, or boarding house. Or if a woman, in addition to doing housework in her own home, regularly earns money by some other occupation, whether pursued in her own home or outside, the kind of occupation should be stated in column 17 and the place where employed in column 22. For instance, a woman who regularly takes in washing should be reported as laundress or washerwoman in column 17, and the entry 'at home'' should be made in column 22.

110. Children working for parents. Children of ten years of age and over who work for their parents at home at general household work, or on the farm, or at any other work or chores, when attending school, should not be recorded as having an occupation. Those, however, who spend the major portion of their time at home, and who materially assist their parents in .the performance of work other than household duties, should be reported as of the occupation in which their time is employed.

111. General or indefinite terms not to be used. The kind or class of occupation must be stated precisely in column 17, and the place where the person is employed, as 'farm,' 'woolen factory,' 'cotton factory,' 'mine,' etc., will be carefully recorded in column 22. The occupation or trade of any person should not be described in column 17 by such indefinite terms as 'manufacturer,' 'merchant,' 'cotton mill employee,' 'labourer' 'miner,' 'manager,' etc. A worker in a mine may be described in column 17 by his precise designation as miner, labourer, driver, foreman, driller, etc., but unless the kind or class of mine in which he operates is stated in column 22 the record will be useless for compilation into statistical tables. See Sample Schedule.

112. Mechanic. The word 'mechanic' should be avoided in all cases, and the exact occupation given, as carpenter, blacksmith, painter, etc. Generally the term means one who has the art of using tools in shaping wood, metal, etc., as a handicraftsman or artisan; but this is not the sense in which it is to be understood in taking a census of the trade or occupation of the people. Specify the trade by its particular name in common use.

113. Agent. The different kinds of 'agents' should be carefully distinguished by stating in column 22 the line of business followed. See Sample Schedule.

114. Retail or wholesale merchants. The enumerator will distinguish carefully between retail and wholesale merchants; the kind or class will be entered in column 17 as retail or wholesale, and the kind of business, as dry goods, groceries, hardware, etc., will be entered in column 22.

115. Clerk. The use of the word 'clerk' should be avoided whenever a more definite occupation can be named. Thus a person in a store who is engaged in selling goods should be recorded as a 'salesman' or a 'saleswoman.' A stenographer, typewriter, accountant, bookkeeper, cashier, etc., should be reported as such, and not as clerk.

116. Illustrations of occupations. The following examples will illustrate the method of returning some of the common occupations (column 17) and places of employment or industry (column 22); these will also suggest to enumerators the distinctions which they are to make in the nearly two thousand other classes of occupation:

120. Domestic gainful and non-gainful occupations. If married women or other female dependents or children of ten years or over carry on a gainful or wage-earning occupation in any capacity, the kind of· occupation will be given, and they will be classed as employers or employees as the case may be; but if they are only carrying on domestic affairs in a household without wages they are not to be classed as having any occupation.

121. Piece-work at home. A person doing piece-work at home will be entered in column 17 according to the occupation, whether employed under contract or agreement with a manufacturer or other employer of labour or as help to the person so employed, and will be classed in column 20 as an employee.


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United States 1850a — source variable US1850A_0428 — Occupation, 1950 basis
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7. ____ Profession, occupation, or trade of each male person over 15 years of age.
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7. Under heading 7, entitled "Profession, occupation, or trade of each person over 15 years of age," insert opposite the name of each male the specific profession, occupation, or trade which the said person is known and reputed to follow in the place where he resides - as clergyman, physician, lawyer, shoemaker, student, farmer, carpenter, laborer, tailor, boatman, sailor, or otherwise, as the fact may be. When more convenient, the name of the article he produces may be substituted.
When the individual is a clergyman, insert the initials of the denomination to which he belongs before his profession - as "Meth." for Methodist, "R.C." for Roman Catholic, "O.S.P." for Old School Presbyterian, or other appropriate initials, as the fact may be. When a person follows several professions or occupations the name of the principal one only is to be given. If a person follows no particular occupation, the space is to be filled with the word "none."

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United States 1850b — source variable US1850B_0442 — Occupation, 1950 basis
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7. ____ Profession, occupation, or trade of each male person over 15 years of age.
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7. Under heading 7, entitled "Profession, occupation, or trade of each person over 15 years of age," insert opposite the name of each male the specific profession, occupation, or trade which the said person is known and reputed to follow in the place where he resides - as clergyman, physician, lawyer, shoemaker, student, farmer, carpenter, laborer, tailor, boatman, sailor, or otherwise, as the fact may be. When more convenient, the name of the article he produces may be substituted.
When the individual is a clergyman, insert the initials of the denomination to which he belongs before his profession - as "Meth." for Methodist, "R.C." for Roman Catholic, "O.S.P." for Old School Presbyterian, or other appropriate initials, as the fact may be. When a person follows several professions or occupations the name of the principal one only is to be given. If a person follows no particular occupation, the space is to be filled with the word "none."

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United States 1860 — source variable US1860A_0442 — Occupation, 1950 basis
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7. ____ Profession, occupation, or trade of each person, male or female, over 15 years of age
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10. Profession, Trade, and Occupation-- Under head 7, entitled "Profession, occupation, or trade of each person over fifteen years of age," insert the specific profession, occupation, or trade the individual being enumerated is reputed to follow. The proprietor of a farm for the time being, who pursues agriculture professionally or practically, is to be recorded as a farmer; the men who are employed for wages by him are to be termed farm laborers. The members, or inmates, of a family employed in domestic duties at wages you will record as "servants," or "serving," or "domestic," according to the custom of the vicinage.
A mechanic who employs others under him is to be termed differently from the one employed. The first is a master mechanic, and should be termed "master mason," "master carpenter," etc., as the case may be, and you should be very particular in designating the employers or master mechanics from the workmen or employed. Where persons (over 15) are learning trades or serving apprenticeship, they should be recorded as "apprentices," with the name of the trade whereunto they are apprenticed. The employment of every person over 15, having an occupation, should be asked and recorded. In every case insert the kind of labor and nature of apprenticeship.
When the individual is a clergyman, insert the initials of the denomination to which he belongs -- as Meth. for Methodist; R.C. for Roman Catholic; O.S.P., Old School Presbyterian; P.E., Protestant Episcopal; or other appropriate designation, as the case may require. If a person follows several occupations, insert the name of the most prominent. If the person should be a teacher or professor, state the character of the occupation, as teacher of French, of common school; professor of mathematics, of languages, of philosophy, etc. In fine, record the occupation of every human being, male and female, (over 15,) who has an occupation or means of living, and let your record be so clear as to leave no doubt on the subject.

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United States 1870 — source variable US1870A_0447 — Occupation, 1950 basis
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[Inquiries number 7, 16, and 17 are not to be asked in respect to infants. Inquiries number 11, 12, 15, 16, 17, 19, and 20 are to be answered (if at all) merely by an affirmative mark, as /.]

7. ____ Profession, occupation, or trade of each person, male or female.

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Occupation.--The inquiry, "Profession, occupation, or trade," is one of the most important questions of this schedule. Make a study of it. Take special pains to avoid unmeaning terms, or such as are too general to convey a definite idea of the occupation. Call no man a "factory hand" or a "mill operative." State the kind of mill or factory. The better form of expression would be, "works in cotton mill," "works in paper mill," etc.. Do not call a man a "shoemaker," "bootmaker," unless he makes the entire boot or shoe in a small shop. If he works in (or for) a boot and shoe factory, say so.
Do not apply the word "jeweler" to those who make watches, watch chains, or jewelry in large manufacturing establishments.
Call no man a "commissioner," a "collector," an "agent," an "artist," an "overseer," a "professor," a "treasurer," a "contractor," or a "seculator," without further explanation.
When boys are entered as apprentices, state the trade they are apprenticed to, as "apprenticed to carpenter," "apothecary's apprentice."
When a lawyer, a merchant, a manufacturer, has retired from practice or business, say "retired lawyer," "retired merchant," etc. Distinguish between fire and life insurance agents.
When clerks are returned, describe them as "clerk in store," "clerk in woolen mill," "R.R. clerk," "bank clerk," etc.
Describe no man as "mechanic" if it possible to describe him more accurately.
Distinguish between stone masons and brick masons.
Do not call a bonnet maker a bonnet manufacturer, a lace maker a lace manufacturer, a chocolate maker a chocolate manufacturer. Reserve the term manufacturer for proprietors of establishments; always give the branch of manufacture.
Whenever merchants or traders can be reported under a single word expressive of their special line, as "grocer," it should be done. Otherwise, say dry goods merchant, coal dealer, etc.
Add, in all cases, the class of business, as wholesale (wh.), retail (ret.), importer (imp.), jobber, etc.
Use the word huckster in all cases where it applies.
Be very particular to distinguish between farmers and farm laborers. In agricultural regions this should be one of the points to which the assistant marshal should especially direct his attention.
Confine the use of the words "glover," "hatter," and "furrier" to those who actually make, or make up, in their own establishments, all, or a part, of the gloves and hats or furs which they sell. Those who only sell these articles should be characterized as "glove dealer," "hat and cap dealer," "fur dealer."
Judges (state whether Federal or State, whether probate, police, or otherwise) may be assumed to be lawyers, and that addition, therefore, need not be given; but all other officials should have their profession designated, if they have any, as "retired merchant, governor of Massachusetts," "paper manufacturer, representative in legislature." If anything is to be omitted, leave out the office, and put in the occupation.
As far as possible distinguish machinists, as "locomotive builders," "engine builders," etc.
Instead of saying, "packers," indicate whether you mean "pork packers" or "crockery packers," or "mule packers."
The organization of domestic service has not proceeded so far in this country as to render it worth while to make distinction in the character of work. Report all as "domestic servants."
Cooks, waiters, etc., in hotels and restaurants will be reported separately from domestic servants.
The term "housekeeper" will be reserved for such persons as receive distinct wages or salary for the service. Women keeping house for their own families or for themselves, without any other gainful occupation, will be entered as "keeping house." Grown daughters assisting them will be reported without occupation.
You are under no obligation to give any man's occupation just as he expresses it. If he can not tell intelligibly what it is, find out what he does, and characterize his profession accordingly.
The inquiry as to occupation will not be asked in respect to infants or children too young to take any part in production. Neither will the doing of domestic errands or family chores out of school be considered an occupation. "At home' or "attending school" will be the best entry in the majority of cases. But if a boy or girl. whatever the age, is earning money regularly by labor, contributing to the family support, or appreciably assisting in mechanical or agricultural industry, the occupation should be stated.

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United States 1880a — source variable US1880A_0431 — Occupation, 1950 basis

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United States 1880b — source variable US1880B_0453 — Occupation, 1950 basis
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13. ____ Profession, occupation, or trade of each person, male or female
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OCCUPATION
In the column numbered 13 is to be reported the occupation of each person 10 years of age and upward.

Occupation.--The inquiry "profession, occupation, or trade," is one of the most important questions of the schedule. Make a study of it. Take especial pains to avoid unmeaning terms, or such as are too general to convey a definite idea of the occupation.

Call no man a "factory hand", or a "mill operative". State the kind of a mill or factory. The better form of expression would be, "Works in a cotton mill", "Works in paper mill", etc. Do not call a man a "shoemaker" or "boot maker", unless he makes the entire boot or shoe in a small shop. If he works in (or for) a boot or shoe factory, say so.
Do not apply the word "jeweler" to those who make watches, watch chains, or jewelry in large manufacturing establishments.

Call no man a "commissioner", a "collector", an "agent", an "artist", an "overseer", a "professor", a "treasurer", a "contractor", or a "speculator" without further explanation.
When boys are entered as apprentices, state the trade they are apprenticed to, as "apprenticed to carpenter", "apothecary's apprentice". Students or scholars should be reported under those names.

When a lawyer, a merchant, a manufacturer, has retired from practice or business, say "retired lawyer", "retired merchant", etc. Distinguish between fire and life insurance agents. When clerks are returned, describe them as "clerk in store", "clerk in woolen mill", "R.R. clerk", "bank clerk", etc.

Describe no man as a "mechanic", if it is possible to describe him more accurately.
Distinguish between stone masons and brick masons.

Do not call a bonnet maker a bonnet manufacturer, a lace maker a lace manufacturer, a chocolate maker a chocolate manufacturer. Reserve the term "manufacturer" for proprietors of establishments; always give the branch of manufacture, as cotton manufacturer, woolen manufacturer, etc.

Whenever merchants or traders can be reported under a single word expressive of their special line, as "grocer", it should be done. Otherwise say dry goods merchant, coal dealer, etc.

Use the word "huckster" in all cases where it applies.

Be very particular to distinguish between farmers and farm laborers. In agricultural regions this should be one of the points to which the enumerator should especially direct his attention.

Confine the use of the words "glover", "hatter", and "furrier" to those who actual make, or make up, in their own establishments, all, or a part, of the gloves and hats or furs which they sell. Those who only sell these articles should be characterized as "glove dealer", "hat and cap dealer", "fur dealer".

Judges (state whether Federal or state, whether probate, police, or otherwise) may be assumed to be lawyers, and that addition, therefore, need not be given; but all other officials should have their profession designated, if they have any, as "retired" merchant, governor of Massachusetts", "paper manufacturer, representative in legislature". If anything is to be omitted, leave out the office and put in the occupation.

The organization of domestic service has not proceeded so far in this country as to render it worth while to make distinctions in the character of work. Report all as "domestic servants".

Cooks, waiters, etc., in hotels and restaurants will be reported separately from domestic servants, as "cook in hotel", etc.

The term "housekeeper" will be reserved for such persons as receive distinct wages or salary for the service. Women keeping house for their own families or for themselves, without any other gainful occupation, will be entered as "keeping house". Grown daughters assisting them will be reported without occupation.

You are under no obligation to give any man's occupation just as he expresses it. If he can not tell intelligibly what it is, find out what he does and characterize his profession accordingly.

The inquiry as to occupation will not be asked in respect to infants or children too young to take any part in production. Neither will the doing of domestic errands or family chores out of school be considered an occupation. "At home" or "attending school" will be the best entry in a majority of cases. But if a boy or girl, whatever the age, or earning money regularly by labor, contributing to the family support, or appreciably assisting in mechanical or agricultural industry, the occupation should be stated


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United States 1900 — source variable US1900A_0456 — Occupation, 1950 basis
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Occupation, Trade or Profession:
Of each person ten years of age and over:
19. ____ Occupation.
20. ____ Months not employed.
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Occupation, trade, or profession
153. NOTE.--The following instructions concerning the return of the occupation, trade, or profession in column 19 do not, in the main, form a part of the instructions contained in the portfolio or the instructions printed at the bottom of the illustrative example. These instructions are very important, however, and must be not only read but studied carefully.
154. Column 19. Occupation.--This question applies to every persons 10 years of age and over who is at work, that is, occupied in gainful labor, and calls for the profession, trade, or branch of work upon which each persons depends chiefly for support, or in which he is engaged ordinarily during the larger part of the time. (See paragraph 223.)
155. This is a most important question. In reporting occupations avoid the use of general or indefinite terms which do not indicate the kind of work done. You need not give a person's occupation just as he expresses it. If he can not tell intelligibly what he is, find out what he does, and describe his occupation accordingly. Endeavor to ascertain always the kind of work done, and so state it.
156. Indicate in every case the kind of work done or character of service rendered. do not state merely the article made or worked upon, or the place where the work is done. For example, the reply "carriage builder," or "works in carriage factory," is unsatisfactory, because men of different trades, such as blacksmiths, joiners, wheelwrights, painters, upholsterers, work together in building carriages. Such an answer, therefore, does not show what kind of work the person performs.
157. Return every person according to his own occupation, not that of his employer. For example, describe a blacksmith employed by a manufacturer of carriages as a carriage blacksmith and not as a carriage builder, or a cooper employed by a brewery as a cooper and not a brewer, etc.
158. If a person has two occupations, enter the more important one, that is, the one from which he gets the more money. If you can not learn that, enter the one in which he spends the more time. For example, describe a person who gets most of his income by managing a farm, but also preaches, as a "farmer," but if he gets more income form his preaching, describe his as a "preacher" and not as a farmer.
159. Sometimes you will find a person engaged in one occupation, but claiming a different one. This will be common in certain resorts for invalids. Such persons often take up for the time occupations different from those followed at home. for example, you may find a clergyman canvassing for books or a physician herding cattle. In such a case ask from which occupation the person gets the more money or to which he gives more time during the year.
160. If a married woman has a gainful occupation, return the occupation accordingly, whether she does the work at her home or goes regularly to a place of employment, and whether she is regularly or only occasionally so employed. For example, "milliner," "dressmaker," "nurse," etc.
161. In farming sections, where a farm is found that is under the management or supervision of a woman as owner or tenant, return the occupation of such woman as "farmer" in all cases.
162. Report a student who supports himself by some occupation according to the occupation, if more time is given to that, but as a student, of more time is given to study. Thus report a student who does stenographic work as a student unless more of his time is spent in stenography. Report a salesman in a grocery store, who attends a night school as "salesman, groceries," because most of his day is spent in the store. (See paragraph 219.)
163. Many a person who does not follow any occupation still has an income. In that case indicate the source of the income. Report a person whose income comes from the rent of lands or buildings as "landlord." Report a person who receives his income, or most of it, from money loaned at interest, or from stocks, bonds, or other securities, as a "capitalist."
164. Abbreviations.--The space in column 19 is somewhat narrow, and it may be necessary to use the following abbreviations (but no others):
Agric., for agriculture.
Agt., for agent.
Asst., for assistant.
Co., for company.
Comsn., for commission.
Dept., for department.
Fcty., for factory.
Insur., for insurance.
Merch., for merchant.
Mfg., for manufacturing.
Mfr., for manufacturer.
Prest., for president.
R.R., for railroad or railway.
Sch., for school.
Secy., for secretary.
Supt., for superintendent.
Teleg., for telegraph.
Telph., for telephone.
Trav., for traveling, or traveler.
Treas., for treasurer.
165. The illustrations given under this head show the nature of the answers which should be made to this inquiry. They are not intended to cover all occupations, but are merely examples of the answers desired in order to secure a proper descriptions of the character of the service rendered or kind of work done by each and every person engaged in gainful labor.
166. Do not confuse a farmer with a farm laborer. If a person works on a farm for a stated wage (in money or its equivalent), even though he may be a son or other relative of the person who conducts the farm, he should be entered as a farm laborer, and not as a farmer. On the other hand, if a person owns or rents a farm, or operates it with or for another persons, for a fixed share of the products, he should be entered as a farmer, and not as a farm laborer. Enter the older children of a farmer (who works on the farm) as farm laborers, except when a father and son (or sons) jointly operate the farm for fixed shares of the product. (See paragraph 300.)
167. Do not confuse a day laborer at work for the city, town, or at odd jobs with a farm laborer at work on the farm or plantation or in the employ of gardeners, nurserymen, etc., Do not say simply "laborer," but state in every case the kind of work done, as day laborer, farm laborer, garden laborer, etc. If a person is a laborer in a mill, workshop, or factory, specify the fact, in addition to the word laborer, as laborer (cement works), etc.
168. Distinguish between a woodchopper at work regularly in the woods or forests and an ordinary laborer who takes a job occasionally at chopping wood.
169. Distinguish between a farmer or a planter who owns, hires, or carries on a farm or plantation, and a gardener, fruit grower, nurseryman, florist, or vine grower, etc., who is engaged in raising vegetables for marked or in the cultivation of fruit, flowers, seeds, nursery products, etc.
170. Avoid the confusion of the garden laborer, nursery laborer, etc., who hires out his services, with the proprietor gardener, florist, nurseryman, etc., who carries on the business himself or employs others to assist him.
171. Return as a dairyman or dairywoman any person whose occupation in connection with the farm has to do chiefly with the dairy. Do not confuse such a person with an employee of a butter and cheese or condensed milk factory, who should be separately returned by some distinctive term.
172. Return a stock herder or stock drover separately from a stock raiser.
173. Do not include a lumberman, raftsman, log driver, etc., engaged in hauling or transporting lumber (generally by water) from the forest to the mill with an employee of a lumber yard or a lumber mill.
174. For a fisherman or oysterman describe the occupation as accurately as possible. Be careful to avoid the return of a fisherman on a vessel as a sailor. If he gains his living by fishing, he should be returned as a "fisherman," and not as a sailor.
175. Made a careful distinction between a coal miner and a miner of ores; also between a miner and a quarryman. State the kind of ore mined or stone quarried.
176. Do not return a proprietor or official of a mining or quarrying company as a miner or quarryman, but state his business or official position accurately.
177. Specify each profession in detail, according to the fact, as follows: Actor, artist or teacher of art, clergyman, dentist, designer, draftsman, engraver, civil engineer or surveyor, mechanical or mining engineer, government clerk or official, journalist, lawyer, librarian, musician or teacher of music, physician, surgeon, professor (in college or university), teacher (in school), or other pursuits of a professional nature.
178. Distinguish between as actor, a theatrical manager, and a showman.
179. Return a government official, in the service of the national, state, county, city, or town government, by the title of his office, if that is the occupation upon which he depends chiefly for a livelihood; otherwise by his usual trade or profession.
180. Distinguish between a government clerk occupying a position under the national, state, county, city, or town government and a clerk in an office, store, manufacturing establishments, etc.
181. Return a veterinary surgeon separately from another surgeon.
182. Distinguish a journalist editor, or reporter from an author or other literary person who does not follow journalism as a distinct profession.
183. Return a chemist, assayer, metallurgist, or other scientific person by his distinctive title.
184. Specify each occupation or kind of service rendered in detail, according to the fact, as hotel keeper, boarding-house keeper, restaurant keeper, or saloon keeper or bartender; housekeeper, cook, or servant (in hotel, boarding-house, hospital, institution, private family, etc.); barber or hairdresser; janitor, sexton or undertaker; nurse or midwife; watchman, policeman, or detective. The above are given only as examples of the occupations which would naturally be included under this general class of work.
185. Return as a housekeeper a woman who receives a stated wage or salary for her services, and do not confuse her with a woman who keeps house for her own family or for herself, without any gainful occupation, or with a grown daughter who assists in the household duties without pay. A wife or daughter who simply keeps house for her own family should not be returned as a housekeeper in any case. (See paragraph 218.)
186. A clerk in a hotel, restaurant, or saloon should be so described and carefully distinguished from a bartender. In many instances a bartender will state his occupation as "clerk" in wine store, etc., but the character of the service rendered by such a person will readily determine whether he should be classed as a "bartender," or as a "clerk."
187. A stationary engineer or fireman should be carefully distinguished from a locomotive engineer or fireman.
188. A soldier, sailor, or marine enlisted in the service of the United States should be so returned. Distinguish between an officer and an enlisted man, and for a civilian employee state the kind of service performed by him.
189. Distinguish carefully between a real estate agent, insurance agent, claim agent, or commission agent, etc.
190. If a person combines two or more of these occupations, as is often the case, return the occupation from which he derives the larger share of his income.
191. Return an accountant, bookkeeper, clerk, cashier, etc., according to his distinctive occupation, and state the kind of service rendered, as accountant--insurance; bookkeeper--wholesale dry goods; clerk--gas company; cashier--music store.
192. Do not confound a clerk with a salesman, as is often done, especially in dry goods stores, grocery stores, and provision stores. Generally speaking, a person so employed is to be considered as a salesman, unless most of his service is in the office on the books and accounts; otherwise he should be returned as salesman--dry goods; salesman--groceries, etc.
193. A stenographer or typewriter should be reported as such, and should not be described simply as a "clerk."
194. Distinguish carefully between a bank clerk, cashier in bank, or bank official, describing the particular position filled in each case. In no case should a bank cashier be confounded with a cashier in a store, etc.
195. Distinguish between a foreman and overseer, a packer and shipper, a porter and helper, and an errand, office, and messenger boy in a store, etc., and state in each case the character of the duties performed by him, as foreman--wholesale wool; packer--crockery; porter--rubber goods; errand boy--dry goods; messenger boy--telegraph.
196. State the kind of merchant or dealer, as dry goods merchant, wood and coal dealer, etc. Whenever a single word will express the business carried on, as grocer, it should be used.
197. In the case of a huckster or peddler also state the kind of goods sold, as peddler--tinware.
198. Distinguish a traveling salesman from a sales-man in a store, return the former as a "commercial traveler," and state the kind of goods sold by him.
199. Return a boarding or livery stable keeper separately from a hostler or other stable employee.
200. Distinguish also between an expressman, teamster, drayman, and carriage and hack driver.
201. A steam railroad employee should be reported according to the nature of his work, as baggageman, brakeman, conductor, railroad laborer, locomotive engineer, locomotive fireman, switchman, yardman, etc.
202. An official of a railroad, telegraph, express, or other company should be returned by his title and carefully distinguished from an employee of such company.
203. Return a boatman, canalman, pilot, long-shoreman, stevedore, or sailor (on a steam or sailing vessel) according to his distinctive occupation.
204. A telegraph operator, telephone operator, telegraph lineman, telephone lineman, electric-light man, etc., should be reported according to the nature of the work performed.
Manufacturing and Mechanical Pursuits
205. In reporting this class of occupations there are many difficulties in the way of showing the kind of work done rather than the article made or the place worked in.; The nature of certain occupations is such that it is well-nigh impossible to find properly descriptive terms without the use of some expression relating to the article made or place in which the work is carried on.
206. Do not accept "maker" of an article or "works in" mill, shop, or factory, but strive always to find out the particular work done.
207. Do not use the words "factory operative," but specify the kind of work done, as cotton mill--spinner; silk mill--weaver, etc.
208. Avoid in all cases the use of the word "mechanic," and state whether a carpenter, mason, house painter, machinist, plumber, etc.
209. Do not say "finisher," "molder," "polisher," etc., but describe the word done, as brass finisher, iron molder, steel polisher, etc.
210. Distinguish between a persons who tends machines and the unskilled workman or laborer in mills, factories, and workshops.
211. Describe the proprietor of the establishment as a "manufacturer," and specify the branch of manufacture, as cotton manufacturer, etc. In no case should a manufacturer be returned as a "maker" of an article.
212. In the case of an apprentice, state the trade to which apprenticed, as Apprentice--carpenter, etc.
213. Distinguish between a butcher, whose business is to slaughter cattle, swine, etc., and a provision dealer, who sells meats.
214. Distinguish between a glover, hatter, or furrier who actually makes in his own establishment all or part of the gloves, hats, or furs which he sells, and a person who simply deals in but does not make these articles.
215. Do not describe a person in a printing office as a "printer" where a more expressive term can be used, as compositer, pressman, press feeder, etc.
216. Make the proper distinction between a clock or watch "maker" and a clock or watch "repairer." Do not apply the word "jeweler" to those who make watches, watch chains, or jewelry in large establishments.
217. Distinguish between a clockmaker, dressmaker, seamstress, tailoress, etc. In the case of a sewing-machine operator, specify the kind of work done.
218. If a person is attending school write "at school." No entry in column 19 should be made, however, for a lawyer, merchant, manufacturer, etc., who has retired from practice or business; nor for a wife or daughter living at home and assisting only in the household duties without pay (see paragraph 185); more for a person too old to work, or a child under 10 years of age not at school.
219. The doing of domestic errands or family chores out of school hours, where a child regularly attends school, is not an occupation. But if a boy or girl, above 10 years of age, is earning money regularly by labor, contributing to the family support, or appreciably assisting in mechanical or agricultural industry, the kind of work performed should be stated. (See paragraph 162.)
220. In the case of an inmate of an institution or home, such as a hospital, asylum, home for the aged, soldiers' home, penitentiary, jail, etc., no entry is required in column 19 unless the inmate is actually engaged in remunerative work for which he receives a stated wage in addition to his board. The occupation of an officer or regular employee of such institution or home, however, is to be entered in this column, the same as for all other persons having a gainful occupation.
221. Column 20. Months not employed.--The object of this question is to get the number of months (or parts of months) in the census year (June 1, 1899, to May 31, 1900) during which each person having a gainful occupation was not employed. for those who have no gainful occupation, leave the column blank.
222. The law does not contemplate that this question shall apply solely to the principal occupation in which the person may have been engaged during the year, but it is the intent to find out the number of months (or parts of months) during which a person ordinarily engaged in gainful labor was not employed at all.
223. A return is required in columns 19 and 20 for each and every person 10 years of age and over who was engaged in gainful labor during any part of the census year (June 1, 1899, to May 31, 1900, inclusive), or who is ordinarily occupied in remunerative work but during the census year was unable to secure work of any kind. In the latter case enter his customary occupation, as carpenter, bricklayer, etc., in column 19 and the figure "12" in column 20 to show that, although he had an occupation or trade, he was not employed at all during the year at that or any other kind of work.

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United States 1910 — source variable US1910A_0478 — Occupation, 1950 basis
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18. ____ Trade or profession of, or particular kind of work done by this person, as spinner, salesman, laborer, etc..
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144. Column 18. Trade or profession.--An entry should be made in this column for every person enumerated. The occupation, if any, followed by a child, of any age, or by a woman is just as important, for census purposes, as the occupation followed by a man. Therefore if must never be taken for granted, without inquiry, that a woman, or child, has no occupation.
145. The entry in column 18 should be either (1) the occupation pursued--that is, the word or words which most accurately indicate the particular kind of work done by which the person enumerated earns money or a money equivalent, as physician, carpenter, dressmaker, night watchman, laborer, newsboy; or (2) own income; or (3) none (that is, no occupation).
146. The entry own income should be made in the case of all persons who follow no specific occupation but have an independent income upon which they are living.
147. The entry none should be made in the case of all persons who follow no occupation and who do not fall within the class to be reported as own income.
148. Persons retired or temporarily unemployed.--Care should be taken in making the return for persons who on account of old age, permanent invalidism, or otherwise are no longer following an occupation. Such persons may desire to return the occupations formerly followed, which would be incorrect. If living on their own income the return should be own income. If they are supported by other persons or institutions, the return should be none. On the other hand, persons out of employment when visited by the enumerator may state that they have no occupation, when the fact is that they usually have an occupation but merely happen to be idle or unemployed at the time of the visit. In such cases the return should be the occupation followed when the person is employed.
149. Persons having two occupations.--If a person has two occupations, return only the more important one--that is, the one from which he gets the more money. If you cannot learn that, return the one at which he spends the more time. For example: Return a man as farmer if he gets most of his income from farming, although he may also follow the occupation of a clergyman or preacher; but return him as clergyman if he gets more of his income from that occupation.