24 June 2008

Gems from the 1851 Irish Census

A PUZZLER. - In taking the census in one of the Western towns, the enumerator found in one of the papers, under the head "Occupation, &c.," the entry "Zooker" carried out opposite the name of a young child. He inquired the meaning of the entry, and received the following solution of the enigma from the mother of the child: "Aw! that's my cheel! ha hath'n left off zooking (sucking) eet, zo that's es occipation."

AN ELDERLY TRIO. - According to the return given to the officer who collected the census papers, there are three parties in the village of Balloch of Culloden - a husband, a wife, and a wife's sister - whose joint ages amount to no less a figure that 1,415 years! The phenomenon is explained in this way - the "gudeman" put himself down at 506 (meaning firfy and six years), the wife at 505 (55) and the wife's sister as 404 (44).

SINGULAR RETURN. - One of the constabulary enumerators was much amused the other day by the return which a very eccentric and proverbially social inhabitant of the village of Whitehouse, two and a half miles from Belfast, had under the column "Deaf and Dumb." The household of the statist consists merely of his wife and himself, and their differences of opinion upon matters of domestic economy are locally celebrated. The return (in the handwriting of the head of the house) was this: - Husband, not deaf - wish to the Lord he was, Wife not dumb - wish ditto, ditto." - Belfast News Letter

From the Weekly Dispatch, Sunday, June 08, 1851, Page:11, via the British Library Online Newspaper Archives (Pilot Version) at: www.bl.uk/collections/newspapers.html

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