In the 1861 census ,my ancestors in rusholme Manchester are listed as James Cook as head then sophia as what looks like lady of the house ,it's not easy to read .was this term used at all ?

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    Hi, Wayne, and welcome to G&FH:SE. Perhaps you could include an image of the entry in your question? Commented May 9 at 10:20

2 Answers 2


I don’t see why the term could not be used. Possibly it was tongue in cheek. I found a census return where the householder's 15 year old daughter’s occupation was given as: “Does as she pleases.” I am not sure everyone took the questions totally seriously sometimes. And you occasionally see the odd family dog and cat added in (certainly on Irish censuses anyway).

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If it's the schedule that I think it is, then the relationship to the Head of House is "Lodger & Boarder" - though I'm not sure of the ampersand in the middle.

The schedule is on Piece 2888, folio 30, page 2 of the 1861 for England and Wales. (It's virtually impossible to answer questions like this without seeing the image - I'm just guessing that this is the right one...)

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