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Old occupation?

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Old occupation?

Postby David Ingleby » Tue Mar 26, 2019 2:25 pm

I have come across an odd occupation in the 1901 census for Salford - "LUNYMAN" - at least that's what it looks like. He was not mentally ill at all!!

The enumerator has written 'Carm" above it, presumably for Carman, but The Genealogist have transcribed it as "Laundryman".

Has anyone come across a Lunyman before?

Many thanks for any help.
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Re: Old occupation?

Postby avaline » Tue Mar 26, 2019 4:00 pm

I think it's meant to say Lurryman, ie driver of a truck or lurry (lorry)
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Re: Old occupation?

Postby sdup26 » Tue Mar 26, 2019 4:34 pm

I agree. Lorry is pronounced lurry in parts of Lancashire, so the census taker probably heard 'lurryman.' 'Carm' has been written above it, as if the enumerator was giving an alternative, i.e. Carman.
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Re: Old occupation?

Postby David Ingleby » Tue Mar 26, 2019 5:16 pm

Don't you just love regional accents! Thanks for your help!
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Re: Old occupation?

Postby AdrianB38 » Wed Mar 27, 2019 7:46 am

I also agree with the conclusion but I'd point out that censuses in the UK were virtually never dictated to the enumerator. There might have been a tiny, tiny number of households where everyone was illiterate and there was no access to someone else who was literate - I guess that dictation was the only option there. But in all normal circumstances, the householder or their literate representative filled out the form and passed it to the enumerator when they called. There was simply no time for the enumerator to sit down and go over each question with the householder.

The simpler explanation is that the spelling of "lurry" was a perfectly normal, if unusual, usage. It does appear in older books and documents. And no doubt it was favoured where the word was pronounced "lurry" (how else do you pronounce it? :-) Yes, I am a Northerner!)

And I'm not totally sure of this but where you see "carman" written over "lurryman", that was done where the original entry wasn't in the official list of occupations but "carman" was. Otherwise the danger was that the statistics were skewed by words in use. Whether the correction was done by the enumerator himself, possibly back at base, or the clerk analysing the stuff, I've no idea.

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Re: Old occupation?

Postby AdrianB38 » Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:20 am

Just for info - a similar obsolete usage is to spell "wagon" as "waggon". I have this vague idea that Foden made steam-waggons - unless they made steam-lurries!

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