Employers and the self-employed in the censuses

The study focuses on the application of historical census data to historical study.

The basic goals of the workshop were to familiarize participants with the layout and design of population recording books, to teach them how to extract census data from historical records, and to assess the manuscript's advantages and disadvantages as a primary source of information.

The workshop's focus was on the censuses of women, their roles in communities, their connections to families, and their marital situations.

The study compared the results of the women's census in four separate communities: Preston, Withnell, and Formby, all of which are located south of Preston.

I used nineteenth-century censuses manuscript to conduct my historical research on women, economic activities in their respective communities.

The 1851 censuses were recorded in ten pages prescribed manuscripts for Formby, Preston, Withnel, and North of Liverpool.

The prescribed questions were concerned with the size, population structure that is terms of some males and females, how many women were working and the kind of jobs that were available.

Regarding area size, Preston was proportionately smaller compared to Withnell and Formby.

Primary Research

Thompson, (2017) observed that some women did not have paid jobs; they were dependent on their male counterparts.

Their status was tied to that of their husbands and guardians.

The manuscript assumed that domestic duties were assigned to women. Therefore, they could not earn from it.

They were mostly engaged in the domestic activities that were regarded as a hobby.

The nineteenth censuses were collected and documented by a male.

It was manually collected whereby there was a form with sections to be filled.

People would move around the home by home and hold one by one basis through questions and answer formula (Wright, 2014).

The primary sources were contemporarily constructed based on the cultural perceptions of women gender in North Victorian.

The censuses also showed that women below the age of eighteen years old were not recorded as well as those who were not married.

The manuscript had some weaknesses and strengths.

Its strengths are that it showed primary data of the actual composition of facts on the grounds as information was first hand.

The collection methods employed were efficient and easy to understand.

The sources were recorded in written form thus; it is hard to change or manipulate the results and enhance the storability for future reference.

The information found formed the basis for the gender theme in the society.

Therefore, both the interviewer and interviewee had good information of facts that were required.

Although the sources had strengths, there more loopholes identified by Higgs.

These weaknesses include; the census was designed, constructed and by male government officials.

There was a high case of gender biases on the final information that was provided.

The whole census paper was constructed on the predetermined perception of the then existing cultural values.

It under-stated the women economic activities as those who were not married could not be recorded.

The disregarded the power of domestic chores simply because it had no wage value attached to it.

Also, there was minimal women engagement in the process.

Women could only participate when answering census questions which at some was majority answered by the male head of the household.

It had no sections for the female occupation; they were recorded concerning their male relationships like blacksmith's daughter and farmer's wife.

Several historians made conclusions regarding the nineteenth census results on classifications.

The manuscript data were useful in conducting, comparing the occupation structure between the periods.

Higgs 2016 argued that the basis of classification used by officers thought forms the basis of which job are currently classified but disagree with previous one where women were not given a chance to list what they had to do.

The evidence could not be depended upon being that it did not specify the skills that were required and why the women were not considered in the job market.

Farr proposed that the occupation is classified into either industrial or nonindustrial or unemployed and unemployed (Bennett, Smith, van Lieshout, & Newton, 2017).

He differed with his predecessors where women were abandoned on behalf of their relative's occupation position.

The modern historians carried out field research parallel to the census, which revealed that women were very important in the economy of a country in one way or the other.

This is because there were certain jobs could not be done by male and yet were not included in the options in the manuscripts.

Several controversies were raised by the evidence provided in the manuscripts.

Why would a wife be identified as innkeepers or innkeepers wife whichever?

They proposed a more elaborate way to identify individuals as this method was very narrow.

Historiographical Context

Other researchers have used various sources in conducting the empirical analysis of this topic.

Among the sources, including peer-reviewed journals and articles, books, internet sources, newspapers, and magazines.

Some of the researchers use TV programs in as their primary sources.

Researchers have given different approaches towards investigating this topic.

Some researchers have taken the conceptual framework to investigate the topic (Bennett, & Smith, 2017).

Under this topic, the researchers do extensive analysis of works of other people to deduce a conclusion from their literature.

They identify the gaps that have not been filled by the previous researchers and finally give their understanding and recommendations for future research.

Some other researchers on the other hand use case studies in conducting their research on the topic.

Some researchers choose specific areas to investigate and then use the sample to make conclusions regarding the whole population.

The other approach applied by some researchers is the use of micro studies to conduct their research.

Micro studies are simpler to implement and to investigate the topic.

The paper was researching on the use of historical census as evidence to current population composition.

In main concentration, the area was the primary sources weakness and strengths based on their applicability of their evidence to modern historians.

The nineteenth century used census manuscripts as population historical evidence.

The main weakness to this source is that it was gender biased; it did not give much attentions to women contribution to the economic of the society.

The women have always attached male counterparts of which those who were not married were ignored in the census information.

Different modern historians disagreed with the source to some level as its reliability was doubt.


Thompson, D. M. (2017). The religious census of Bristol and Gloucestershire, 1851. Census of the population, 1851. Schedule of return of places of religious worship. Edited by Alan Munden.(The Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society. Gloucestershire Record Series, 29.) Pp. xvi+ 428 incl. 4 figs. Bristol: The Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society, 2015.£ 30. 978 0 900197 88 8. The Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 68(1), 198-198.

Higgs, E. (2016). Domestic Servants and Households in Rochdale: 1851-1871. Routledge.

Wright, D. G. (2014). Popular Radicalism: The Working Class Experience 1780-1880. Routledge.

Bennett, R. J., & Smith, H. J. (2017). Employers and the self-employed in the censuses 1851-1911: The census as a source for identifying entrepreneurs, business numbers and size distribution.

Bennett, R. J., Smith, H., van Lieshout, C., & Newton, G. (2017). Business sectors, occupations and aggregations of census data 1851-1911.

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