Days Gone By - stories from the pastGenealogy Information

FUNNY FRIDAY: This is so funny but I imagine quite typical . . .

Census Taker:  “Good morning, madam, I’m taking the census.”

Old Lady:  “The what?”

Census Taker:  “The c-e-n-s-u-s!”



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1940 census

Old Lady:  “For lans sakes!  What with tramps takin’ everythin’ they kin lay their han’s on, young folks takin’ fotygrafs of ye without so much as askin’, an’ impudent fellows comin’ roun’ as wants ter take yer senses, pretty soon there won’t be nothin’ left ter take, I’m thinkin’.”

1890  Harper’s Weekly


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By (author):  Donna R Causey
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About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and All her books can be purchased at and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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  1. Bunny Brown Drueke

    In the 1900 census, my great-great-grandfather and his twin had yet to be named. The census taker said that was unacceptable, and he named them Booker and Oliver, over the family’s objections. Ten years later the boys were listed as Thomas and William. Lol

  2. Rick Bozeman

    If you’ve ever looked at some of those old census reports, a lot of them couldn’t write their own name legibly.

  3. Timothy Parrish

    It is still quite an experience taking the census!!!

  4. I was a census taker (enumerator) in Wyoming in 1980. I had to borrow a horse to get to some of my houses since the ground was too wet to drive, there wasn’t enough snow for skis or snowmobile, and it was too far and too muddy to walk.

  5. Danny W Smith

    Perhaps that’s what happened to our senses… the government took them!

  6. Crystal Brazil

    I have been a “census taker” many funny stories!

  7. Yvita Luckie

    And all the mistakes they made in names, spelling, relationships, etc.

  8. Karen Mellema

    That is funny, and bless their hearts half of time when the city folks came to the house trying to understand them and getting the names spelled right was just half the battle and the age.

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