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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Figuring out an old Occupation on Census Records

Jim asked
I'm researching my Cornish roots and the occupation of the person on the census, often young women, is 'DUPMAKER'.
Is it connected with the mining industry?

Olive Tree Answer: Jim, this was an intriguing question! I could not find an occupation "dupmaker" anywhere. As you noted, it was most often used for young women. So I had a hunt and discovered that there are many genealogy researchers asking this same question. The consensus seems to be that it is a case of old handwriting being misinterpreted and that the actual occupation is "dressmaker"

I will have to leave it to you (or interested readers) to decide if this seems accurate for your specific case. I did have a look at some census where this word is used, and I can see how it could be "dress" and not "dup". But I cannot tell you with authority that this is the correct interpretation. I hope someone else can!

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