Help With Archaic Occupation Abbreviations in Census Records
What in the world does an “NG” do for a living?
Today, I looked at a copy of the 1900 Lowndes, Valdosta, GA census record for an ancestor: Thomas Jones. In the record, his occupation is listed as “NG.” Nowhere else on this page is this term used. In the 1880 census he lists himself as a farmer; in the 1910 census he’s a “butcher.” Ugh– what in the world is an NG?
I did what any good researcher these days would do. I immediately posted my question on Facebook! The Georgia Genealogy Network, to be specific. Within two minutes I had my answer.
A fellow researcher, Alison Marie, informed me that NG would stand for “Not Given” and included the following link to a listing of occupations from the 1900 census in Greene county, Arkansas: http://www.usgennet.org/usa/ar/county/greene/1900abb.htm. As I don’t know who originally produced this document, I can’t give credit other than this link back to it and my appreciation for it.
Here was my response to her:
“Aahhh— yes, I’m sure that is correct. Though I’m bummed. I don’t like the answer “not given” !! It makes sense though– in 1900, his family moved to Valdosta due to a fire destroying his store in another part of the county. He had just moved there! Thanks for the help.”
Isn’t Facebook amazing! It’s a great research tool.
Well, since I learned something from the document she provided, I thought that I should share it for others to learn from as well. I’m sure that many of these abbreviations apply to other census years across the country.
Following is the information listed in the doc.
Greene County, Arkansas, 1900 Federal Census Abbreviations
-A- A Aunt AB Abstractor AD Adopted AH At Home AP Assistant Postmaster -B- B Brother BA Barber BC Baker BK Bookkeeper BL Brother in Law BM Brickmaker(occupation col ) Black Male. (race/sex col ) BR Boarder BS Blacksmith BU Butcher BY Buyer -C- C Cousin CA Clerk/Cashier/Messenger CC County Clerk CK Cook CL Collector CM City Marshall CP Cooper CR Carpenter/Contractor CS Commissioner Streets CT County Treasurer -D- D Daughter/Divorced DC Deputy County Clerk DD Dentist DL Daughter in Law DR Druggist DS Deputy Sheriff -E- E Engineer/Fireman(RS ) ED Editor EL Electrician -F- F Farmer FA Father FI Father in Law FL Farm Laborer FM Fireman FO Factory Operator FS Fisherman FT Fortune Teller -G- G Gardener Go Grand Daughter GNI Grand Mother GS Grand Son -H- H Head of Household HB Half Brother HK Hotel/Boarding House Mgr. HR Hunter HS Half Sister -I- I Immigrated IA Insurance Agent -J- J Jeweler JA Jailer JO Jockey JP Justice of Peace -K- KH Keeping House/Domestic/House Work -L- L Laborer LA Laundress LG Logger LL Lawyer LS Laborer/Sawmill -M- M Married MA Mahinest MC Mechanic MD Doctor MI Miller ML Mother in Law MM Match Maker MN Minister MO Mother MR Merchant MS Mason (brick/stone ) MU Musician MW Maid MY Mayor -N- N Nurse NE Nephew NG Not Given NI Niece -O- O Orphant OC Oculist OS Owner/Sawmill -P- P Peddler PA Pauper PB Plumber PG Photographer PH Pool Hall ( owner/optr ) PL Policeman/Watchman/Ect PM Postmaster PN Printer PO Porter PR Partner PS Prisoner PT Painter -R- R Rea1 Estate Agent RD Mail Rider RS Restaurant RR Railroad(all employees) -S- S Son or Single SA Salesman SC Scavenger SD Step Daughter SE Seamstress/Dressmaker SF Sheriff SH Shoemaker SI Sister SK Stockdealer/Livery Sta. SL Sister/Son in Law Sht Step brother SP Stenographer SR Saloon Keeper SS Step Son ST Student SV Sereant SX Sexton -T- T Teacher TA Tailor TC Timber Emp. /Lumber Dlr. TG Telegraph Employee TL Telephone Employee TG Teamster TN Metal Worker TR Trader TT Trust Agent /Banker TU Typographer -U- U Uncle -W- W Wife/Widow/Widower WA Warehouse Agent WD Ward WE Weaver WF White Female WM White Male WR Waiter WW Wagon Wright http://www.usgennet.org/usa/ar/county/greene/1900abb.htm