View Full Version : Abbreviation meaning
29-06-2008, 11:52 AM
My ancestor, John Searles and his family are present on the 1841 census living within a place called 'Union House Academy' ( a school I think ) on Ballards Lane, Finchley, Barnet, London. They are not registered as teachers or pupils but next to John Searles name ( and a few others above him ) is an abbreviation. There may be two different ones. One looks like F " S and the other M " S. I would appreciate any help on this one.
29-06-2008, 11:54 AM
MS = Male servant and
FS = Female servant.
Does this make sense for the entry?
29-06-2008, 12:19 PM
Without seeing it, I would agree with Jan.
Have you checked out any of them in the 1851 census to see if they are still servants or in similar occupations.
I don't know if the school is still there in 1851, the word may be written out in full.
29-06-2008, 12:32 PM
Thanks Jan and Mutley. I thought on similar lines, but would a school have servants?
I have the same family in 1851 and the father, John Searles is a coachman ( I guess this is also a servant of sorts )
29-06-2008, 12:42 PM
...but would a school have servants?
Most definitely this one (http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=22513)! Scroll down to about half way - it's under the heading of Private schools.
11-02-2009, 2:05 PM
Yes, a school would have servants - someone had to clean the place, stoke the fires, etc. I have searched quantities of census records on microfilm and encountered many schools which generally had servants listed. I have also seen the abbreviations, MS and FS, for male servant and female servant respectively, very often in the 1841 census. In later censuses the exact role of the servant tends to be more specifically defined, e.g. housemaid, groom, etc.
When I first read this question I thought Union House Academy would be a school attached to the Union House (workhouse). So I must thank Jan for providing the link which shows that it was in fact a private school. Which just shows it is never a good idea to assume anything, and I learn something new every day!
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