New Products    Books & Maps    Archival Products   Printing & Binding   News & How-To   Upcoming Events   Contact Us  

Find Products


Popular Categories

   Canada
   England & Wales
   Ireland & Northern Ireland
   Scotland
   United Empire Loyalists
   USA
   more countries...
   Misc. Genealogy How-To
   Archival Products
   Acid-Free Products
   Conservation How-To

   Charts, Forms
   Magnifiers - no batteries










































News & How-To
Formerly branded as GlobalGazette.ca

Articles, press releases,and how-to information for everyone interested in genealogy and history

Subscribe to our free newsletter

Advertisement




Hookers in Census Records?
Published: 22 April 2010
By: Shirley Gage Hodges   Biography & Archived Articles


Yes, there were hookers listed in the census. I have had questions asking me if they ever really listed the professions of some of the women employed in the oldest profession of all.

I do realize, of course, that none of our readers would have ancestors that fit into this category but I thought that I should pass the information along in case you were trying to help your friends.

It is interesting to see how candid they were with their responses. For example, if you look at the following census you will see that in the household of F. McKensie there are many young ladies who are renting rooms who list their profession as "prostitute". Mrs. McKensie was listed as a wife and the head of household. She was 30 years old and from Ireland.



Leadville, Lake Co, Colorado census Roll T9_91; Family History Film: 1254091; Page: 353.3000;
Enumeration District: 75; Image 0307.


The following entry was a listing from the County Poor House. We find three of the inhabitants were listed as "harlots" so it would appear that these were comments from someone else.



1880 Census, Middle Fork, Forsyth, North Carolina; Roll T9_963; Family History Film: 1254963; Page: 366.4000;
Enumeration District: 79; Image: 0231.


One of the most well known brothel owners in Leadville, Colorado was Mollie May. We find Mollie living with 10 other women in her household. Mollie made the headlines many times during her career in Leadville.



1880 Census. Leadville, Lake, Colorado; Roll T9_91; Family History Film: 1254091; Page: 361.3000;
Enumeration District: 75; Image: 0323


These individuals would be confined to one area of the town. We find another brothel owner, Mollie Price, listed on that same page of the census. She also was no stranger to violence and police raids during her career.



1880 Census. Leadville, Lake, Colorado; Roll T9_91; Family History Film: 1254091; Page: 361.3000;
Enumeration District: 75; Image: 0323


In a wild time, these scandalous women wore makeup, short skirts and dyed their hair. They kept company with rough men and supported themselves the only way they knew how. Should we think less of them for what they did, or respect them for making their way in a mostly male world? Fortunately, we do not have to judge either them or their circumstances. But believe me, the life of a prostitute in the Old West was nothing like the movies.

Census-takers canvassing the frontier found that many prostitutes were single parents, using their earnings to support children. Some of these women teamed up, sharing living quarters and the responsibilities of caring for their offspring and each other, especially in times of illness. Some paid for their children to be brought up by reputable families or boarding schools elsewhere. There are probably a great number of people in the western states today who could trace their ancestry back to one of these women who certainly helped to settle the West.


Until next time :)

Shirley Hodges genealogyshirl@hotmail.com


To read back issues of Shirley Hodges' articles, visit her biography & archived Articles


Editor's Note: Shirley Hodges is the author of the popular Guide to United States Census, 1790-1930:




BOOK - Guide to United States Census, 1790-1930
By Shirley Gage Hodges
Published by Global Heritage Press, Milton
Guide to the United States Census, 1790-1930 explains what the United States census records are, what information they contain and how to use each census. Each individual year of the Federal Census between 1790 and 1930 (census were compiled every 10 years) is explained in detail. This guide is designed to help the census novice and intermediate researcher come to grips with this valuable genealogical research tool. Experts will also find this guide useful.
ISBN 978-1-897446-01-0      More information

coil-bound.....$14.95 (Canadian Dollars)
Check price in your currency
[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Check out the resources at GlobalGenealogy.com:



History & Genealogy Books...
History and genealogy books, maps, CDs from a wide selection of publishers, including Global Heritage Press. Browse resources listed by country, location or topic.

Document & Artifact Preservation Products
Acid-free storage and display products to preserve and safely store your family heirloom documents and artifacts.

Printing & Binding Solutions
You've done the research, written the stories, gathered the photos and illustrations, and put them all together... Now let GlobalGenealogy.com produce a finished book you will be proud to call your own.

Family Tree Charts & Census Forms
Poster-size blank family tree charts, plus a variety of free blank letter-size charts and census forms



© GlobalGenealogy.com Inc. 1992-2014
Shop: GlobalGenealogy.com | News: News & How-To | Publishing: Our titles | MyBook: Printing & Binding
Sign up for our free newsletter! | Unsubscribe from our newsletter