Friday Funny: Yeah, Well I Was Being Enumerated Before You Even Knew What the Census Was

On first glance, I fully read this name on the 1891 Canada Census as Hipster.

“I was calling myself Bailie before it was cool.” Bailie/Bailey doesn’t even show up in the top 1000 baby names in the States until nearly a hundred years later in 1983. (Those stats come from the Social Security Administration’s baby name list, comprised of the names of Americans who applied for Social Security numbers. I wasn’t able to find Canada wide naming trends.)

The Hipsteins lived in Montreal Est. If you look at the full page from the census, about half of the people were enumerated in English (Mr. Hipstein was a dry goods peddler) and the other half in French (including a vet; a medecin vetrenarie). Since the census only asks if the respondent can read or write but doesn’t specify a language, this is kind of a neat springboard to determining whether your Quebec ancestors who died before 1901 (when the census included language) were Anglophone or Francophone.


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