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And then there is the plumber who told the census taker he was a Doctor of Sanitation.

I know a census taker who tells stories about what it was like getting information from people who did not want to co-operate. Most people give the information freely, but others can be challenging and may even give misinformation.

On the 1940 census my mother is listed as the maid. She was 23 at the time and still living with her parents. She worked in the little restaurant they had, she pumped gas at the gas station, she cleaned the tourist cabins her parents owned, so it wasn't a "sitting around with her feet up" situation.

But I can just hear her saying it. The census taker talks to her parents and gets their information, talks to her older brother and gets his information and the information for his 3 year old, then turns to Mom, gets her age and relationship information, then asks, "and what do you do?"

And her response was, almost undoubtedly, "oh, I'm just the maid around here."

Mom had a sense of humor that was so dry that most people didn't get it.

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