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Irish Census: sister-in-law vs. servant?
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Joined: 8/9/2010
Posts: 11

Created By:Jennifer Thurber Willis
I just figured out that Mary Willis, younger sister of my husband's immigrant ancestor Richard Willis, married a man named Patrick Glynn in the Ballinrobe District in 1907, and I found them in the 1911 census in the townland of Bellanaloob in County Mayo.  Living with them is Maggie Willis, the youngest of the family, but instead of being listed as "sister-in-law" to the head of household, she is listed as "servant".  Even if she were expected to do some work around the house, I would think she would be listed as sister-in-law.  Is this unusual?
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Joined: 8/9/2010
Posts: 24

Created By:Virginia

Hi Jennifer,

It's possible that she is not a sister-in-law but another relative with the same surname, perhaps a niece, who is exchanging room and board for a job as a servant.


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Joined: 8/2/2013
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Created By:Laura Nuenke
I've actually seen that a few times on the US census records in my family research. They were definitely in-laws or a niece or nephew (something like that) and listed as servant. I don't think it was unusual for families to hire extended family to help out.

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