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Land Tax

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SJR Report 28 Apr 2013 11:24

Would a single women have been given the courtsey title of"Mrs" in a Land Tax entry for 1798?


+++DetEcTive+++ Report 28 Apr 2013 11:52

In a simple answer - don't know.

Depending on her age, she might have been given the courtesy title of 'Mistress'.
Compare it to the slightly outdated formal address to women. When you are young, you get called 'Miss' if they don't know your surname, but 'Madam' when you are more mature regardless of whether you wear a wedding ring

Do you have access to the image? See if there are other ladies listed.


Andysmum Report 28 Apr 2013 12:10

Extract from a long article in Wikipedia:

Mrs. was often used as a default for all women regardless of marital status, following the custom of some European countries. In several languages the title for married women, such as Madame, Señora, Signora, or Frau, is the direct feminine equivalent of the title used for men; the title for unmarried women is a diminutive: Mademoiselle, Señorita, Signorina, or Fräulein. For this reason, usage had shifted towards using the married title as the default for all women in professional usage. This had long been followed in the United Kingdom for some high-ranking household staff, such as housekeepers, cooks, and nannies, who were called Mrs. as a mark of respect regardless of marital status. However, the marital-neutral Ms then became the default title for women professionally and socially in the late 20th century.

Before social mores relaxed to the point where single women with children were socially acceptable, the unwed mother was often advised by etiquette mavens like Emily Post to use Mrs. with her maiden name to avoid scrutiny.

[For those, like me, who have never heard the word "maven" before, it is a trusted expert in a particular field, and comes from Hebrew via Yiddish.]


Kucinta Report 28 Apr 2013 12:23

If you've got some time to spare...


SJR Report 28 Apr 2013 13:11

Thank you for all the replies.