Overlooked Census Data: Reading Those Orphan Columns
Summary of presentation:
Genealogists tend to read census returns for names, relationships, ages, and birthplaces, but there are many other columns of information that are usually overlooked, and which can be extremely useful. Among the many other items of interest are:
This is only a partial list of the census items often overlooked by beginners, and even more experienced researchers. And, in each case, recognizing the data and what it means can lead to more sources. For example, if there is a value listed under “real estate,” researchers should know to look for deeds at the county level as well as government land sales, and real-estate tax records. Also, the fact that a person had a real estate value listed should nudge the genealogist to think in terms of that person having an estate to be probated at the time of death, and/or a guardianship for his or her children at the county level.
Additionally, having land usually means a farm and that should lead the knowledgeable researcher to the U.S. Federal Census Agricultural Schedules; and although these aren’t often indexed, the audience will learn that this special schedule was in the same order as the Population Schedule for that area.
In this lecture, the little-used census columns will be pointed out and explained, along with explanations of other sources this new data might point to or insights that might be revealed. Moreover, the audience will be introduced to the utility of the non-population census schedules.