Problems in Census Records

Do you sometimes have trouble reading census records? Census records are invaluable for genealogy research but sometimes they can be difficult to read, especially we the census taker had bad hand writing.  But we should remember the difficulties met by census takers.  I ran across the following and thought I’d share:

Census takers have a lot of trouble obtaining information – The Texas 1850 Federal Census schedule, Volume 3, written by H. Swaringen, Asst. Marshall, 23 October 1850 contains this note written by the census taker.
“I certify these to be sixty-four pages and a piece of the inhabitants and done as near in accordance with my oath as I could do it. The people was hard to get along with!”

Ever wonder why the census never makes sense??
Ocupayshun, cencus taker:
” I am a cencus taker for the city of Bufflow. our city has groan very fast in recent yeers & now in 1865, it has become a hard & time consuming job to count all the peephill. There are not many that con do this werk, as it is nesessaree to have an ejucation, wich a lot of pursons don not hav. Anuther atribeart needed for this job is gud speling, for meny of the peephill to be counted can hardle speek Inglish, let alon spel there names!”

Submitted by member Mark Reid


Not On The Census?

Yet another reason you might not find your ancestor on a specific census is pointed out by the Ancestry Insider in its latest blog article: Darned Missing Census Pages.

The Insider points out that NARA “missed the pages” when filming the census on which the census is based. Going back to the original microfilm (while it’s still available) is the only recourse.

You can get full details of the Insider’s observation at one of the links to that blog which are highlighted in the text above.

Indexes of Microfilm at Quitman Library

Three new pages have been posted with indexes of microfilm and cd-rom disks in the library for research. Access the pages by clicking on the Libraries tab at the top of the home page at the WCGS Bulletin (or see above). They include Wood County Democrat back issues on microfilm, U. S. Federal censuses for Wood County and a few other counties, and cd-rom disks of research data. All these resources are for in-library use and require use of either a microfilm reader or computer which are available at the library.