* Data entry for pre-1850 USA census

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JP Ford
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Data entry for pre-1850 USA census

Post by JP Ford » 22 Feb 2020 14:54

Starting with the U.S. 1850 Census, each family member or lodger in a household was listed by name. Prior to that, the U.S. census only names the Head of Household, and provides head counts for age categories (Male, under 5, Female, 5-10, etc.).

One can make assumptions about who those headcounts are, but they are not literally named in those censuses. I normally try to make a reasonable conclusion that a certain spouse and/or children are the likely head-counts indicated in these census entries. Sometimes, you have enough info to do this, sometimes not.

My question is about how to enter these (pre-1850 censuses) in AS. With 1850 and beyond, it clear that you add each named person to the census data entry in AS. Is it AS intention that only the HoH be added to pre-1850 census or is it okay to make assumptions about who those head counts are, add them to the interface as well, and indicate the category count in their row? I can see pros and cons to either, but I'm wondering how other AS users might deal with this?
Researching SORRELL and SORELLE families and associated lines.
https://sorrellnotes.us

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tatewise
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Re: Data entry for pre-1850 USA census

Post by tatewise » 22 Feb 2020 15:25

I have not had to cope with that scenario, but AS has designed its pre-1850 USA Census Templates assuming that only HoH is going to be added.

If you add multiple individuals then AS will handle all the Facts and Citations for you, but its AutoText Template will not produce a faithful transcript of the original Census.
You will have to live with that and manually edit the text to form a transcript.
I would add the assumptions about who you think the headcounts represent to the Notes section.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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BillH
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Re: Data entry for pre-1850 USA census

Post by BillH » 22 Feb 2020 17:01

I enter only the HOH in the grid, but in the notes I add something that lists who the counts might be. For example:

Free White Persons - Males - 5 thru 9: 1 (Randolph)
Free White Persons - Males - 20 thru 29: 1 (William)
Free White Persons - Males - 50 thru 59: 1 (Uriah)
Free White Persons - Females - 15 thru 19: 1 (Frances)
Free White Persons - Females - 20 thru 29: 1 (Elizabeth)
Free White Persons - Females - 50 thru 59: 1 (Elizabeth)

Of course we really can't tell who is being enumerated. It could be someone who is just visiting and not actually a member of the family. I rarely find a pre 1850 uSA census where the counts match what I believe the family should actually be.

I do the exercise only to try to determine if I potentially have the right census record for the family I am researching.

Bill

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Re: Data entry for pre-1850 USA census

Post by jmurphy » 23 Feb 2020 20:38

Using AS, I would enter only the head of household in the census (with the counts of the people and other information in the Text, similiar to what Bill posted above).

I would add the speculative census entries afterwards in Family Historian, leaving notes as to why I had inferred those persons might be in that household.

There are worksheets to aid in analyzing the pre-1850 Census households -- AmericanAncestors (NEHGS) has some for download, and genealogist J. Mark Lowe has another design which (IIRC) is available as a handout for his webinar at Ancestry Academy. Once I've filled out one of these worksheets as part of my analysis, I would put a pointer in my notes or add it to FH as a media object as appropriate. (I don't think his PDFs can be filled out on the computer, so I'd have to print out a copy of the blank form, fill it out by hand, and scan the sheet when I was done.)

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JP Ford
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Re: Data entry for pre-1850 USA census

Post by JP Ford » 23 Feb 2020 20:51

Thanks all for the thoughts and suggestion. I am inclined to do as suggested; i.e. add the HoH only for the accurate grid record and putting the assumptions, if any, as notes.
Researching SORRELL and SORELLE families and associated lines.
https://sorrellnotes.us

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