Re: About pre-1850 U.S. Census Entries

Mike Tate

That is the same question as Joel asked in the FHUG Forum:



From: <> On Behalf Of joel@...
Sent: 23 February 2020 13:39
Subject: [family-historian] About pre-1850 U.S. Census Entries


Starting with the U.S. 1850 Census, each family member or lodger in a household was listed by name, starting with the Head of Household and then in descending order by age. Prior to that, the U.S. census only names the Head of Household, and provides head counts for gender & 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 best practices for entering these pre-1850 censuses in AS. With 1850 and beyond, it is 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?

  1. Enter only the HoH and the head counts in the grid as documented in the census.
  2. Enter the HoH and each individual believed ot be represented by the head counts (potentially incorrect and/or incomplete)
  3. Do #1 above and add the census event manually to those individuals who are believed to be represented. This allows a separate note re: the assumption and logic behind it and allows individual changes if other new data confirms/overturns the assumptions.

I can see pros and cons to all of these, but I'm wondering how other AS users might deal with this?


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