Monday, May 30, 2016

Census Records

Census Records

Summaries of census records on subscription services such as provide helpful information. However, the summary does not exhibit all the data captured by the census enumerator. Take a look at the actual record.

Example: The census summary does not show the amount of personal property owned. For southern records before the Civil War this item can be revealing. A southern farmer with a large amount shown as personal property in 1860 may have been, and probably was, a slave owner. While slave schedules also exist, they are spotty and not always reliable.

As many slaves took the surname of their owners, this could be helpful for African-Americans researching their roots.

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