52 Documents in 52 Weeks #48 – Susanna Williams’s 1860 Census

Person of Interest: Susanna Williams
Relationship: 4th great grandmother


Source Citation: 1860 U. S. census, Monroe County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Jackson Township, p. 572 & 573 (stamped), dwelling 586, family 624 & 625, Susanna Williams; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 30 July 2017); citing NARA microfilm publication M653, roll 1142.


Document Description: These documents are part of the Eighth Census of the United States which was taken in 1860. It is the eighth census taken since 1790. The U.S. census counts every resident in the United States. It is mandated by Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution and takes place every 10 years. The U.S. Census Bureau is responsible for taking the censuses. After 72 years (and not before owing to privacy reasons), the records are released to the public by the National Archives and Records Administration.  The U.S. Census Bureau provides the interested researcher a great overview of each census. In the 1860 overview, we find that the 1850 Census Act was the authorizing legislation for the 1860 census. Which explains why the 1860 census looks very similar to the 1850 census. There is one new column which asks about the value of personal estate.

“That act had stipulated that, according to the recommendation of the secretary of the interior, its provisions were to be adhered to for all future decennial censuses if no new authorizing legislation was passed by January 1 of the year in which the census was required.”

James Buchanan (photo above, photo credit http://www.census.gov) was the president on the day of the census on 01 June 1860.

Both Ancestry.com (fee site) and FamilySearch.org (free) offers digitized copies of the census and are searchable by name. The History and Growth of the United States Census: 1790 – 1890 was a document prepared for the Senate Committee on the Census in 1900 and as written by Carroll D. Wright, the Commissioner of Labor, and William C. Hunt, Chief Statistician of the 12th census. If you’re into statistics or reading up on the historical background of the censuses, this is a great document to dig into.


Documents Scan/Transcription: Numbers relate to columns on the population schedule.

Page 572 Header
Schedule I. Free Inhabitants in Jackson Township in the County of Monroe, State of Pennsylvania enumerated by me, on the 12th day of July 1860. Sinford Marsh, Ass’t Marshal.

Page 572 Detail
lines 40-42, George Longcor, Hannah, and John [respectively with ; between]

Place of Abode
1. Dwelling number in order of visitation: 586
2. Family number in order of visitation: 624
3. The Name of every Person whose usual place of abode on the first day of Jun, 1860, was in this family: Susannah Williams

Description
4. Age: 52
5. Sex: F
6. Color: [blank]

Occupation
7. Profession, Occupation, or Trade of each Male Person over 15 years of age: [blank]

Value of Estate Owned
8. Value of Real Estate owned: [blank]
9. Value of Personal Estate: [blank]

Nativity
10. Place of Birth. Naming the State, Territory, or Country: Pennsylvania

Additional Information
11. Married within the year: [blank]
12. Attended School within the year: [blank]
13. Persons over 20 yrs of age who cannot read & write: [blank]
14. Whether deaf and dumb, blind, insane, idiotic, pauper, or convict: [blank]

Page 573 Header
Schedule I. Free Inhabitants in Jackson Township in the County of Monroe, State of Pennsylvania enumerated by me, on the 12th day of July 1860. Sinford Marsh, Ass’t Marshal.

Page 573 Detail
lines 1-7, Margaret, Christian, Samuel, Allen, Gabriel, Emanuel and Rachel Williams [respectively with ; between]

Place of Abode
1. Dwelling number in order of visitation: [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]
2. Family number in order of visitation: [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; 625; [blank]
3. The Name of every Person whose usual place of abode on the first day of Jun, 1850, was in this family: Margaret Williams; Christian —-; Samuel —-; Allen —-; Gabriel —-; Emanuel Williams; Rachel M. —-

Description
4. Age: 27; 19; 13; 9; 6; 30; 22
5. Sex: F; F; M; M; M; M; F
6. Color: [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]

Occupation
7. Profession, Occupation, or Trade of each Male Person over 15 years of age: [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; Laborer; [blank]

Value of Estate Owned
8. Value of Real Estate owned: [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]
9. Value of Personal Estate: [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; 20; [blank]

Nativity
10. Place of Birth. Naming the State, Territory, or Country: Pennsylvania; [ditto]; [ditto]; [ditto]; [ditto]; [ditto]; [ditto]

Additional Information
11. Married within the year: [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]
12. Attended School within the year: [blank]; [blank]; yes; yes; yes; [blank]; [blank]
13. Persons over 20 yrs of age who cannot read & write: [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]
14. Whether deaf and dumb, blind, insane, idiotic, pauper, or convict: [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]; [blank]


Analysis: The above listings/transcriptions are a bit hard to read, I admit it. So why go through the pain of typing it all out? It forced me to look at every single box and tick mark and code and notation. So, let’s put the above in a more user-friendly, narrative format:

On 01 June 1860, Susannah Williams (52) was living with a young female named Margaret (27), four young males named Christian (19), Samuel (13), Allen (9) and Gabriel (6) and another family unit, Emanuel Williams (30) and Rachel M. (22). The family was living in Jackson Township, Monroe County, Pennsylvania, when Sinford Marsh arrived to enumerator them on 12 July 1860. In order of visitation, the families were labeled as living in dwelling #586 and as families #624 and 625.

The only person in the household working was Emanuel who was listed as a laborer. All were listed as being born in Pennsylvania. Emanuel was listed as having $20 in personal estate value. The family was healthy in that nothing was filled in for the column for blindness, deaf and dumbness, idiocy, insanity, pauper, or convict. The census indicated that Samuel, Allen, and Gabriel were attending school. 

Note: Christian was incorrectly listed as a female in this census.

The 1860 census does not tells the viewer the specific relationships within the family group, so other evidence is needed to prove that Margaret, Christian, Samuel, Allen and Gabriel were Susannah’s children and that Emanuel and Rachel M. were husband and wife. However, the instructions to the enumerators directed that “the names are to be written beginning with the father and mother, or, if either or both be dead, begin with some other ostensible head of the family, to be followed, as far as practicable, with the name of the oldest child residing at home, then the next oldest, and so on to the youngest, then the other inmates, lodgers, and boarders, laborers, domestics, and servants.”

Nothing pops out as being odd with this family. However, it doesn’t hurt to go look at the enumerator instructions to see how things were to be reported. The IPUMS, which stands for the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series, website has a handy place to look up all enumerator instructions for the 1860 census.  Some of the instructions found there include:

  • Refusal to Answer.- If any person to whom application is made for information should refuse to give it, or should designedly make false representations, you should inform him of the responsibility he incurs thereby, and the penalty to which he becomes liable under the 15th section of the law.
  • By “dwelling house” is meant a separate tenement, inhabited or uninhabited, and may contain one or more families under one roof.
  • If a house is used partly for a store or other purpose and partly for a dwelling, it is to be numbered as a dwelling house.
  • A widow living alone and separately providing for herself, or two hundred individuals living together and provided for by a common head, should each be numbered as one family. [I suspect Susannah falls into this group.]
  • All landlords, jailors, superintendents of poor-houses, garrisons, hospitals, asylums, and other similar institutions, are to be considered as heads of their respective families, and the inmates under their care to be registered as members thereof, and the details concerning each, designated in their proper columns, so distinctly as to preclude any doubt as to who for the family proper and who the guests, prisoners, or other inmates, carefully omitting all transient persons.
  • Profession, Trade, and Occupation— Under head 7, entitled “Profession, occupation, or trade of each person over fifteen years of age,” insert the specific profession, occupation, or trade the individual being enumerated is reputed to follow.
  • Value of Personal Estate.– Under heading 9, insert (in dollars) the value of personal property or estate. Here you are to include the value of all the property, possessions, or wealth of each individual which is not embraced in the column previous, consist of what it may; the value of bonds, mortgages, notes, slaves, live stock, plate, jewels, or furniture; in fine, the value of whatever constitutes the personal wealth of individuals. Exact accuracy may not be arrived at, but all persons should be encouraged to give a near and prompt estimate for your information.

It pays to also examine the people around your person of interest. For example, Susannah’s son David Williams, his wife Margaret, and their children were listed in household 623, just above Susannah on the same census page. Always look at the page before and the page after your person of interest to see what friends, neighbors, and associates are around your person.

CONCLUSION

Widow Susannah Williams was living in the same house with her 30-year-old son Emanuel and his wife Rachel. The family was living in Jackson Township, Monroe County, Pennsylvania, next door to Susannah’s son David Williams. Most of her older children were in their own households by 1860 but children Margaret, Christian, Samuel, Allen and Gabriel were still living with her. This 1860 census adds to my research list in that a death record needs to be tracked down for Susannah’s husband Joseph and a marriage record for Emanuel and Rachel.

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