Census records are the mainstay of genealogical research. One of my favorite census records is the 1895 Minnesota State Census. Not only does it provide much of the information you would expect in a Census – Name, Age, Sex, Race, Place of Birth, and Occupation – it provides information about how long males over 21 have been in the state, how long they have been in the Enumeration District, and if they were a soldier or sailor in the War of Rebellion (Civil War).
When I learned my new cousin (See: Keep Trees Wide, Not Deep) was a descendant of Jessie M. and Nancy A (Mannin) Barnett, I wanted to add a bit more about them and their children into my tree information.
Sure enough. I learned Jessie (and presumably the entire family) moved to Minnesota about March 1883 (12 years and 2 Months before the 1 June 1895 Census) and moved to May Township (Township 134, Range 31) about March 1886 (9 years and 2 months before the Census.) Sarah being born in Minnesota and Albert being born in Kentucky confirms the arrival in Minnesota date. I also learned that Jessie was a soldier in the War of Rebellion. I also received confirmation about several of the children’s dates and places of birth. Finally, the census showed one child, John M. Barnett, whom I had no record of before. The 1895 Census does not provide relationships; however, it is a fairly safe bet that John M was the son of Jesse and Nancy. I tentatively added him to my listing of children and will work to confirm the relationship later.
My transcription notes:
1895 Minnesota Census – Jessie Barnett, Cass County[i]
Enumeration Date was 1 June 1895.
Township 134, Range 31 (May Township)
- Name Age Born Res. St/ED Occ. Mos. War
- Barnett, Jessie M. 46 KY 12, 2; 9, 2, Farmer 12, Soldier
- Barnett, Nancy A. 46 KY
- Barnett, Albert M 14 KY
- Barnett, Sarah M. 12 MN
- Barnett, Martin W 9 MN
- Barnett, John M. 7 MN
- Barnett, Jessie W 4 MN
[i] “Minnesota State Census, 1895,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MQ6T-52G : 26 November 2014), Jessie M Barnett, Township 134N, Range 31W, Cass, Minnesota; citing p. 3, line 21, State Library and Records Service, St.Paul; FHL microfilm 565,765.