By Don Taylor
One of my first process activities in reviewing an ancestor’s life is to follow the individual through all of the available census records. Often this can be difficult, but in the case of Albert Bodge, it was pretty easy.
Albert was born 2 Aug 1838 and died 19 Aug 1897 at the age of 58. The 1890 Census isn’t available, and I found him in the 1880 and 1870 Censuses living in Westbrook. During the 1860 and 1850 Censuses, he lived with his parents, John and Betsey Bodge, in Windham. Other records have indicated he had four siblings, a brother and three sisters.
Searching for the John Bodge family in the 1840 Census was quick and easy.
1840 Census – John Bodge, Head[i]
- Males Under 5 Apparently[ii] Albert, age 1
- Males 5 thru 9 Apparently John (Jr.), age 9
- Males 40 thru 49 John, Age 45
- Females Under 5 Apparently Louisa, age 4
- Females 5 thru 9 Apparently Eunice, age 6
- Females 10 thru 14 Apparently Mary, age 12
- Females 40 thru 49 Apparently Betsy, age 41
So, the 1840 Census enumerated all of John and Betsy’s children.
Of interest, there were eight Bodge households in Windham, Cumberland County, Maine, during the 1840 Census – Andrew, two Johns, two Thomas’, Josiah, Olive, and William.
John A. Bodge was a single, white male, age 20 to 29, who was apparently married to a female 20 to 29. It will be essential to note the second John Bodge to avoid confusion in future research.
[i] “United States Census, 1840,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XHT6-498 : 8 December 2020), John Bodge, Windham, Cumberland, Maine, United States; citing p. 447, NARA microfilm publication , (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll ; FHL microfilm .
[ii] Because the 1840 Census does not provide relationship information, the relationships identified here are tentative and only “apparent” based upon age and household.