1840 Census and Chester Parsons

Census Sunday

The 1840 census often exasperates genealogists.  I find the information presented to be challenging and able to provide new questions as well as details.

I was getting to know my 3rd great-grandmother, Mary Electa Parsons. In 1840 Mary Electa was 13 years old and living with her family in Saline, Michigan.  Of course, the 1840 Census only lists heads of households, so seeing Mary in the census is impossible. What I like to do is that the census record and determine who all of the individuals are that are listed suggested in the census.

Screen shot of 1840 Census
Crop of 1840 Census, Saline Township, PG 141

In the case of Mary Electa’s father, Chester Parsons the details, transcribed are:
Chester Parsons | – 1 –  1 – – 1 1 – – – – – // – 2 2 – 1 1

Then using my other records and sources I try to explain each of the individuals listed.  In this  case they are:

Males: 

  • 1 – 5 to under 10           Presumed to be Alfred (age 10)
  • 1 – 15 to under 20         Unknown
  • 1 – 40 to 50                    Presumed to be Chester Parsons (Age 41)
  • 1 – 50 to 60                    Unknown – Possibly brother of Chester or Deborah but most likely Deborah’s father Robert Maben (Age 59).

Females:

  • 2 – 5 & under 10            Presumed to be Harriet (age 8) and unknown.
  • 2 – 10 & under 15          Presumed to be Lucinda (age 15) and Mary Electa (age 12)
  • 1 – 20 to 30                    Probably Sarah Jane – Inconsistent Age.
  • 1 – 30 to 40                    Presumed to be Deborah Buel Maben Parsons

I am quite sure that Chester and his wife Deborah Buel Maben have one child that died in 1881. That individual could be the unknown male 15 to 20 or could be the female age 5 to under 10. That means there is another child living in the family that is completely unknown. All of the other children known to Chester and Deborah are accounted for.

Chester and Deborah were married in 1824, if they had a child in 1825 that child would have been 15 in 1840 and is a likely candidate to be the first unknown male. Likewise, the second unknown girls between 5 and 10 is a likely child. As such, I’m adding two tentative children of Chester and Deborah:

Unknown Parsons – Male – born 1819-1825. Living 1840 – Saline, Washtenaw County, Michigan.

Unknown Parsons – Female – Born 1829-1835. Living 1840 – Saline, Washtenaw County, Michigan.
I will also update my Unknown Parsons, who died 1881, to suggest it could be one of the above two or an entirely different child.

Finally, there is an unidentified male listed, age 50 to 60. Chester’s father was dead before 1840, however, Deborah’s father, Robert Maben, was still living. Her father would have been 59 in 1840. Additionally, Robert died in 1843 in Saline.  He does not show as the head of a household in Saline during the 1840 Census.  As such, I postulate that Robert Maben was living with his daughter, her husband, and her children.  Do I know this to be true?  No, but I think it is a strong likelihood. As such I’ll add it as a tentative fact until I see facts suggesting otherwise.

Robert Maben – Residence: 1840 – Saline, Washtenaw County, Michigan (Probable) – Probably Living with daughter Deborah and son-in-law Chester Parsons.

Taking an 1840 census, applying all know relationships to the census and then attempting to reconcile any unknowns can lead to new insight into the family and family relationships.

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Source: Family Search; 1840 Census; Chester Parsons – Saline Township, Washtenaw County, Michigan, Page 141; https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XHYX-65H

 

1895 Minnesota Census – Jessie & Nancy Barnett

Census Sunday

Brown/Montran
Mannin

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.

1895 Minnesota Census. Cass County  - Jesse Barnett
1895 Minnesota Census. Cass County – Jesse Barnett

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

Endnotes

[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.

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