The 1820 Census and Robert Maben

Brown/Sanford/Parsons/Maben
Census Sunday
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.Following families through the pre-1850 Census is always a challenge. I was researching my 4th great-grandmother, Deborah Buel Maben. She married in 1824 and I’ve been able to follow her through her husband in the census records during her married life. I began working to find evidence of her in the 1820 Census. I knew she was married in Greene County, New York and I quickly found what appeared to be her father, Robert Maben (Mabin in the census Record).

Next, I mapped the family out with what I believed I knew about the family. Do the children I know about fit the Census record?

1820 Census – Robert Mabin [Maben]

Robert Mabin   2 1 1 1 1 – 2 2 – 1 –

<  10               = 2      Presumed to be Addison T,. Age 3
Presumed to be John, Age 9
10-16             = 1      Unknown Child –
16-18             = 1      Presumed to be James, Age 17
16-26             = 1      Duplicate of above person (James)
26-45             = 1      Presumed to be Robert Maben, Age 39
Over 45 –

<  10               = 2      Presumed to include Mary E. Maben, Age 5
Presumed to include Electa Maben, Age 2 months.
10-16             = 2      Presumed to Include Deborah Buel Maben, Age 15
Presumed to Include Sarah, Age 13
16-26 –
26-45             = 1      Presumed to be Electa, Age 38
Over 45 –

In this case, every child I know about appears to be enumerated along with Robert Maben and his wife, Electa, fit the age ranges given in the census. Now, I’m confident that the Maben family was in Lexington, Green County, New York in 1820.

And what so often happens with records, there are new questions. Who is the unknown male child from 10 to 16 years of age? I know of no child in the Maben family who fits that criteria. Could this be a cousin, an adoptee, or a child of Robert and Electa? I don’t know yet, but it will definitely cause me to keep an eye out for other records that suggest another child.

A child between 10 and 16 in 1820 had to have been born between 1803 and 1810.

  • James was born in 1803
  • Deborah in 1805
  • Sarah in 1807 and
  • John in 1811.

The only gap in that series is 1809. So, I suspect this unknown boy living in the household of Robert Maben is a heretofore unknown son. I’ve added him to my tree as a hypothesis with the above information. It is certainly possible that this person is possibly some other and I will keep that possibility in mind.

So many possibilities exist. Another one revolves around Robert & Electa’s eighth known child, Charles B. Maben.  It is possible I have his birthdate wrong and he was really born much earlier than the 1824 date, I have for his birth.

On to the 1810 Census….