By Don Taylor
Following families in the early census records is always tricky and following a woman through census records before 1840 is especially difficult. Margaret Ann (Swann) Walter is challenging.
Margaret died in New Salem, Fairfield County, Ohio, in 1826. The date she and her husband, James Walter, came to Ohio is still unknown, but I would presume it to have been before 1826. Several records suggest James and Margaret lived in Frederick County, Virginia, before they came to Ohio. So, I decided to try to find James, Margaret, or their children in Frederick County during the 1820 Census.
In 1820 I would expect the James Walter family to consist of:
Walter – Frederick County, VA, in 1820
The 1820 Census for Frederick County, Virginia, lists one Walter as head of household. That was John Walter of Stephensburg.
I believe I found John Walter, the son of John Walter, in the 1830 Census in Fairfield County, Ohio. If so, he was 20 to 29 years old then and would have been 10 to 19 years old in 1820. The John Walters of Frederick County, Virginia, is unlikely to be the same person.
His household consisted of 10 individuals:
- Male 26-44 1 John Walter
- Male 10-15 1
- Male < 10 2
- Female 26-44 1
- Female 10-15 1
- Female < 10 4
I believe that John Walter, son of James and Margaret, would have been 16 in 1820, so this John can’t be him. The female 26-44 is most likely John Walter’s wife. Margaret Ann (Swann) Walter would have been 60 in 1820, so this record can’t include her.
Walters – Frederick County, VA, in 1820
I have found that occasionally a “Walter” is enumerated as a “Walters” in the Census. There were two Walters in the 1820 Census for Frederick County, Virginia.
John Walters, Age 26-44. Again the Wrong age.
Lawrence Walters is a male over 45, with a female in the household over 45. My records show a Lawrence Walter, born about 1755, the son of John and Ann (Parker) Walter. He died about 1833, so this could be him. This could be the brother of my James Walter. Learning more about this person may be helpful.
I have not found James and Margaret Walter in Frederick County, Virginia, during the 1820 Census.
[i] Charles Stockard died in November 1820 in Fairfield County, Ohio. He and Elizabeth were married in Rockingham County, Virginia, in 1815, so I’d expect them to be either in Fairfield County, Ohio, or Rockingham County, Virginia.
[ii] David Swayze and his wife Catherine have located to Fairfield County, Ohio, by the 1820 Census.