By Don Taylor
Following families in the early census records is always tricky. Sometimes, it becomes a rabbit hole without a successful resolution.
John Parsons lived in Sandisfield, Mass., during the 1790[i] and 1800 Censuses.[ii] He then removed to Windham, Greene County, in 1802.[iii] John died in 1813, which means the only other Census he could be in is the 1810 Census.
Based upon my other research, John Parson’s household should have contained
|Name||Date of Birth||Age on 6 Aug 1810|
|John||18 Nov 1764||45|
|Mary||20 May 1767||43|
|Samuel||5 Apr 1789||21|
|Polly||17 Jan 1792||18|
|Orrin||6 Mar 1794||16|
|John||5 May 1796||14|
|Chester||1 Dec 1799||10|
|Permelia||30 Apr 1805||5|
Based upon that, I would expect
- Under 10 Chester
- 10-16 John
- 16-25 Samuel, Orrin
- 45 & over John
- Under 10 Permelia, Prudence
- 16-25 Polly
- 25-45 Mary
- 45 & over
So I would expect a Census to indicate a pattern of :
1 1 2 0 1 | 2 0 1 1 0 |
1810 Census Serch
A search on Ancestry for John Parsons in Windham, Greene County, New York, failed to yield any results. Expanding the search to Greene County yielded one result, John Person. His Census pattern is:
0 1 0 1 1 | 0 0 1 0 1 | 4
Not the expected pattern for John. Additionally, John Person appears in the 1820 Census after my 5th great-grandfather’s death.
My next thought is that John, Mary, and the kids live with someone else with the Parson’s surname. There were no entries for a Parsons head of household.
Finally, I browsed through the 1810 Census records for Windham, Greene County, looking carefully at any covered over, smudged, written over, or otherwise illegible entries. Again, not success. John and Mary had only come to Green County in 1803 and may not have been enumerated properly
I don’t believe John Parsons was enumerated in Windham, Greene County, New York during the 1810 Census.
[i] 1790 Census, 1790 Census – Page 34 – John Parsons, Jr. & John Parsons (Sr.) – Sandisfield Town, Berkshire County, Massachusetts. “Heads of Families – 1790 Census – Massachusetts – Page 34, Column 1, Persons 3 & 4. – Accessed 2 August 2020. https://www.census.gov/library/publications/1907/dec/heads-of-families.html.
[ii] “United States Census, 1800,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XHRZ-J6J : accessed 31 March 2018), John Parsons Jr, Sandisfield, Berkshire, Massachusetts, United States; citing p. 175, NARA microfilm publication M32, (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 13; FHL microfilm 205,611.
[iii] Chas. C. Chapman & Co. (2012). History of Washtenaw County, Michigan: Together with sketches of its cities, villages and townships, educational, religious, civil, military, and political history ; portraits of prominent persons, and biographies of representative citizens : history of Michigan : embracing accounts of the pre-historic races, aborigines, French, English and American conquests, and a general review of its civil, political and military history. Salem, MA: Higginson Book Company. – https://archive.org/details/cu31924028870520, Page 1371.