Walter’s in the 1820 Census – Part 1

Darling-Swayze-Walker Line
Census Sunday
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.I had one follow-up task after my “Walter’s in the 1830 Census” research. I wanted to Investigate  Elizabeth Walter’s marriages and determine when she married Charles Stockard and James Gurley to know if the woman I found in James Gurley’s household was likely Elizabeth.

Elizabeth Walters married Charles Stockard on 24 June 1815 in Rockingham County, Virginia.[i] I also learned that Charles died on 24 November 1820 and was buried in the Ottervein United Methodist Church Cemetery, Perry County, Ohio. The 1820 Census was taken on 7 August 1820, so I’d expect Elizabeth to be with Charles. Finding her with 2nd husband in the 1830 Census makes perfect sense. Children of Elizabeth born before August 1821 are likely Charles’. According to Charles’ will, he had two children. They are presumed to be with Elizabeth.

With that task out of the way, I can focus on the Walter’s in Fairfield County during the 1820 Census. Fairfield became a county with the creation of Ohio as a state in 1803. The county lost area in creating several other counties between 1804 and 1818. Then it remained stable in size until 1850, when Hocking County was enlarged.[ii]


Public Domain, Link

The date for the 1820 census was 7 August. So I would expect to find:

  • James and Margaret Ann (Swann) Walter were married.
    • James was 68
    • Margaret was 60.


  • Martin was 41
  • Nancy was about 32 and likely married to FNU Lewis.
  • Elkanah was 31 and married to Rachael Decker (age 30). They have two boys (Harvy & James).
  • Catherine was 26 and married to David Swayze. They have two girls.
  • Elizabeth was 23 and married to Charles Stockard. They had two children.
  • James C. was 20. He may or may not be married to Polly LNU.
  • John was about 16.

Several Walker family members made it to Ohio before the 1820 Census.

1820 Censuses

Elkanah Walters – Richland, Fairfield County, Ohio.

Elkanah appeared as “Elkana” in 1820 with no surname. It was indexed as “Elkana Warner” because the entry did not have his surname entered, and the transcriber used the surname above his entry.

The household consists of four people

  • 1 Male          16-26         I believe this to be an entry error. Elkanah might be 31.
  • 1 Female      26-46       This should be Rebecca, age 30.
  • 2 Males        <10             This should be Harvy, Age 2
    This should be James, Age 4 mos.

Catherine Ann Dent Walter, wife of David Swayze – Richland, Fairfield County, Ohio 7 August 1820

The Swayze family of 1820 should consist of David, age 24, and Catherine, age 26, plus two children, both girls, Elizabeth, age 2 & Emily age seven months. It is unclear where they lived. They were in New Salem, Fairfield County, Ohio, in 1822 and in Virginia about 1818. So it is unclear when they removed to Ohio.

One David Sweazy Family consisted of the following:

  • Males – Under 10:       1          Unknown Male
  • Males – 16 thru 25:     1          David Swayze, Age 24
  • Males – 26 thru 44:     1         Unknown Male
  • Females – Under 10:   1          Elizabeth, age 2Emily Missing
  • Females – 16 thru 25:  2       Catherine (Walter) Swayze, Age 26?
                                                            Unknown Female.

It is possible that Emily was enumerated mistakenly as a male. And that siblings or boarders were living with David and Elizabeth making up the two unknown people (maybe a sibling and spouse). However, I am not confident that David and Elizabeth were in Fairfield County, Ohio, in 1820. Because of the inconsistencies and uncertainty, I cannot accept this as my 3rd great-grandparents and family. It could be a different, heretofore unknown, David Swayze.

David Swayze, Sr.

David’s father, David Swayze, and his mother, Alice, moved to Fairfield County, Ohio, about 1805.

Their family should consist of David (age 58) Alice (51), and their children: Mary (age 26), David (24), Jane (23), Sarah (21), Evan (18), Elizabeth (16), Edith (13), Daniel (10), and William (6).

The 1820 Census lists two David Swayze families in Fairfield County, Ohio.

One David Sweazy Family consists of the following:

  • Males – Under 10:       2         William (6) and Daniel (10)
  • Males – 16 thru 25:     1          Evan (18)
  • Males – 26 thru 44:     3        Three unknown males were born (1776-1794)
  • Males – 45 and over:   1        David (58)
  • Females – 10 thru 15:  3        Edith (13), Elizabeth (16), Unknown
  • Females – 26 thru 44:  1       Alice (51)

Sarah, Jane, and Mary are old enough to have married, thus expected to be elsewhere.

David and Alice were married on 20 January 1792 in Cecil, Maryland, so the three males are unlikely to be children of Alice.

Other Walkers

I found no evidence that James and Margaret Ann (Swann) Walker had located in Fairfield County before the 1820 Census.

Neither I have found Martin, Nancy (& FNU Lewis), Elizabeth (and Charles Stockard), or John in Fairfield County in the 1820 Census.

Conclusion – The Walter family in 1820

I successfully found two of James and Margaret’s children in the 1820 Census in Fairfield County, Ohio

  • Elkanah Walters Family – Richland township.
  • Catherine Ann Dent Walter, wife of David Swayze in Richland Township.
  • Also, I discovered David Swayze’s father, David, in Richland Township.

I did not find James or Margaret in either the 1820 Censuses nor did finding their children in those records help find any additional information regarding them.


Continue Researching James and Margaret (Swann) Walker.


  • 1820 Census, 1820 Census – Ohio, Fairfield, Richland – David Sweazy [Jr.] – (Image 2 of 3, first page, 3rd name). 1820 US Census; Census Place: Richland, Fairfield, Ohio; Page: 188; NARA Roll: M33_87; Image: 140.
  • 1820 Census, 1820 Census – Ohio, Fairfield, Richland – David Sweazy [Sr.] – (Image 3 of 3, second page, 4th name). 1820 US Census; Census Place: Richland, Fairfield, Ohio; Page:    Richland, Fairfield, Ohio; Page: 189; NARA Roll: M33_87; Image: 140.


[i] John Walter Wayland, Virginia Valley records (Shenandoah Publishing House, , 1930), Ancestry, Rockingham Supplement – Page 28. Marriages in Rockingham County.

[ii] Internet: The Newberry – Digital Newberry – Atlas of Historical County Boundaries – Ohio: Individual County Chronologies accessed 1 May 2022.

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