Saturday, December 13, 2008

Saturday Night Fun - who is the oldest in 1880 census?

It's Saturday night, and time for some genealogy fun. If you're reading this on Sunday morning, you can still have fun, and will probably miss church doing so. You may have more energy to do it than those of us wasting Saturday night playing silly genealogy games.

Here's the challenge: In the 1880 United States census, what is the age of the oldest person enumerated? Who is this person, and where does the person live?

I chose the 1880 census, because it is available on free sites (like the LDS Record Search and LDS FamilySearch sites, and on HeritageQuestOnline) and on commercial sites (like

This should be a piece of cake, right? I don't want you to work too hard and stay up too late (on Saturday night) or miss church (on Sunday morning). Have fun!

Please post the answer on your own blog, or post a comment on my blog. Your choice.


Julie said...

Is this a trick question, Randy?

Ok, I've been (and still am) a little tuned out from the blog world the last several days. IE8 crashed and I can't access the reader to get all my subscriptions, ugh! At any rate, I made sure to search for your blog so I could see what this week's challenge was.

So, my initial search turned up 43 people "age 120" on the 1880 US Fed Census. I searched for birth years all the way back to 1650, so if it's beyond that, oops! (And a big oops, 43 people "lived" to 120 in 1880...find that hard to believe).

It got me thinking...I re-read your post and noticed that you did not specify "Federal" census. Not sure if that was deliberate, but I figured I'd check out the mortality schedules and see what I could find. Lo and behold, I found Adil Laurf (boy that's hard to read), age 150, in Charleston, South Carolina. What's even stranger is that the cause of death was "sick from birth." I'm thinking maybe it was supposed to be 15 mos. Even if this isn't what you meant, it was still an interesting find.

Eileen said...

John Capistrano, b. 1747, 133, California.

Eileen said...

To elaborate on my previous comment. I originally searched and got 43 results, all of whom were born in 1760. I then went to, did the same search, and immeidately found John Capistrano. I went back to and searched for John Capistrano and his entry in the 1880 census was returned immediately, stating he was born in 1747 and was 133 years old. But my search on birth year 1750 +- 10 years did not return him on This little game sure taught me something about ancestry's search engine.

Charley "Apple" Grabowski said...

Well you stumped me on this one! I, too got the 43 hits for birth year 1760 at Ancestry. I tried putting in individual years further back and got nothing. I tried to do the same at Family Search but I can't figure out how to search without entering a name so I hope either you or Eileen can enlighten me!

Well done Eileen!!!