Thursday, November 15, 2012

Treasure Chest Thursday - 1860 U.S. Census Record for David J. Carringer Family

It's Treasure Chest Thursday - time to look in my digital image files to see what treasures I can find for my family history and genealogy musings.

The treasure today is the 1860 United States Census record for my Carringer great-great-grandparents and their family in Columbus City, Louisa County, Iowa:

The entry for the David J. Caringer family is:

The extracted information for the family, residing in Columbus City, Louisa County, Iowa, taken on 29 June 1860, is:

*   David J. Caringer -- age 31, male, white, a Carpenter, real property worth $200, personal property worth $100, born Penna, a person over 20 years of age who cannot read or write
*  Rebecca Caringer -- age 28, female, white, born Penna
*  Harvy E. Caringer -- age 9, male, white, born Penna, attended school within the year
*  Henry A. Caringer -- age 7, male, white, born Penna, attended school within the year
*  Effie E. Caringer - age 2, female, white, born Iowa, cannot read or write

The source citation for this census entry is:

1860 United States Federal Census, Louisa County, Iowa, Population Schedule, Columbus City, Page 857 (penned), house #558, family #558, David J. Caringer household; digital image, (; citing National Archives Microfilm Publication M653, Roll 331.

The errors I see in this record are the ages of the children - they should be 8, 6 and 1 rather than 9, 7 and 2.

Note that I have included "white" as the "Color" because there was no mark in the column (the 1860 Census: Instructions to the Marshals say to leave the column blank for white persons). 

I had not noticed the information in column 13 before in this census.  The heading says: "Persons over 20 years of age who cannot read and write."

There is a + in this column for David J. Caringer, which I interpret to be that he cannot read or write.  On the page, there are also entries for "1" and "2" (including Effie Caringer).  The "1" seem to be for children aged 6 to 12 (perhaps they can read but not write) and the "2" for younger children (perhaps they cannot read or write, but are younger than age 20).  Now I'm curious...

The 1860 Census: Instructions to the Marshals says for this column:

"17. Number who cannot Read and Write.-- Under heading 13, entitled "Persons over 20 years who cannot read and write," you should be careful to designate every person in the family of this description; and it will be your duty to inquire whether any inmate of the family, being a free person over 20 years of age, is unable to read and write, and opposite the names of all such you will make a mark thus (1). If the person can read and write in a foreign or in our own language, the space is to be left blank."

So, it appears that this enumerator did not follow instructions to the letter.  Shame on you, Assistant Marshall Wesley W. Garner!

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

1 comment:

anitab said...

I'm following your posts with interest, and learning much!

I wonder, maybe the "+" mark was actually a "1" with a line through to mark it out?