Saturday, May 4, 2013

Creation and Use of a Census Report


I’ve been looking through my binders and database for the Davey and Stephens surnames. I have plenty of information on these lines but some questions still need answering. Now isn’t that a surpriseJ. Anyway, I see the need to determine if I have each person on all the census records in which they should be recorded.

One concept I’m hoping to at least find evidence for is which of the Stephens, and related families, clan left Cornwall for Wisconsin as a group in or about 1842. They should all be recorded in the 1841 census taken in England; then it is a question of finding who is recorded in the 1850 US census in Wisconsin. According to the History of Grant County, Wisconsin written by Castello N. Holford, published in 1900, the group, locally known as The Stephens Colony, emigrated to Platteville in 1842. They received that designation because there were 50 or more family members included in the cluster. My plan is to identify those family members and see how many names I actually collect.

I’ll use the same process for the Davey family. Fortunately, this line is much smaller and should be easily traced. Of course, one never knows until one actually gets into the investigation.

I have already cited many of these census records but my plan is to create a census report for each person. In the past I’ve used Word to create such reports. I think this time I’ll use an Excel worksheet because the ease of sorting data will help me in the end. The plan is to record as much information as possible from each census including date, location, relationship – to whom, property info, occupation, etc. Once I have everything posted, I’ll be able to sort the information in various ways to see how many were living where in a given census year; who stayed in the area and who moved away; who farmed and who mined and so on.

Even though I think I have most of the records I need for this project, I’m sure I’m missing a few and will need to find someone/s I’m missing in a given census year. I’m so thankful for having access to census records online. Sometimes it can be frustrating when I can’t find someone in the index under any spelling I can think of and sometimes I’ve looked page by page through a given township but I’ve done that sitting in my office with a cup of coffee at hand. In the old days, not so long ago, I’d have had to order the microfilm, wait for it to come in, drive to the library or family history center to use the microfilm readers, and hope I found what I needed in the time I had so I didn’t have to come back another day. Gotta’ love the internet!

If I come across a problem with a particular individual, I may take that information into Evidentia to assist in the analysis of the data. In that case, I’ll also add all the other documents I’ve accumulated for that person. I can, then, easily determine if I have sufficient evidence to make a determination. I should also be able to see what further research, if any, is needed to satisfy the Genealogy Proof Standard.

Now, it’s time to brew another cup of coffee and get to work.

~ Becky

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