Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Good tip for Indiana researchers-1850 census

I've been trying to locate my Mary J. Braden/Hawkins in Indiana in the 1850 census through ancestry.com for a couple of months. The result has been kindof mixed in that I'm finding some possibles, but none who were living in the target areas. Well I have been reading up on Indiana genealogy and general background info for more clues and places to look for possible family members, and came across an interesting tip regarding the 1850 census. Apparently, Indiana was experiencing some horrible weather and the enumerators couldn't get to areas that had washed out roads or unpassable trails which accounts for several family groups not showing up on the census for that year. To combat this, if the missing families were farming families you should be able to find them on the 1850 agricultural schedule since this enumeration was taken at a different time. The agricultural schedule gives the name of the farm owner, the number of acres owned, and other info regarding the equipment and livestock, etc. This is not the end all be all for finding your ancestors in 1850, however. The 1850 agricultural schedule does not include farms that produced less than $100 over a year's time. So if you're looking for a poor farming family in IN in that year who doesn't appear in the population census, you're likely not going to find them in the agricultural schedule either, although in most cases it may be worth checking anyway just to be sure.

You can find the 1850 agricultural schedule, as well as those for 1860-1880, at the Indiana State Archives.

Happy Hunting!!

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