Sunday, April 7, 2013

Census Sunday – Records are Not Just on the Internet

Census records are available on internet sites.
 I have used many times to
look for family members with varying degrees of success. Many of us have done this. However, have you ever used a book to find census records?

I like using books to find early census records. On my recent trip to the Orangeburg County Library in South Carolina I browsed through this book, looking for my Ott family:

Jarrell, Lawrence E. Early Orangeburgh South Carolina Census. High Point, North Carolina: Alligator Creek Publications, 1998.

This book includes 1790, 1800 and 1810 records. I easily found Jacob Ott, Junior in 1790. I found Jacob Ott Junior and Senior, side by side, in 1800 and three “Jb.” Otts in 1810.

In these early records I am happy just to discover the state and county for my ancestors. However, books sometimes give more details. The 1800 information in Jarrell’s book tells me the Jacob Otts lived “between Edisto River & Beaver Creek of the four holes”. That narrows down their home place. There are many images of the Edisto River on Google. A return trip to the county would probably turn up a map of the area.

I like books like this because they focus on the local area. In the book I can easily see other local Otts:

· 1790: two Gasper Otts, Barbara Ott and John Ott.
· 1800: Anne, Peter, and Gasper Ott.
· 1810: Pr., Wm., Do., and Z. Ott.

These need further research.

I can also see the neighbors of the Otts. In 1800 & 1810 one of those neighbors was Phillip Jackson. Jacob Ott Junior was married to Margaret Jackson. This could be Margaret’s father or brother. It is something I should pursue.

Other books give me more information on these same people.

  • Jarrell, Lawrence E. 1820 Orangeburgh South Carolina Census. High Point, North Carolina: Alligator Creek Publications, 1998. 
  • 1850 Federal Census Index; Orangeburg County, South Carolina. 
  • Miller, Floyd W., and Peggy Ann Easterling. 1860 South Carolina Census; Orangeburg District.

I would not eliminate using the internet to uncover census records but remember they are not the only source for this information.

1 comment:

Charlie Purvis said...

Yes, I remember those days. Days when first you use the Soundex to find your Surname.