Sunday, July 26, 2015

Census Sunday: How many children?

Jesse Warren Ball & Cynthia Ann Alford [my 2nd great grand aunt] lived in Mississippi and raised a large family. How large was that family and who were the children? I think I have made sense of the data and figured that out.

I found an Ancestry Tree that showed nine children. I wanted to verify those children so I started to check US Census reports. I quickly had pages of confusing notes. I started a new paper by folding it in fourths giving me four long columns, one for the Ancestry tree and one for each census year, and things began to come clear. Then I began an excel spreadsheet. Adding colors made it even clearer. I think I have the children sorted out.

Jessie Warren Ball
 1808 – after 1870
Cynthia Ann Alford
 1820 MS – between 1860 & 1870

Anyone else like using spread sheets to sort data?

I will check out 1880 as well. Hopefully, I am getting these children sorted out correctly. 


  1. Based on your charts I would say the on-line tree needs some work. I used somthing similiar to sort out the cChildren of Epps Rivers Brown abd his wife Dorinda Adair.

    1. Charlie, I think if an online tree is unsourced it should be used as a starting point and not used as a source in itself.

  2. I love spreadsheets too, Colleen. I find them especially useful for listing church records, identifying patterns in the names, addresses, sponsors, etc., to find sibling/cousin relationships. This approach has helped me go back a generation more than once.

    1. Dara, good ideas for using spread sheets! They clarify data for me.

  3. I also use spreadsheets (create my own) to help sort through the many children ancestral couples of mine had. It's a useful way to track similarly named children through baptism, marriage, and burial records.

  4. Yvonne, thanks for stopping by my blog. I agree that spreadsheets are useful to organize data. I enjoy working with them.


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