Tuesday, June 13, 2017

1850 Census and the Census Taker

More information taken from the 1850 US Census specifically about Lawrence County Illinois.


Ages
White Male
White Female
Free Colored Male
Free Colored Female
under 1
122
89
4
1
1 and under 5
408
435
25
23
5 and under 10
483
440
26
25
10 and under 15
406
440
19
17
15 and under 20
331
326
10
18
20 and under 30
507
483
21
18
30 and under 40
334
302
17
12
40 and under 50
211
186
10
9
50 and under 60
126
78
7
4
60 and under 70
50
41
4
3
70 and under 80
20
16
0
4
80 and under 90
7
2
1
0
90 and under 100
0
0
0
0
100 and upwards
0
0
0
0
Total whites in Lawrence County 3005 males and 2838 females -- total  5843
Total 144 free colored males and 134 females -- total 278
Aggregate of both white and free colored -- 6121

The Act of Congress provided for the taking of the Seventh Census (1850) of the United States in order to fix the number of the members in the House of Representatives.  Inhabitants of the States, District of Columbia, and the Territories were to be enumerated, statistical information was to be collected and the information returned to the Secretary of the Interior before November 1, 1850, omitting any Indians not taxed. A marshal was to be appointed who would then separate his district into subdivisions containing not more than 20,000 persons and appoint assistants to help with the counting.

The marshal was to be paid $1.00 for each 1000 persons counted, if the number in any district exceeded one million, but if the number of people were less than that, he would be paid $1.25 per 1000. ($1.00 in the year 1850 is worth $29.55 in the year 2016.) No marshal was to receive less than $250, and when the compensation did not exceed the sum of $500, a reasonable allowance such as a clerk might have made would be paid. 

The assistants were to make a personal visit to each dwelling house and ascertain by inquiries made of some family member, if any one could be found capable of giving the information.  If not, then of the agent of such family.  The name of each member, the age and place of birth, and all other particulars were specified.  The assistant was to visit personally the farms, mills, shops, mines and other places for other information. He was also to furnish the original census report and two copies to the marshal of the district.

The assistant would be paid 2 cents for each person counted, and 10 cents a mile for necessary travel. (Mileage was to be calculated by multiplying the square root of the number of dwelling houses in the district by the square root of the number of square miles in each division and the resulting product equaled the number of miles travelled.) 

Additionally the assistant marshal would be paid 10 cents for each farm, 15 cents for each establishment of productive industry, 2 cents for social statistics, and two cents for each name of a deceased person. Assistants would also be paid 8 cents for each page of the two copies required.

If the assistant  neglected to perform his duties, he would be guilty of a misdemeanor, and face a $500 fine.  This same  fine would be levied, as well as imprisonment for two years, if he were found guilty of falsifying his returns.   A person, older than  20 years of age, if failing to provide true information to the assistant, would be fined $30.

The marshal was allowed to send the forms through the post office without paying postage.  $12,000 was appropriated by the US government for the purpose of covering this expense.

The counting would begin on the first day of June, 1850.

William Y. Christy was appointed the assistant marshal for Lawrence County.  He traveled the entire county asking questions at each dwelling house.  He was 44 years old and listed his occupation as farmer. He was married to Catharine Shirley in 1844, and it was probably his second marriage as she was only 28, and three children, ages, 15,13 and 11 lived in the household as well as a daughter 2 years old.  He died January 1, 1870 and is buried at Christy Cemetery.