Monday, August 10, 2009

1820 Census Incomplete on Ancestry.com

Recently, my son Ian and I went to our Richland County Public Library for a very enlightening family history seminar. We learned new ways to find information not just in the library but on line at home through their website. One of the resources available at home was Heritage Quest where can be found most of the federal censuses (although not fully indexed). The seminar leader showed how a person had been found through Heritage Quest who did not show up on an Ancestry census because the whole page was missing on Ancestry. Hmmm...

None of our Reeds can be found in Ancestry.com’s 1820 census, so the first place I looked on Heritage Quest was the 1820 census for Barnwell County. I found them! Samuel and and his son Hugh were side by side on the same page. There’s also a John Reed further down whom I’ve yet to verify through the numbers as my 3gGF.

Looking for a link that anyone could go to without Heritage Quest, I went back to an old bookmark of the 1820 Barnwell census I had found over a year ago. Click here to see it. With the help of Heritage Quest’s page numbers (Series: M33 Roll: 119 Page: 21), I found them here on page 9A!

Upon investigation, our cousin Brenda White in Alabama (5-great granddaughter of Samuel and Mary) made some interesting discoveries. She found that Ancestry’s data is not complete. The GenWeb site’s 1820 Barnwell census has 46 pages; Ancestry only has 25 pages. Brenda went further to determine that if you add the number of persons in each column on Ancestry's 25 pages and compare that with the total summary numbers on the last page, the number of males to age 10 on Ancestry's 25 pages totals around 773, but the total on the last summary page is 1569. The total for males age 10 to 16 is around 358 but the summary page has 654.

Our cousin Josie Reed in Canada (4-g granddaughter of Samuel and Mary) wrote concerning this error: “There may be some people indexed on Ancestry whom you can’t find on the linked image. One name had caught my eye on one of the usgwarchives site because it was unusual, a “Judy Czeach” (it is probably ‘Creach’, of which there are a few others). It was on one of the pages that ancestry didn’t have (7a). A bit later I pulled up the whole index on Ancestry and there was the same name in the index. It linked to a different page, and the name couldn’t be found.”

Brenda has written to Ancestry.com about this problem (at this link). Ancestry responded with apologies for the difficulty and said they “reported this information to our developers so that a correction can be made.” Brenda will keep us posted. Thank you, Brenda!

I encourage others to write regarding this problem. More than our Reeds are missing. Brenda found her 4-g grandfather Zeigler on the same page as our Reeds!

By the way, I checked the 1790 census on Heritage Quest and found not a single Reed in Orangeburg District. There is one Samuel Reed in South Carolina in 1790, but it's Capt. Samuel Reed in Abbeville, son of George, and not our Samuel.

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