Sunday, January 24, 2016

Close to Home: Checking Census Records

Photo by Midge Frazel, 2016

As part of my Genealogy "Do-Over", I decided to go-over five generations from me on my maternal side.

I entered names into the type-on-the-form charts I bought from the shop at Family Tree Magazine and clicked in the box to put a checkmark so that I could make sure that I have the corresponding census record correctly attached to my tree at

As you can imagine, things went well through my parents and grandparents. I circled each one that I went over. Then, I got to my maternal great grandparents. That went fine and I have a good amount of city directory records to go over. There's a form for that too!

But, my second great grandparents, where their earliest census records are 1840 and earlier, I had them identified but I had not attached the records from my third great grandparents to the second. 

So, I went back and redid the form adding Edward Stewart and Rebecca Noyes to the list so I could examine them more closely.  

Edward Stewart (my 3rd great grandfather) died in 1837 and left his wife to manage the farm. She turned Edward's estate over to her son-in-law William R. Wheeler. Edward's probate file was at Ancestry and so I downloaded each page to work on. 

In 1840, Rebecca's oldest son, Denison N. Stewart is listed as Denison Stuart and he instead of she is head of household. Denison did not marry until 1844. My ancestor, Denison's brother Dudley, has no birth record. His gravestone says he was born in 1822 but several compiled genealogies list him as being born in 1820, probably because Rebecca was over 40 when he was born. 

I can now say he was born in 1822 from the tick mark on the 1840 census. Two more unmarried children live in the household and died before they were ever married. I think they may have either been unwell or were "pressed into farm and household management" by Rebecca. Rebecca died in 1843 and so did those two children Nancy and Edward F. This left Denison and Dudley alone together. By 1850, my ancestor is living in Norwich as an apprentice clerk. Denison marries and continues to live in the homestead. In 1850 he is married and has two children. By 1860 he has three children. He dies in 1867.

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