Previous Problems

When I started tbis project my main intent was to attempt to determine and include some more maiden surnames in the existing index (see elsewhere for a discussion of the methodology I used) but, as I worked my way through the list, I noticed numerous two or three person households and realized that, if I were to limit what I was doing (which was including first names with the heads of households and the maiden surnames I was finding) that I would be approaching indexing nearly a third of all the residents of Morgan County in 1850. Therefore, rather than put so much work into another partial index (even though it would include first names as well) I decided to restart and index everyone in the census.

In pursuit of this I xeroxed the Agricultural census (see future plans) which gave me a second check on Samuel R. Turner's handwriting. Then I realized that there were 187 involuntary residents of the county who should be included as well. Thus far I only have 5 names in the index, one of them Chaney Caudill and the other 4 under "None recorded." There are 4 more who will be included in the index in the future (when I get the 1860 and 1870 censuses included in this database). I also have names for 3 more but cannot figure out what became of them subsequent to their mention in Edmund Wells' 1846 will, thus am at a dead end right now. I hope, with YOUR input, to determine many, hopefully most, and possibly all, of the other names. Xeroxing the slave schedules gave me a third check on Sam's handwriting and, by now, I'm getting fairly adept at deciphering it (although Jesse still throws me!

But on to the business of this page, discussing the discrepancies I found while transcribing Harley Little's transcription of the census, all the while comparing his (and my) efforts to those of Rowenna Lawson. Computers are a fabulous invention and will keep track of line counts for you even when you don't realize that they're doing it or that you'll need them. Sam Turner counted 7,620 individuals living in Morgan County in 1850 and gave the names of 7,433 of them. When I was done transcribing Harley's transcription imagine my surprise to see a line count of only 7,424!! I poured over it very carefully and found 2 he had listed that I had missed, and put them in. This still left 7 unaccounted for. So I started comparing my file against Rowenna's work. (I wasn't sure if this would work because I'd done a count on her transcription and had found that she had only managed to list 7,417 people!!) Fortunately there wasn't a case of both of them missing the same person!

I noted the following individuals left out of
Harley's transcriptionRowenna's transcription
On #s 648, & 773 he applied the
age of the missing individual to the
one above, thus sort of splicing
them together, as it were.

The eagle eyed may've noticed that I only listed 15 that Rowenna missed, even though I said up above that she missed 16. I have yet to figure out who the 16th was, or if I miscounted her transcription and she actually had 7,418 listed. Perhaps someone with a more discerning eye than mine can spot what I've missed. In HH#543 she listed Peyton Muckmelon (McMillan) twice, once as a 17 year old and again as a 15 year old. The 17 year old is actually Susan.

Back to listing the various discrepancies. On households 1003 and 1004 Rowenna got them in the wrong order. Harley got them in the correct order (ie in the order Sam enumerated them) and my tables present them in that same order. Neither Harley nor Rowenna noted the mulatto families that Sam enumerated (households 98 and 99) as mulatto families but Rowenna did list the Robert in the James Gillmore household (#751) as a mulatto and she correctly ommitted the surname whereas Harley failed to note his mulatto designation and listed him with the Gillmore surname. Harley said that household 908 was a family of free blacks but Sam didn't list them that way and Rowenna listed them as Sam had. (I need to contact Harley to see what he based his listing of HH#908 on.) Sam listed household 684 as free blacks and the youngest three in household 683 as well and Rowenna transcribed them that way whereas Harley listed them but missed the free black designation. Both of them got households 160 and 165 listed correctly as free black families.

Rowenna didn't include any of Sam's summation and Harley only included a portion of it. Here is the complete summation of individuals as listed by Samuel R. Turner on Nov. 27th 1850:

White males 3856  
White females 3539 7395
Col'd males 22  
Col'd females 16 38
   7433
Slave males 97  
Slave females 90 187
    7620

I have taken the liberty of placing the slave total to the right of the female total (which is consistent with the way Sam had listed the figures for the free individuals) whereas Sam had it underneath the two totals (like a typical arithmetic problem) and I also eliminated the empty line between the free total and the slave figures. I initially used ditto marks on the female lines, as Sam had, but that made them look more like isolated items in a bulleted list so I went ahead and spelled the words out instead. I also included the grand total which Sam had ommitted. I ommitted his listing of the number of families (1201) and the number of dwellings (also 1201) as they don't seem to be germane to the table. The question of just what constitutes a family is not easily answered. In several of the dwellings there seem to be two distinct families, yet Sam treated them as one extended family.

After much checking and rechecking of sources I have uncovered an apparent mistake made by the census enumerator, Sam Turner, regarding the 7th individual in household #939. He listed Oliver Walters, an 11 year old male. It would appear that we actually have Olivia Walters, an 11 year old female, instead. No Oliver Walters (of the proper age) appears in any later census whereas an Olivia Walters of the correct age does appear in the marriage and census records of Magoffin County (most of which came from Morgan County in 1859). Therefore I've changed the spelling of the name and the sex of this individual to conform with the results of quite a lot of research by quite a number of people. (The above table reflects this correction.)


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