Census Records and Your Tennessee Ancestry

Census records are missing in Tennessee until 1830, when for the first time, all of Tennessee is enumerated.  At least in theory.  So, Tennessee, perhaps more than any other state at the time of settlement, is subject to these census problems:

__missing schedules

__odd years

__duplicate entries

__multiple jurisdictions–local, district, territorial, state, and federal–making lists

__bad or incomplete transcriptions made available in print and online

__multiple copies available for some enumerations

__re-copied pages

__digital indexes to surviving census schedules read by non-English transcribers–paid by the name!

__substitute “census” data, collected from documents dated close to but not right on the date of the missing schedules

__extra information added to specific entries (and not transcribed in printed versions)

__missing people–people on the move are usually missed;  they may be enumerated twice before and after their move

__new immigrants arriving to mingle and mix with Americans who were already here–with same exact names

Add these challenges to other considerations:

__family traditions infused with incorrect details so they don’t match what the records say–by name, by place, by age, by number of members in the family

__family Bibles lost, gone West with migrating family members, or no longer diligently kept at all

__the whole country on the move before and after the Revolutionary War

__bounty awards granted for Revolutionary service could be and were sold

__lands could be granted to multiple owners, with boundaries that overlapped other settlers

__lands were granted in the same areas, to the same settlers and speculators, by multiple jurisdictions

Is it any wonder, that Tennessee research is so difficult? 

Stay tuned to this site.  The next few posts will include how to search existing Tennessee census records to get the full benefit from their evidence.  I have developed a whole series of checklists to aid your Tennessee research in census schedules.  Even the substitute lists can be less of a problem.  Your favorite Tennessee genealogist, Arlene Eakle http://arleneeakle.com

PS  I have discovered that Amazon.com has three screens of my books available for sale at very interesting prices.  You might want to check them out too.  Be alerted, some entries sell books no longer available.  Some entries sell books that no longer exist.  Some entries sell used copies of books that are now re-written and updated.  (These are bargains you can benefit from.)  Some entries sell books attributed to me that belong to other authors–who are often named.  (I make no comments on their works.)  This mess is probably of my own causing–I have not updated my list for Amazon for years.   Kathryn Bassett, my webmaster, and I will see that it is corrected.  The used copies will still be available at bargain prices.

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