Wednesday, July 6, 2016



The United States was the first country to call for a regularly held census. The first United States census was taken in 1790 and a substantial part of the 1790 and 1800 census records have been lost for various reasons. The third census of the United States was taken in 1810 and almost all of those records survive; actual images can be seen on the internet. Enumerators of the 1810 census were asked to include the following categories in the census: name of head of household, number of free white males and females, number of other free persons except Indians, number of slaves, town or district and county of residence. The official date for the 1810 census was 6 August 1810 and the enumerators were given nine months to compile the information.  It is thought that most entries are arranged in the order of visitation.

The enumerator for Ohio County was Thomas Posey, Jr., who had excellent penmanship. Mr. Posey had two schedules: Hartford and the rest of the county. For some reason Mr. Posey duplicated the Hartford information in the “rest of Ohio County” pages. The section for Hartford fit on one page and included 31 households.  The rest of the county took 19 pages and each page, except the last, had 34 households – the last page having 7 households, so it appears that there were (including Hartford) a grand total of 619 households (families) in Ohio County in 1810. I tried to determine the number of different surnames and I estimate that there were 295 different surnames on the 1810 census records.

As way of example, here is the 1810 record for Mr. Posey’s family:

Home in 1810 (City, County, State):
Hartford, Ohio, Kentucky
Free White Persons - Males - Under 10:
Free White Persons - Males - 10 thru 15:
Free White Persons - Males - 16 thru 25:
Free White Persons - Males - 26 thru 44 :
Free White Persons - Females - Under 10:
Free White Persons - Females - 10 thru 15:
Free White Persons - Females - 26 thru 44:
Numbers of Slaves:
Number of Household Members Under 16:
Number of Household Members Over 25:
Number of Household Members:

Mr. Posey makes this statement on the last page (page 19): “The number of persons within my division consisting of 3,792 as appears in a schedule hereto annexed. Subscribed by me this 26th day of November, 1810.” His signature follows.

Mr. Posey also included the following totals on page 19:

Total white men                      1,722
Total white women                 1,523
Total other free persons              14
Total slaves                                 533
(apparently the 14 “other free persons” were free slaves as he lists “total slaves at 547)

Grand total                              3,792 

[Note: the 2010 census showed 23,842 people living in Ohio County]

Starting with 1790, the census was taken every ten years and the information changes a little with each census. Up to 1840 we only have the name of the “Head of the Household,” but starting with 1850 enumerators were asked to include the names of all people - the exact instructions were to include the following categories in the census: name; age as of the census day; sex; color; birthplace; occupation of males over age fifteen; value of real estate; whether married within the previous year; whether deaf-mute, blind, insane, or "idiotic"; whether able to read or write for individuals over age twenty; and whether the person attended school within the previous year.  

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