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The War That Forged a Nation
Pulitzer Prize-winning historian James M. McPherson looks anew at the reasons America's civil war has remained a subject of intense interest for the past century and a half. Learn more
While the decennial federal census is one of the first information sources the novice genealogist learns about, many researchers never go beyond the general population schedules, to the slave and agricultural schedules. In fact, a household that was missed in the general census (it happens to all of us) is quite likely to show up there. The agricultural schedule names only the head of each household, but also provides considerable other information that helps to place the family in context in the community. Actually, it consists of forty-eight columns, showing production of everything from bushels of tobacco and gallons of wine to pounds of beeswax and tons of "water rotted hemp." Green, who has previously abstracted the agricultural censuses of Alabama, Missouri, Kentucky, and several other states, has limited herself to only six columns: Name of the owner, improved and unimproved acreage, cash value of the farm itself, value of farm implements and machinery, and value of livestock. These generally give a good indication of the prosperity of the establishment and, because these data are common all across the country (unlike cotton or flax production), the researcher may gain a good idea of wealth relative to other regions. The transcription follows the order in which names were recorded by the census enumerator within each parish, with a surname-only index in each volume. Original page numbers are not given, however. The parishes appear alphabetically, Ascension through Madison in Volume 1 and Morehouse through Winn in Volume 2 (which may also be purchased separately). If you find someone of interest here, of course, I recommend you make a date with a microfilm reader and examine the full listing!
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