1850 Census Error


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Carroll County, Illinois 1850 Federal Census

(Written by Bob Moser)

For the 1850 census another township, Carroll, appears in addition to the one named Mount Carroll. It appears that the taker just abbreviated Mt. Carroll to Carroll, this is done even today when referring to the town of Mt. Carroll, however, the pages labeled Carroll were handled separately in the published census and grouped at the back. I have found at least one family that begins at the bottom of a page in the Mt. Carroll area and several of the children are many pages away at the top of a page in the Carroll portion. That this was ONE family was confirmed by a descendant.

As I understand the process, the census was recorded in the field on individual sheets that were later assembled into books and the pages numbered. Mt. Carroll township sheets were labeled Mt. Carroll, or in some cases just Carroll Township. This appears to have confused the assembly process and pages 391a through 396b at the back of the book consist of sheets labeled Carroll Township that are actually pages that should have been included with Mt. Carroll Township. I have reviewed the families on these pages and found several instances where part of the family appears in the Mt. Carroll pages and the balance in the Carroll pages! In addition, the pages 391a through 396b appear to be out of order to some degree.


There is and has never been a township named Carroll in Carroll Township, but even today, the City of Mt. Carroll is sometimes referred to as "Carroll".

Page 355b - Last three entries on page
Samuel Preston Sr. 59 M Mass
Elizabeth 57 F Mass
Mary 21 F Mass
Page 395a - First three entries
Climanda Preston 19 F Mass
Llor? Preston 16 M Mass
Aschel B. Preston 14 M ILL

Page 391a - First person is Sarah Iden age 22
Page 394b - Last person is Jas. H. Iden age 26
I believe that page 394 SHOULD have been immediately in front of page 391a! This is supported by the 1860 census, where James H. Iden 36 is head of household and the next line is his wife, Sarah age 32.

There are several other examples of families that begin on one page and continue on a page that appears to be out of order.