Kuhns’ 1860 census contribution
I was very excited to find my maternal third great grandfather and his family in the 1860 census. Some interesting information that I didn’t know was that Isaiah Kuhns was a gunsmith and his father, Jacob Kuhns, was a shoemaker. That’s awesome! By the time of this census, Jacob Kuhns was living with his son at the age of 76. It’s apparent that his wife had already passed as she wasn’t included in this census.
For me, this census is a snapshot into my ancestor’s lives – how they were employed, their love of family, etc. It can give you a “guesstimate” on birth/death dates even how long a couple has been married. Other census records that I’ve seen recorded where they came from and when they emigrated to the United States, what language they spoke, etc.
1860 Important Facts
The United States Census of 1860 was the eighth Census conducted in the United States. It determined the population of the United States to be 31,443,321 — an increase of 35.4 percent over the 23,191,875 persons enumerated during the 1850 Census. The total population included 3,953,761 slaves.
By the time the 1860 census returns were ready for tabulation, the nation was sinking into the American Civil War. As a result, Census Superintendent Joseph C. G. Kennedy and his staff produced only an abbreviated set of reports, which included no graphic or cartographic representations. This new round of statistics did allow the Census staff to produce a cartographic display, including preparing maps of Southern states for Union field commanders. These maps displayed militarily vital topics, including white population, slave population, predominant agricultural products (by county), and rail and post-road transportation routes.
The 1860 census collected the following information:
- color (white, black or mulatto) for each person
- whether deaf and dumb, blind, insane or idiotic
- value of real estate and of personal estate owned (required of all free persons)
- profession, occupation or trade of each male and female over 15 years of age
- place (state, territory or country) of birth
- whether married within the year
- whether attended school within the year
- whether unable to read and write (for persons over 20)
- whether a pauper or convict
Census – Where Can I Get Mine?
I’ve found a few good sources for census records. The most popular is Ancestry.com. Yes, they do charge for membership. They’ve spent considerable time and resources gathering this information. They also have 14-day trials and occasionally allow non-members access to their records free of charge. Another service is Footnote.com. Basic membership is free but to use its full resources you will need to pay. Let me say this though – it’s resources are considerable! Footnote.com claim to fame is source documents provided by people like you and me as well as organizations like the National Archives! Last on my list is FamilySearch Record Search. It’s a wonderful service and free. I’ve found many documents that I didn’t find on the other two. I believe (and this is just my opinion so I could be wrong) that FamilySearch Record Search is probably the biggest user-contributor database project available today. Countless thousands (or more) volunteer their time to transcribe census records not just for the United States but other countries as well. The only downside so far to the Record Search is searches can’t be saved or marked for later research. You’ll have to search for it all over again and try to find where you left off.
If you have further information on the Kuhns family OR would like to provide more information on census records, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment. I encourage participation!