Today, I would like to go over the U. S. Census records for Gideon for the years of 1820, 1830 and 1840. I’m focusing on these censuses first because in these census years there was only the name of the head of household and then a list of individuals living there by age, not name.
What we would like to see is a match for what I have with what the census says. So, let’s start with 1820, which is the simplest of them all.
1820 U. S. Census
In the 1820 U. S. Census for Scott County, Virginia there is only one Gideon Spangler found. He is head of household (of course) and is listed as a Free White Male between the age of 16 thru 25.
Our Gideon is showing to be born in 1802 so this would match up nicely with him.
Also showing in the 1820 U. S. Census for Scott County, Virginia is a Michael Spangler. We’ll look into what this might mean later.
1830 U. S. Census
In the 1830 U. S. Census for Scott County, Virginia we begin to get a little more insight into Gideon Spangler. This time around there are 8 people in the household. Here is the breakdown:
- Free White Males Under 5 – 2
- Free White Males 5 thru 9 – 3
- Free White Males 30 thru 39 – 1
- Free White Females Under 5 – 1
- Free White Females 20 thru 29 – 1
This is where the issues start. According to my cousin’s research, There was only one child born in the 1820s. That would be Nathan (my 2nd-great-grandfather). However, here we have 6 children listed as being born during that time. Let’s say we also add in John, who was born in 1830. That would give us two. Who are the other 4 children?
Perhaps the reason that these other 4 are not listed is because this census does not give us names and we can find no other records to collaborate names for any children born during this time. This gives me new information that I need to look in to!
Note: There is also a Catherine Spangler, David Spangler and John Spangler listed in Scott County, Virginia for the 1830 U. S. Census.
1840 U. S. Census
In the 1840 U. S. Census for Scott County, Virginia we find only one Gideon Spangler listed. Here is what we have this time around:
- Free White Males Under 5 – 2
- Free White Males 5 thru 9 – 1
- Free White Males 10 thru 14 – 2
- Free White Males 15 thru 19 – 2
- Free White Males 40 thru 49 – 1
- Free White Females 5 thru 9 – 2
- Free White Females 40 thru 49 – 1
So, we have a few more additions this time around. There are now 11 people in the household.
Comparing this census to the former one, I conclude that there must have been a death of one of the children. I could be wrong. I base this upon the fact that there are 5 children who are under the age of 9 at this time. Even if we figure that John (who was born in 1830) is counted as under 9 this time, that still leaves 4 children under 9 and there is only a gain of 3 in the household. This is just something to think about.
Let’s compare some of the other findings compared to 1830. There should be 2 males who are 10 thru 14, there is. There should be 3 males 15 thru 19 but there are only 2. That means that one has either moved away or has passed away. There should be 1 female 10 thru 14 but there isn’t. What does this mean?
Out of the 6 children listed in the 1830 census, there are now only 4 showing. Did they pass away? If so, that could explain why there are 5 new additions but only an increase of 3. The other option is that they either moved away (the 15 thru 19 year old) or were married (the 10 thru 14 year old). Marriages that young were not that rare in this time period.
One more note: There is also a Michael Spangler and a John Spangler living in Scott County, Virginia at the time of this census.
These three census records, although only containing the name of the head of household, have shown us a lot! We started out thinking there were only 7 children born to Gideon and Barbara Spangler but we now know that there are at least 9.
They have also brought more questions about how certain individuals disappeared from the records. Did they die? Did they just move away? Did they marry?
Fortunately, in the next censuses we will be able to see some names. Hopefully this will help us to answer some of these questions.
If you haven’t noticed, I started this series as a way to share what I have on Gideon Spangler but as I progress through this, I am finding more questions and discovering things myself. That’s one of the real pleasures of blogging!
Other posts in this series: