United States Census, 1850 (FamilySearch Historical Records)/Known IssuesEdit This Page

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Known Issues

NOTE:  There are instances across this collection where the enumerator did not record a locality or town within a county. There must be a town named for the browse point structure, so since no locality is identified, the county name is often used again. This follows the standard and the indexer recorded as instructed.

Question #1: When browsing images there appear to be pages missing or cut off and I can only find part of the family. How do I find the image for the remainder of the family?
Answer #1: In the United States Census, 1850 records there are many instances where the enumerator jumped back and forth between townships. In some cases part of the family is listed on the bottom of one page in a particular township and the remainder of the family is on the top of the next page, but under a different township. In this case the next page, or previous page, with the remainder of the family will not come up because of the different township. By doing a search for an individual in a family the whole family will be listed on the Record Details page. You can then click on any member of the family to view the appropriate image.
There are also instances where the enumerator's report skipped households in the same township causing a family to be separated by other pages. This caused problems for the indexers who couldn’t see the family connections. If you see inconsistencies or question family connections, view the surrounding images to see if you can connect the families.
There may be some instances where pages may have been cut of causing family relationships to be missed. If this appears to be the case you can find the film number on the record details page and order the film into a FamilySearch Center near you and view the image there. (See ordering instructions in Answer #2 below)

Question #2: The images in the browse point for Decatur County, Georgia are blurred and can’t be read. Are they available for viewing somewhere else?
Answer #2: These images are clear on the original microfilm which can be ordered (See Ordering Microfilm or Microfiche) into a FamilySearch Center near you and viewed there. Film #7063

Question #3: I am seeing many instances where family relationships to not seem to be correct on the record details pages. Is there a way to check on this?
Answer #3: If you find inconsistencies in the record details pages, always look at the original image. It will help you determine correct relationships. Various causes for this are listed below:

  • In some cases, families were split on census pages and parts of the family were carried over to the next page. This could cause them to not be indexed and linked together. You can check the preceding and following images to verify if families have been split.
  • The problem could be enumerator recording inconsistencies. For example in Monroe County,Illinois, there are instances when the enumerator put the dwelling/visitation number on the last person in the family instead of the first. This caused the last person to be indexed with the next family.
  • There are instances where the indexer simply missed recording a new household, so families were connected incorrectly, especially when they were continued onto a new page. There are also cases where the enumerator associated the dwelling number with the head of the household, and the family number with the remaining family members, resulting in family relationships being disconnected (i.e., the family members are grouped together, but not with the head of the household).

Question #4: I am looking for records from the Darwin Precinct in Clark County, Illinois. Can you tell me where they are found?
Answer #4: These records are found under the browse point Illinois > Clark > Darien. They were incorrectly indexed with the wrong precinct name.

Question #5: Can you explain why there are records indexed for Benton, McHenry County, Illinois? Should it not be Burton Township?
Answer #5: Burton Township was first settled by Englishmen in 1836, and the name English Prairie was given it. Later settlers called the township Benton by Jackson Wray, but upon it being learned that there was already a post office and township of Benton in Illinois, the name was changed to Burton on December 28, 1850 after the census had been recorded.

Question #6: In Crawford County in Missouri there are many records showing only an A or a B in the name and birthplace fields. Should there be information in these fields?
Answer #6: This appears to be a programming glitch. If you come across records that show only an A or a B in the name or birthplace field, View the Image to see the correct information.

Question #7: When searching for a family in Mansfield, Warren, New Jersey I find that children from one family are listed with another. Where are the missing children?
Answer #7: It appears that this particular part of the collection was filmed back to front. Therefore if a family is split, meaning that part of the family was recorded on the bottom of one page and part on the top of next page, you must scroll backwards to find the other part of the family. For example suppose the parent and two children are listed at the bottom of the page on image 6. Normally you would use the arrow to move to image 7 and there you will find the remainder of the children from this family. In this section, you will need to use the arrow to move back to image 5 and you will find the children listed at the top of the image on that page.

Question #8: I cannot find Brasher listed in New York, St. Lawrence County. Are these records available?
Answer #8: The problem arises from the fact St. Lawrence and Saint Lawrence are listed as separate counties. Brasher is listed under Saint Lawrence.

Question #9: I am not finding records in Ohio, Guernsey County for Wills Township. Are these records available?
Answer #9: There are 38 images on the film for Guernsey County from Wills Township that were overlooked in the indexing and subsequently missed being placed online. The microfilm #444677 may be ordered (See Ordering Microfilm or Microfiche) and viewed at a FamilySearch Center near you.

Question #10: Are there missing images in Madison County, Ohio?
Answer #10: There may be images that were incorrectly located in some of the browse points. For instance the last image (31 of 31) in the browse point Ohio > Madison > Pleasant should be the first image in the browse point Ohio > Madison > Range.

Question #11: The records for Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Spring Garden Ward 5-7 are missing. Are they available?
Answer #11: These missing wards can be found on Film #444787 which can be ordered and viewed at a local FamilySearch (previously Family History) Center. The images on this film which FamilySearch received from NARA (National Archives and Records Administration) are very poor quality. HeritageQuest has much nicer images from these NARA rolls. You can probably access Heritage Quest through your FamilySearch center or from many public libraries. Be sure to call the FamilySearch Center or the library before you go to see if they have access to HeritageQuest.

Question #12: I am having trouble finding Smith County Records. Can you help me find them?
Answer #12: The images for Smith and Stewart Counties share the same film and were intermingled by the enumerator. You can find the images as follows:

  • In the Smith County browse point --
Images 1-255 are from Smith County
Images 256-308 are from Stewart County
Images 309-345 are from Smith County
  • In the Stewart County browse point—
Images 1-49 are from Smith County
Images 50-167 are from Stewart County

Question #13: When searching the census records in several counties in Texas the only locality listed is Rio Grande Valley. In most of these counties there is no such locality. Where can I find the correct records?
Answer #13: Records from the counties listed below have been indexed incorrectly with the locality Rio Grande Valley. The correct locations are listed below:

  • Cass > Rio Grande Valley should actually read: Precincts 1-7. The correct records are there, but the name of the file is incorrect.
  • Cherokee > Rio Grande Valley records have no specific locality with the exception of images 400-409 which are from the town of Rusk.

If you encounter additional problems with this collection, feel free to report them at support@familysearch.org. Please include the following information:

  • If searching a specific collection: please include the name of the collection; include all search criteria used, including name, event, dates and places.
  • If browsing this collection: please include the full path you followed to where the problem occurred. The browse path is located above the Image viewer window.  
    For example: United States Census, 1850 > Arkansas > St. Francis > Johnson > Image 11 of 15.
  • If you are reporting a technical issue: please include your operating system and browser version, such as Windows 7 and Internet Explorer.

Your assistance will help ensure that future revisions will be considered.

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  • This page was last modified on 12 February 2015, at 02:48.
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