NCLINCOL-L ArchivesArchiver > NCLINCOL > 2009-12 > 1261365253
From: Kathy Gunter Sullivan <>
Subject: [NCLINCOL] 1810 Lincoln County Census
Date: Sun, 20 Dec 2009 22:14:13 -0500
Rarely does anyone respond to this type of in-depth research question,
but I thought I'd give it a shot.
For a number of years, I have attempted to reconstruct the 1810 census
enumeration of Lincoln County into an accurate version as opposed to
that on the National Archives microfilm publication (NASA M252, roll
240). If anyone else has recognized and attempted to address problems of
the 1810 Lincoln County census, I would appreciate hearing from you
(off-list, preferably). Perhaps we could help each other and others by
comparing our studies.
A basic methodology in genealogical research is to study our folks
within their community because this is one avenue for identifying their
neighbors and associates as well as differentiating same-name people in
the county depending upon where they lived. We use tax lists, census
enumerations, land grants and deeds, and anything else we can grab in
hopes of establishing identity and kinships.
Lincoln County census enumerators rearranged their original accounts of
their 1810 household visitations into quasi-alphabetical order.
Obviously, they were instructed to do so. Most enumerators did this
although not always. Pages 400-405 of the National Archives microfilm
publication M252, roll 240 appear to reflect households in the order in
which they were visited, rather than in the requested artificial
alphabetical arrangement. From thereon, the 1810 enumeration appears to
be recast into a quasi-alphabetical listing.
Before proceeding with this discussion, I need to share an important
caution for those relying upon Ancestry.com for Lincoln County's 1810
census enumeration. The 1810 Lincoln County census imaged by
Ancestry.com does not include every page of the National Archives
microfilm. Ancestry.com omitted pages that do not carry names. For
example, the Ancestry.com version of the 1810 Lincoln County census
enumerations omits the first page (p. 399) which provides all the column
headings for the census. Census images at HeritageQuest do include page
Further, Ancestry.com indexes arrange the pages in artificial groupings
by Captain's names, but these groupings are not accurate. So, when one
visits Ancestry.com and sees the groupings labeled "Capt. Andrews
District" [sic: Capt Andrew Derr's District}, Capt. Gonojles District"
[sic: Capt. Gingles District], "Capt John Deers District" [sic: Capt.
John Derr's District], "Capt. Lawrances District [sic: Capt Lowrances
District], "Capt Welkman District [sic Capt Wilkinsons District], "Capt
Weycoffs District" [sic Capt Wycoffs District], and the various other
district groupings, be forewarned that the arrangement and district
titles are incorrect.
Unfortunately, the original Lincoln County 1810 census returns were
recopied into an "official" version. So what we have today is a
third-hand derivative source for Lincoln County's 1810 census. The first
version was in original order by household visitation. The second
version was rewritten into semi-alphabetical order by the census
enumerator. The third version was rewritten by the Lincoln County Clerk
of Court as a final "official" record. Obviously, the final version,
having passed through many reincarnations, reflects human error. The
result today is at least a third-hand derivative source for Lincoln
County's 1810 census. The bottom line is that we are long way removed
from the original 1810 census information.
Again, unfortunately, the 1810 census enumerations (which had already
been manipulated into artificial alphabetical order) became disordered
before the Clerk of Lincoln County Court sat down to _recopy_ the pages
yet again into an "official final form." The final version is in the
distinctive handwriting of Daniel M. Forney, Clerk of Lincoln County
Court from 7 July 1804 until 22 May 1812.
The form Mr. Forney used was double-sided. He began with the first page,
completed it, flipped it, recorded data on the reverse side of the page,
and so forth. After completing his arduous task, he numbered the pages.
But he started his numbering with the last page and went forward; thus
most pages are numbered in reverse order. Most often Mr. Forney numbered
the front page of the form at the top and the reverse page at the
bottom. But then he appears to have lost his train of thought, as well
as his numbering sequence, so that some pages are numbered in different
places and some are misnumbered. The National Archives' microfilm of the
1810 Lincoln County census pages reflects all of these problematical
If Mr. Forney had included the column totals on each page and carried
them forward, each census district could be reconstructed, but he did
not do this.
Some pages can be correctly reordered by comparing and matching the
tears and blots and damages on the page images, but those marks are not
always distinctive on each page of the official microfilm.
Captain Cline's 1810 District
My example today focuses on 1810 census households enumerated in Capt.
Cline's District because the rendition of this company is the most
disordered on the final official census version.
The loose pages of the 1810 census household enumerated in Cline's
district became disordered before the statistics *were recopied* into a
final official copy. No effort was made to correct the disarrangement.
Instead, Clerk of Court Daniel M. Forney simply recorded the data
whenever one of Captain Cline's pages randomly rose to the top of his
The result of the above handling procedures of Lincoln County's original
1810 census returns is that residents in Cline's 1810 district are
recorded in the "official" census version out of sequence on disparate
pages. Following is the correct order of Cline's District as best I have
been able to reconstruct it (if anyone has results differing from this
reconstruction, I would like to hear from you):
p. 501: Capt Clines district [begins here]: Jesse Ashe-John Bolick
p. 500: Capt Cline's district cont'd: Jean Collins-George Fisher
p. 441: Capt Clines district cont'd: Phillip Fry-John Ikert
p. 440: Capt Clines district cont'd: Lourance Ikert-Thomas Puntch
p. 485: Capt Clines district cont'd: James Puntch-Phillip Starr
p. 484: Capt Cline's district cont'd [ends here]: John Sigman
History of Cline's District recorded in Lincoln County court minutes of
April 1805 Cline's District. Michael Cline, Justice of the Peace,
appointed to take in a list of taxables for the year 1805.
July 1805 Cline's District: Patrollers appointed: Henry Shell, Jacob
Cline, John Ikerd, George Bullinger, and Elias Bost.
April 1806 Cline's District: John Sigman appointed Overseer of the road
leading from Bullinger's Mill to Lincolnton from said Mill as far as
Capt Cline's Company line crossing Clarks Creek at Anthony's bridge
April 1806 Cline's District: Michael Cline, Justice of the Peace,
appointed to take in lists of taxables for the year 1806
April 1808 Cline's District: M. [Michael] Cline, Justice of the Peace,
appointed to take in lists of taxables for the year 1808.
January 1809 Cline's District: Patrollers appointed were Gilbert
Milligan, Henry Bullinger, George Fry Junr., Jacob Propst and William Bost.
July 1809 Cline's District: Joseph Fisher, Justice of the Peace,
appointed to take in the taxable property in Capt. Cline's District for
the year 1809.
April 1810 Cline's District: Michael Cline, Justice of the Peace,
appointed to take in the taxable property for the year 1810.
October 1810 Cline's District: Lowrance Ikert, Henry Shell, Simon Haus,
Mathias Bovey appointed Patrols in Capt. Cline's company.