Identify and compare information from a Census
Census: a count of the
population in a specific place (e.g., a state or
country); a record made of the count.
EPISODE SIX: MILITARY
AND CENSUS RECORDS
This episode presents two major American records that
are commonly used in your family history research. Part
one introduces Gary Bryant. He was in the Air Force during the
Vietnam War. Instead of feeling patriotic towards his
service, he was depressed and ashamed.
Later, through family history, he discovered 27 ancestors
who were American soldiers. As he learned of their
sacrifices to serve, his image of his country and himself
were forever changed. In part two, expert Curt Witcher will
explain the type of information that can be found in
Census and military records.
Before Viewing the Episode
- Duplicate the student handout on the next page.
- Have each student find their copy of the Family
Group Record they created in Episode 4, for the
family of William Henry Whitaker and Mary Jane
- Read aloud the EPISODE OVERVIEW and OBJECTIVE.
After Viewing the Episode
Identify and compare valuable information from a census
- Review with your students the information they
have recorded on their copy of the Family Group
Record they created in episode four, for the
family of William Henry Whitaker. Have them read
each name, date and place.
note: See episode four, activity
one for a description of the information that
should be written on the family group record.
- Remind your students that in episode four, they
used a compiled record to learn about William
Henry Whitakers wife (Mary Jane Wyatt) and
children. In this episode, they will use
information from an original record, the 1870
Census Record of Manatee County, Florida to
compare what they know and to add new
- Distribute the student handout on the next page.
- Point out to them that:
--Information on this census record is over 125
--The second line from the top reads
"Schedule 1. Inhabitants in Township Thirty
Four (34), in the county of Manatee, State of
Florida, enumerated by me on the 23 day of July,
- Have the students compare the census information
with the information on the family group record
they created in episode four. Use the following
questions to stimulate discussion. They are the
same questions as on the student handout.
- What do you suppose the real given name of Nannie
is? (Nancy Catherine Stewart WHITAKER)
- If Emiel was only nine months old on July 23,
1870 (the day the census was taken), about what
month and year was he born? (About October, 1869)
- The name of child number three on the family
group record is spelled "Furman," and
on the census record it is spelled "Fernion."
Which spelling do you suppose is probably correct?
(Fernion) Why? (Because the name Fernion is in an
original record. It was written by the census
taker based on information most likely supplied
at that time by Mary Jane Whitaker. The name
Furman is in a compiled record. The source of the
information in the compiled record about the spelling
- Which family members are listed on the family
group record, but do not appear on the census
record? (Edward, Flora Winnefred and Grace)
- What possible reasons can you think of as to why
Edward does not appear on the census record? (He
probably died at or near birth or from a
childhood disease; or he may possibly have been
visiting with a relative.)
- Why do you suppose the names of Flora Winnefred
and Grace (children # 10 and #11 on the family
group record) do not appear on the census record?
(They most likely were not yet born.)
- What should Mary Janes age be listed as on
the census record if her birth year on the family
group record is correct? (Age 39)
- What reasons can you give to explain why the
compiled record was created after the census
record was created? (Presumably, all of the
children are listed on the family group record
and not on the census record. Also, Nancy,
Louise, Fernion, Hamlin and Charles have spouses
listed on the family group record, and appear as
children ranging from Charles at age 5 to Nancy
at age 18.)
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