1820 Census -- Fourth Census of the United States

NOTE: No individual enumeration; head only

State: Ohio
County: Fayette
Township: Madison
Pages: 2, 3

Sarah Vandolah's household: 1 male under 10, 1 male 10-16, 1 male 16-18, 1 male 18-26, 1 male 45+, 2 females under 10, 1 female 10-16, 2 females 16-26, 1 female 26-45, and 1 female 45+, with 3 in agriculture.
Jesse Stretch's household: 2 males under 10, 1 male 10-16, 1 male 26-45, 3 females under 10, 2 females 10-16, and 1 female 26-45, with 2 in agriculture.
Jehiel Gregory's household: 1 male 16-18, 1 male 19-26, 1 male 26-45, 1 male 45+, 2 females under 10, 1 female 10-16, and 1 female 18-26, with 3 in agriculture.
William Gilmore's househd: 1 male 26-45, 2 females under 10, 1 female 18-26, with 1 in agriculture.
---150 miles away in Harrison County:
Peter VanDolah's household: 2 males under 10, 1 male 18-26, 1 male 26-45, 2 females 18-26, with 2 in commerce.

actual 1820 OH census form - click on image for entire page
Notes: John VanDolah died unexpectedly six years ago, only about 5-6 years after having moved to Ohio. Sadly, three of his five brothers all died in the 1810’s—Henry (1810s), Joseph (1814), John (1814) and James (1811)—and this was before their father’s death in 1815. Sarah was only 47 when John died, and was left with eight (maybe 11) children at home, ages 4-27. And none of her inlaws were living in Fayette County in 1814 either — most were in Greene County. Of course, the older children could help around the house and maintain the farm, but it must have been quite lonely for her. She never remarried, and lived for another 46 years. Two children had married before John’s death, and three more married in the next two years after his death. Apparently all Sarah’s children live near by except for Peter, who lives about 150 miles away in Harrison County.

In 1820, Sarah is 53 and there are five of the ten children at home not yet married: Rebecca 20, Jesse 18, John 16, James 12 and Nancy 10. However, there are six more people in the house, including a male over age 45. It is important to know that it will probably never be known who these extra persons are, however, it is possible to make some intelligent guesses:
• It is possible that the 45+ year old man is Jesse Woodson -- on 15 June 1818, Sarah purchased 50 acres for $1 from Jesse Woodson of Powhaten County, VA. There is an 1810 census entry for a Captain Jesse Woodson of Powhatan,VA (Captain in the War of 1812), with a family of 5 with 11 slaves, and no Jesse Woodson entry in all of Virginia in 1820, or nearby in OH, or in KY, which would seem to support this idea. It is noteworthy that the land was purchased for simply $1 -- it is possible that Jesse Woodson lost his family, and was even infirm, and sold the property to Sarah for such a cheap price (just to record the deed) in return for room, board and care. On the other hand, there are other KY and OH deeds in 1815-1818 by Jesse Woodson (for much more than $1), and he was elected as a delegate from Powhatan,VA to the Virginia Senate in 1817, which seem to incontrovertibly refute this supposition. The KY connection is interesting, as around this time William Stout was apparently killed in an Indian massacre in KY, and it is this land that Sarah bequeaths to William's only son James. So perhaps this land deal price has to do with the Indian massacre, and Woodson sold it to Sarah to be sure it was bequeathed to James Stout, as Mary Jane might remarry. If it was simply a vehicle to deliver the land to infant James, then the man in the home would not be Jesse Woodson, and he and his family simply cannot be located. It would be useful to try to discover more about this Captain Jesse Woodson, and more about from whom Woodson purchased this land. Note that at age 45+, this man is too old to be a son-in-law, and Sarah's husband, father, and father-in-law are all deceased. He is probably infirm, as he is not the name enumerated.
• Daughter Mary Jane Stout (age 22) cannot be located on any 1820 census. There are two William Stouts in Adams county, but one has no son listed (Mary's son James Stout would be 2), and the other has 6 sons and two daughters. Of the three William Stout families in Kentucky, none match up in composition (8-10 people in all). It is known that William had died prior to Mary Jane's second marriage in the mid 1820s; it is assumed likely that William had died by 1820 (massacred by Indians in Kentucky), and Mary Jane is widowed and living in her mother's home with her son. This assumption is supported by the fact that Mary Jane has no children younger than John by William Stout.
• Even with the above two assumptions, there are still another three women/girls unexplained. As a single woman with so many young children to care for, it is thought unlikely that Sarah would include in her household other children not her own. Thus, it would appear likely that these could include the extra three daughters William Perry Hay specified in his book -- Esther, Irene, and unknown girl. William Perry Hay (1871-1947) grandson of Elizabeth Gregory, obtained this information from his second cousin Minnie Moon Mace (1874-1959) granddaughter of John Gregory of Normal,IL (thus they were second-cousins, and both great-great grandchildren of Sarah Craig VanDolah). William Perry had moved to Florida in the early 1930s, and Minnie spent winters in Florida in the 1930s. It is assumed that Minnie spent the 1930s summers interviewing other Illinois descendants for this information. (Note that the unknown girl probably would not have died at birth or she would have been forgotten 100 years later.) To date (2010), no records have been found for these three daughters, not even census data, although I suspect a marriage record could be located for Esther -- therefore, they are not found on any other genealogist's tree. Note that it is likely that with so many daughters born, one would be named after John's mother whose name is thought to be Hester/Esther, supporting the idea that there were extra children without documentary evidence. If the age ranges are correct (a big assumption), the ages of the three extra women/girls are 1 26-45 and 2 under 10 (depending on whether Nancy is listed in the under 10 or 10-16 range). Therefore, this could theoretically be another widowed daughter (Esther?) with two young granddaughters, or an older widowed daughter with one granddaughter and one more younger daughter at home. At any rate, it is expected that these three extra young women/girls are daughters/granddaughters of Sarah's.

The next four years will be even harder for Sarah -- five of her ten children will die in 1822-1824 -- Adah Gilmore in 1822 (age 27 with 3 children), John in 1823 (age 19, no children), Peter in 1823 (age 36, 3 children), Rebecca Gilmore in 1824 (age 24, 0/1 child), and Sarah Gregory in 1824 (age 30, just months after her husband's death, leaving 4 orphan children). It is likely that Esther, Irene and the unknown girl also died in the 1820s, and if so, that would mean Sarah lost 8 of 13 children in the 1820s.

For documentation on the census data (collection procedures, errors, availability, etc) refer to documentation.