1870 Census -- Ninth Census of the United States

Schedule 1 -- Inhabitants
State: Illinois, County: Woodford, Township: Ohio, Post Office: Eureka
sheet #28
Enumerated: 25th day of July, 1870, W. J. Capill, Assistant Marshall

Mary Emily Howsmon is missing on the 1870 census.

In these days, an enumerator visited each home to fill in the form, a labor-intensive process, requiring weeks if not months. The problem is that life changes during that time. The government tried to counteract this by specifying a date for the information, regardless of when it was actually written down -- this standardized date was June 1st in 1870. So even though the census questions were asked of the Howsmons on July 25th, it was supposed to reflect the family composition on June 1st. Mary Emily Howsmon married Oliver Perry Hay on June 30th. He is (correctly) listed at his home in Bureau County, IL (census there taken July 2nd); Mary Emily Howsmon is not included here on July 25th. Perhaps the married couple is staying with Oliver Perry Hay's family, so it was easier for the enumerator to figure out to include him. At any rate, as of June 1st, Mary Emily should have been enumerated here with her family.

portion of actual census form - click on image for full entry or here for full page

Dwelling #223, Family #223
Harison, Joseph, age 54, Male, White, Value of real estate: $5,000, value of personal property: $4,000, born in Ohio, Eligible to vote
-------, Elizabeth, age 53, Female, White, Occupation: keeps house, born in Ohio
-------, Harriet, age 19, Female, White, occupation: at school, born in Ohio, school during year
-------, John, age 16, Male, White, occupation: at school, born in Ohio, school during the year
-------, Ellen, age 4, Female, White, born in Ohio

Notes: The form looks like "Harmon" instead of Howsmon, and it is computer-indexed as "Harison". All three children here (Harriet, John and Ellen) were born in Illinois, not Ohio. Ellen (Frances Ellen) should be 14 not 4. Curiously, Joseph is not listed with any occupation, and his net worth has decreased 70% over the last ten years -- in 1860 his real estate was $13,750 and his personal property was $15,750 -- it is not known if this was somehow devalued during the Civil War, or perhaps due to college tuitions for his children (which is why he moved here to Eureka). This is especially curious when the Hay property in Bureau county appreciated three-fold ($5,000 to $16,200) during the same period.

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