Rewriting the Biography: Margaret SIMS in the U.S. Federal Census

Rewriting the Biography is an ongoing theme for the rough draft notes of a new/updated biography of my 5th great-grandfather James SIMS (1754-1845) of Nicholas County.

Margaret, also known as Peggy, was the second daughter of James SIMS and his second wife Elizabeth COTTON. She was with her parents at the time of the 1810 and 1820 census. The family was in Kanawha in 1810 and Nicholas in 1820. They did not move – the county lines changed in 1818 with the formation of Nicholas County.

The 1810 U.S. Federal Census

In 1810 Margaret fell into the under 10 years of age range with two of her sisters, Sarah and Milly. This wide range puts her possible year of birth at between 1801-1810.

1810 U.S. Federal Census of Kanawha County, Virginia, for James Simms

1810 U.S. Federal Census1
Kanawha County, Virginia
Kanawha
Sheet 207A, Line 23
Name: James Simms
Free White Persons – Males – Under 10: 1 (James Jr.)
Free White Persons – Males – 45 and over: 1 (James)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 10: 3 (Margaret, Sarah, and Mildred)
Free White Persons – Females – 26 thru 44: 1 (Elizabeth)
Numbers of Slaves: 5 (Isaac, Black Jude, Black Fanny, Robert, and unknown)
Number of Household Members Under 16: 4
Number of Household Members Over 25: 2
Number of Household Members: 11

The 1820 U.S. Federal Census

In 1820 Margaret fell into the 10 thru 15 years of age range with Sarah. This narrows the range of her possible year of birth from between 1801-1810 to between 1805-1810. I question this as only two daughters were 10 or older while in 1810 there were three daughters under 10 (including Milly).

Margaret and Sarah would not live long enough to be included on an 1850 or later census listing with more exact ages. I have always listed Margaret who married first as older than Sarah but this is only an assumption on my part. The four daughters of James SIMS were born after his oldest son James Jr. (b. abt. 1801) and before the three youngest sons (b.  abt. 1815, 1818, and 1821) were born. Of the four daughters, we know Milly was born about 1807 and Jane about 1810 (after the 1810 census) per census 1850 and later. This leaves the time period from 1802 to 1806 for the births of the two oldest daughters, Margaret and Sarah.

Can the 1820 census be considered accurate? It appears to have been prepared by one person, light writing, with corrections or additions added in darker writing. Was there a mix-up in the columns?

1820 U.S. Federal Census2
Nicholas County, Virginia
Page No. 204A, Sheet 152, Line 19
Enumeration Date: 7 August 1820
Name: James Sims
Free White Persons – Males – Under 10: 2 (Dryden and Charles)
Free White Persons – Males – 45 and over: 1 (James)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 10: 2 (Mildred and Jane)
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 15: 2 (Margaret and Sarah)
Free White Persons – Females – 26 thru 44: 1 (Elizabeth)
Slaves – Males – Under 14: 2
Slaves – Males – 14 thru 25: 2 (Isaac and Robert)
Slaves – Females – Under 14: 3
Slaves – Females – 14 thru 25: 2 (Black Jude and Black Fanny)
Number of Persons – Engaged in Agriculture: 3
Free White Persons – Under 16: 6
Free White Persons – Over 25: 2
Total Free White Persons: 8
Total Slaves: 9
Total All Persons – White, Slaves, Colored, Other: 17

The 1830 U.S. Federal Census

Margaret SIMS and Matthew HUGHES were married on 21 November 1822 in Nicholas County, Virginia, by Isaac REYNOLDS. Per the 1820 census, she would have been between 12 and 17 years of age when she married. Could the age range in 1820 be incorrect? The range in 1830 is much larger placing her age at 20 thru 29, i.e. married between 12 and 21 years of age. By 1830 Margaret had given birth to a son and three daughters.

1830 U.S. Federal Census of Nicholas County, Virginia for Matthew Hughes

1830 U.S. Federal Census3
Nicholas County,  Virginia
Sheets 181A and 181B, line
Enumeration Date: 1 June 1830
Name: Matthew Hughes
Free White Persons – Males – 5 thru 9: 1 (unknown, died bet. 1840-1848)
Free White Persons – Males – 30 thru 39: 1 (Matthew)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 5: 2 (Susan & unknown, died bef. 1848)
Free White Persons – Females – 5 thru 9: 1 (unknown, died bet. 1830-1840)
Free White Persons – Females – 20 thru 29: 1 (Margaret)
Free White Persons – Under 20: 4
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 2
Total Free White Persons: 6
Total – All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored): 6

The 1840 U.S. Federal Census

Margaret and Matthew had a total of eight children by 1840. The census listing shows only seven were living in 1840. Margaret, as well as her oldest daughter, had died before the census. Matthew and the oldest son were engaged in agriculture. Part of the county of Nicholas became Fayette County in 1831 and it was in this new county that we find the widowed Matthew with his children.

1840 U.S. Federal Census of Fayette County, Virginia for Matthew Hughes with his brothers Francis and Robert as well as his brother-in-law Francis Kincaid.

1840 U.S. Federal Census4
Fayette County, Virginia
Sheet 147A+B, Line 15
Enumeration Date: 1 June 1840
Name: Mathew Hughes
Free White Persons – Males – 5 thru 9: 2 (Robert & John)
Free White Persons – Males – 15 thru 19: 1 (unknown, died bet. 1840-1848)
Free White Persons – Males – 40 thru 49: 1 (Matthew)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 5: 1 (Sarah)
Free White Persons – Females – 5 thru 9: 2 (Ann & unknown, died bef. 1848)
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 14: 1 (Susan)
Persons Employed in Agriculture: 2
Free White Persons – Under 20: 7
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 1
Total Free White Persons: 8
Total All Persons – Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 8
Note: Matthew is listed between his brother Francis T. and his father Robert Sr.

Three of the eight children of Margaret SIMS and her husband Matthew HUGHES remain unknown and died before 1848. They are only reflected in the 1830 and 1840 census listings as numbers in columns.

In 1848 the partition suit for James SIMS lists “the children of Margaret Hughes, formerly Margaret Sims, to-wit, Matthew Kincaid and Susan his wife; Ann Hughes, Robert Hughes, John Hughes, the last three are infants.

Missing in the above is Sarah HUGHES, the youngest daughter of Matthew HUGHES and Margaret SIMS. In the partition suit, Sarah HYPHY is listed in the section for Elizabeth SIMS’ children. I have always thought HYPHY could be a transcription error for HUGHES and wondered if the person transcribing the record may have lost track of the line he/she was working on. I still have not found the original record to confirm this. However, I found a record created during the August 1851 chancery term in the order books which names the infants under the age of 21 years involved in the suit. I plan to write about this at a later date.

The 1850 U.S. Federal Census

Matthew HUGHES did not remarry. He was in Nicholas County with three of the four children who were not of age: Ann, Robert, and John. Sarah, the youngest born between 1835-1840 was living in August 1851 and mentioned in the above document but she has yet to be found in the census, marriage or death records. Robert was listed as dumb on the census. Matthew and his younger son John were farming.

Matthew is the first person listed in the household but he did not own land. Also in the household was Isaac SIMS, the only free black person in the county. Isaac had been a slave of James SIMS and was manumitted in 1836. Isaac had acquired 17 1/2 acres in Nicholas County in 1837 and on this census listing the land was valued at $87. This could mean Matthew and his children were living with Isaac and not the other way around.

1850 U.S. Federal Census of Nicholas County, Virginia for Matthew Hughes household

1850 U.S. Federal Census5
Nicholas County, (West) Virginia
The Western District
Enumerated on 26 August 1850 by D. Oliver Kelly Ass’t Marshal
Sheet No. 370B, Lines 36-40, HH #407-407
Mathew Hughes 54 M W Farmer Virginia
Anna Hughes 17 F W Virginia
Robert Hughes 16 M W None Virginia Dumb
John Hughes 15 M W Farmer Virginia
Isaac Sims (Free) 56 M B Farmer $87 Virginia

The oldest living child of Matthew and Margaret was their daughter Susan. She married Mathew KINCAID before the partition suit in 1848. Although a marriage record has not been found, the partition suit clearly states Susan was the wife of Mathew KINCAID.

1850 U.S. Federal Census of Nicholas County, Virginia for Mathew Kincaid household

1850 U.S. Federal Census6
Nicholas County, Virginia
The Western District
Enumerated on 26 August 1850 by D. Oliver Kelly Ass’t Marshal
Sheet No. 370B, Lines 23-24, HH #405-405
Mathew Kincaid 51 M W Farmer Virginia
Susanna Kincaid 24 F W Virginia

The 1860 U.S. Federal Census

By 1860 the households of Matthew HUGHES and Mathew KINCAID were next door to each other. Matthew’s daughter Ann was living at home. There was a Martha HUGHES in the household who may have been a relative living with the father and daughter. Seven other women on the same census page were identified as wife while Martha is seen as domestic. None of the three in the household could read and write.

1860 U.S. Federal Census of Nicholas County, Virginia for Mathew Kincaid and Matthew Hughes households

1860 U.S. Federal Census7
Nicholas County, West Virginia
District of Nicholas
Page No. 96, Lines 35-37, HH #873-650
Matthew Hughes 65 M Old Virginia cannot read and write
Martha Hughes 40 F Domestic Virginia cannot read and write
Ann Hughes 26 F Domestic Virginia cannot read and write
Note: unknown who Martha was??

Mathew KINCAID and Susan HUGHES had been married over a dozen years by 1860 and did not have children. Mathew was a farmer and owned land. Neither Susan nor Mathew could read and write.

1860 U.S. Federal Census8
Nicholas County, West Virginia
District of Nicholas
Nicholas Court House
Page No. 96, Sheet 1015, Lines 33-34, HH #872-649
Mathew Kincaid 57 M Farmer $200 $300 Virginia cannot read & write
Susanna Kincaid 37 F wife Virginia cannot read & write

Robert HUGHES married Nancy SIMS on 28 March 1858 in Nicholas County. They were first cousins once removed. Nancy was the granddaughter of Martin SIMS, half-brother of Robert’s mother Margaret SIMS. According to the county birth register, Robert and Nancy had a son George Washington HUGHES born on 8 January 1858. Unfortunately, no census record was found for Robert in 1860 and his wife Nancy was enumerated in her father’s household with her maiden name and without the young son.

This is new information. I had previously attached John W. Hughes who married Minerva A. O’Dell in 1873 as the son of Matthew HUGHES and Margaret SIMS. While analyzing the census and comparing records, I found an 1860 marriage record for John HUGHES and Octavia YOUNG which names the parents of the groom as Matthew and Peggy HUGHES. Further analysis of the census had me pruning the branch in the family tree. Pruning is unlinking but keeping all the names and research – just in case!

John HUGHES married Octavia YOUNG on 12 May 1860 in Fayette County.    John and Octavia were found with the widowed Mary FOSTER and her children. John and Mary were half first cousins as Mary was the daughter of Mary “Polly” SIMS and Thomas HUGHES Jr. They were also first cousins once removed through their HUGHES side. John and Octavia’s ages were not recorded correctly (33 and 23). Only a month earlier when they married their ages were seen as 23 and 21.

As the widowed Mary FOSTER was the person in the household with land it is more likely that John and Octavia were living with the FOSTER family and John was not the head of household.

1860 U.S. Federal Census of Fayette County, Virginia for John Hughes (seen as Hews) household

1860 U.S. Federal Census9
Fayette County, Virginia
District No. 1
Page No. 106, Lines 27-35, HH #788-722
John Hews 33 M farm laborer $0 $25 Virginia
Octava Hews 23 F Virginia
Mary Foster 37 F widow farmer $500 $50 Virginia cannot read & write
Thomas Foster 16 M Farm Laborer Virginia attended school
James P. Foster 15 M Farm Laborer Virginia attended school
Nelson J. Foster 12 M Virginia attended school
Mary E. Foster 10 F Virginia
Nannie J. Foster 8 F Virginia
Rebecca J. Foster 6 F Virginia

The 1870 U.S. Federal Census

By 1870 Matthew had moved across the county line (again) to Fayette County and was living in the household of his sister Ann, the widow of Francis T. KINCAID. Three other persons were in the household. Their connection to either Matthew or his sister is unknown. Living next door was Matthew and Ann’s brother Francis Tincher HUGHES.

1870 U.S. Federal Census of Fayette County, West Virginia for Ann Kincaid with her brother Matthew Hughes

1870 U.S. Federal Census10
Fayette County, West Virginia
Falls of Kanawha Township
Page No. 18, Sheet No. 103B, Lines 30-34, HH #120-116
Kincaid, Ann 60 F W housekeeper $0 $40 Virginia
Hugs, M. 74 M W Farm Laborer Virginia cannot read & write male cit. over 21 yo
Nicholas, F. 24 M W Farmer $0 $288 Virginia male cit. over 21 yo
Nicholas, Mary 63 F W housekeeper Virginia
Nicholas, Charles 6 M W West Virginia
(Note: Ann and Matthew are brother and sister and are living next door to brother Francis T. Hughes. The last three persons’ surname may not be Nicholas!)

Susan HUGHES and her husband Mathew KINCAID had Susan’s sister Ann living with them in 1870. There was another young HUGHES girl with them who I have not been able to identify or follow up on. The ages of both Susan and Ann are off but this is a recurring problem for them throughout the census. Susan was: 1850 age 24, 1860 age 37, 1870 age 35, 1880 age 62. Ann was: 1850 age 17, 1860 age 26, 1870 age 28, 1880 age 54. If their ages were off, could the age of the young Mary A. HUGHES also be wrong? Was she possibly Ann’s daughter? All persons in the household could not read and write.

1870 U.S. Federal Census of Nicholas County, West Virginia, for Mathew Kincaid household

1870 U.S. Federal Census11
Nicholas County, West Virginia
Jefferson Township
Nicholas Courthouse
Page No. 4, Sheet No. 164B, Lines 31-34, HH #28-28
Kincaid, Mathew 70 M W Farmer $400 $500 Virginia cannot write US cit. over 21 yo
Kincaid, Susan 35 F W Virginia cannot read & write
Hughes, Anna 28 F Virginia cannot read & write
Hughes, Mary A. 12 F Virginia cannot read & write

Robert HUGHES was widowed in 1866 after his wife Nancy SIMS gave him three children. In 1870 his sons George and John M., from his first marriage, are in his household. Missing is daughter Rebecca J. who died in 1867 at the age of 3 years. Robert remarried nearly a year and a half after he was widowed to Elizabeth Rachel “Lizzie” DEMPSEY on 8 April 1868 in Fayette County. Robert, my first cousin 5 times removed, married my great-grandaunt Lizzie, making him my great-granduncle (by marriage).

Robert and Lizzie had their first child, a son William F., likely named after his maternal grandfather William A. W. DEMPSEY (my 2nd great-grandfather) in 1869. Robert, Lizzie, and George could not read and write. Robert did not own land and worked as a farm laborer. Robert was living next door to James J. SIMS, his deceased first wife’s father.

1870 U.S. Federal Census of Fayette County, West Virginia, for Robert Hughes with his father-in-law James J. Sims living next door

1870 U. S. Federal Census12
Fayette County, West Virginia
Falls of Kanawha Township
Martin Hill, Assistant Marshall, enumerator.
Page No. 33, Sheet No. 111A, Lines 16-20, HH #220-215
Robert Hughes 35 M W farm laborer $0 $180 Virginia Virginia cannot read & write male US citizen over 21
Lizzie Hughes 23 F W housekeeper Virginia cannot read & write
George Hughes 13 M W Virginia cannot read & write (son from 1st marriage)
John M. Hughes 6 M W West Virginia (son from 1st marriage)
Willie Hughes 1 M W West Virginia

By 1870 John, like his brother Robert, did not own land and worked as a farm laborer. He’d started a family with Octavia very soon after the 1860 census and it had grown to include three daughters and a son.

1870 U.S. Federal Census of Nicholas County, West Virginia for John Hughes household

1870 U.S. Federal Census13
Nicholas County, West Virginia
Jefferson Township, Nicholas Courthouse
Page No. 5, Sheet 165A, Lines 8-13, HH #32-32
John Hughes 30 M W Farm laborer $0 $350 West Virginia
Octavia Hughes 28 F W West Virginia
Susan Hughes 10 F W West Virginia
Sarah Hughes 11 F W West Virginia
Franklin Hughes 6 M W West Virginia
Rebecca Hughes 2 F W West Virginia

The 1880 U.S. Federal Census

Matthew HUGHES died after the 1870 and before the 1880 census. His children Susan, Ann, and John were practically next door to each other in households 18, 19, and 21. Robert was found on the previous page in household 15. Next door to Susan was her uncle Charles SIMS, a younger brother of her mother Margaret.

Susan was widowed during the 1870s and lived by herself.

1880 U.S. Federal Census of Fayette County, West Virginia, for John, Ann, and Susan HUGHES

1880 U.S. Federal Census14
Fayette County, West Virginia
Falls District
Enumerated the 10th day of June 1880
Page 4, Sheet 2D, Line 23, HH #21-21
Kincaid, Susan W F 62 self widowed Keeping house cannot read & write WV WV WV

Ann had waited to marry, perhaps until after her father’s death. In 1872 [no date was given in the county register of marriages] she married the widowed William LOYD. The entry is lacking in information. The ages of the bride and groom are not given nor are the names of their parents. Ann was correctly noted as single. Without the 1880 census listing showing the HUGHES siblings living so close together, I would not have been able to attribute this marriage to Ann. [John L. FOSTER may be John Miletus “Lettie” FOSTER, a 1C1R of Ann HUGHES. I need to look into this.]

1880 U.S. Federal Census15
Fayette County, West Virginia
Falls District
Enumerated the 10th day of June 1880
Page No. 4, Sheet 2D, Lines 16-18, HH #19-19
Loyd, William W M 70 self married Farmer VA VA VA
Loyd, Ann G. W F 54 wife married Keeping house WV WV WV
Foster, John L. W M 21 laborer single Laborer WV WV WV

Robert HUGHES was seen as Robin in the 1880 census. His second family had grown to include two daughters and another son. Robert, Lizzie [seen here as Rachael E.], and William F. could not read and write. Robert was a farmer. I have not been able to trace his two sons from his first marriage after the 1870 census.

1880 U.S. Federal Census of Fayette County, West Virginia, for Robert (Robin) Hughes household

1880 U.S. Federal Census16
Fayette County, West Virginia
Falls District
Enumerated the 9th day of June 1880
Page No. 3, Sheet No. 2C, Lines 5-10, HH #15-15
Hughes, Robin W M 41 self married Farmer cannot read & write WV VA VA
Hughes, Rachael E. W F 31 wife married Keeping House cannot read & write WV VA WV
Hughes, William F. W M 11 son single cannot read & write WV WV WV
Hughes, Sarah M. W F 8 daughter single WV WV WV
Hughes, Nancy W F 5 daughter single WV WV WV
Hughes, James E. W M 1 son single WV WV WV

John HUGHES and his wife Octavia had three more sons in the 1870s. John was working as a laborer and all persons in the household 10 and older could not read and write.

1880 U.S. Federal Census17
Fayette County, West Virginia
Falls District
Enumerated the 10th day of June 1880
Page No. 4, Sheet 2D, Lines 7-15, HH #18-18
John Hughs W M 40 self married Laborer cannot read & write WV WV WV
Octavia Hughs W F 38 wife married Keeping house cannot write WV WV WV
Susanna Hughs W F 18 daughter single At home cannot read & write WV WV WV
Sarah M. Hughs W F 16 daughter single At home cannot read & write WV WV WV
George F. Hughs W M 13 son single At home disabled cannot read & write WV WV WV
Rebecca J. Hughs W F 10 daughter single cannot read & write WV WV WV
William J. Hughs W M 9 son single WV WV WV
John T. Hughs W M 3 son single WV WV WV
George W. Hughs W M 8/12 July son single WV WV WV

Normally I would have stopped the census analysis after the death of Margaret SIMS. I would have stopped with the 1850 census and only mentioned where the children were found in later years. However the new information found while I was working on this census analysis included the major correction regarding Margaret’s son John as well as the discovery of her youngest child Sarah. Robert was found on the 1890 Veteran’s schedule; John may have died in 1895 (but this could also be the other John); and no trace as been found of Susan and Ann after 1880.

The census listings of Sarah SIMS, another one of James’ daughters who was deceased at the time of the partition suit, will be discussed in the next instalment.

© 2018, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

Rewriting the Biography: Margaret SIMS in the U.S. Federal Census

  1. 1810 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Third Census of the United States, 1810 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C. NARA microfilm publication M252, 71 rolls, FHL 0181429, roll 69, image 405, Virginia, Kanawha, Kanawha, page 129, sheet 207A, line 23, James Simms (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 6 February 2018). 
  2. 1820 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Fourth Census of the United States, 1820 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M33, 142 rolls, NARA Roll M33_130, image 388, Virginia, Nicholas, page 204A, line 19, James Sims. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 21 February 2018). 
  3. 1830 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Fifth Census of the United States, 1830 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C. NARA microfilm publication M19, 201 rolls, FHL FIlm 0029677, NARA Roll M19_198, Virginia, Nicholas, image 19+20 of 42, page 181A+B, line 17, Matthew Hughes. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 3 March 2018). 
  4. 1840 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Sixth Census of the United States, 1840 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M704, 580 rolls, FHL Film 0029685, NARA Roll M704_555, Virginia, Fayette, images 17+18 of 54, page 147A+B, line 15, Mathew Hughes. ‎(http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 5 March 2018). 
  5. 1850 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Seventh Census of the United States, 1850 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration,Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M432, 1009 rolls, Roll: M432_963, image: 303; Virginia, Nicholas, image 62 of 93, Sheet No. 370B, lines 36-40, HH #407-407, Mathew Hughes household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 28 April 2018). 
  6. Ibid., lines 23-24, HH #405-405, Mathew Kincaid household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 28 April 2018). 
  7. 1860 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Eighth Census of the United States, 1860 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M653, 1,438 rolls, Roll: M653_1365, page 1014, FHL Film: 805365; Virginia, Nicholas, District of Nicholas, image 90 of 118, Page No. 96, lines 35-37, HH #873-650, Matthew Hughes household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 29 June 2018). 
  8. Ibid., Virginia, Nicholas, District of Nicholas, image 90 of 118, Page No. 96, lines 33-34, HH #872-649, Mathew Kincaid household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 29 June 2018). 
  9. Ibid., Roll: M653_1344; Page: 298; FHL Film: 805344; Virginia, Fayette, District 1, image 10 of 26, page no. 106, lines 27-35, HH #788-722, John Hews household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 3 July 2018). 
  10. 1870 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Ninth Census of the United States, 1870 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration,Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication T132, 13 rolls, Roll: M593_1686; FHL Film: 553185; West Virginia, Fayette, Falls of Kanawha, page 103B, lines 30-34, HH #120-116, Ann Kincaid household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 1 July 2018). 
  11. Ibid., Roll: M593_1695; Page: 164B; FHL Film: 553194; West Virginia, Nicholas, Jefferson, image 4 of 17, page 4, sheet no. 164B, lines 31-34, HH #28-28, Mathew Kincaid household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 1 July 2018). 
  12. Ibid., Roll: M593_1686; Page: 111A; FHL Film: 553185; West Virginia, Fayette, Falls of Kanawha, image 33 of 36, Page No. 33, Sheet No. 111A, Lines 16-20, HH #220-215, Robert Hughes household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 3 July 2018). 
  13. Ibid., Roll: M593_1695; FHL Film: 553194; West Virginia, Nicholas, Jefferson, image 5 of 17, Sheet 165A; lines 8-13, HH #32-32, John Hughes household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 29 April 2018). 
  14. 1880 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), FamilySearch, citing Tenth Census of the United States, 1880 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication T9, 1,454 rolls, West Virginia, Fayette, Falls, ED 27, image 4 of 24, page 4, sheet 2D, lines 23, HH #22-22, Susan Kincaid household. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33S7-9YBF-94Y1?cc=1417683&wc=QZ2W-5DS%3A1589415848%2C1589394995%2C1589403370%2C1589394804 : accessed 3 July 2018). 
  15. Ibid., West Virginia, Fayette, Falls, ED 27, image 4 of 24, page 4, sheet 2D, lines16-18, HH #19-19, William Loyd household. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33S7-9YBF-94Y1?cc=1417683&wc=QZ2W-5DS%3A1589415848%2C1589394995%2C1589403370%2C1589394804 : accessed 3 July 2018). 
  16. Ibid., West Virginia, Fayette, Falls, ED 27, image 3 of 24, page 3, sheet 2C, lines 5-10, HH #15-15, Robin Hughes household. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33S7-9YBF-9HML?cc=1417683&wc=QZ2W-5DS%3A1589415848%2C1589394995%2C1589403370%2C1589394804 : accessed 3 July 2018). 
  17. Ibid., West Virginia, Fayette, Falls, ED 27, image 4 of 24, page 4, sheet 2D, lines 7-15, HH #18-18, John Hughs household. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33S7-9YBF-94Y1?cc=1417683&wc=QZ2W-5DS%3A1589415848%2C1589394995%2C1589403370%2C1589394804 : accessed 3 July 2018). 

Author: Cathy Meder-Dempsey

When I’m not doing genealogy and blogging, I spend time riding my racing bike with my husband through the wonderful Luxembourg countryside.

12 thoughts on “Rewriting the Biography: Margaret SIMS in the U.S. Federal Census”

  1. So many who were unable to read or write—I wonder what the literacy rate was like back then. Also—on the new marriage record—isn’t Peggy often a nickname for Margaret? Why do you think it’s a different person? Did I miss something?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Peggy is a nickname for Margaret. It’s the 1860 marriage record I found only a few days ago which has Matthew and Peggy for the parents of John who married Octavia. This, as well as the proximity of all of the siblings to this couple in the Jefferson district of Nicholas and Falls district of Fayette, pointed to the error.
      The 1873 marriage record (of the other John I had originally attached as the son) does not list parents and he lived with his family in the Wilderness District of Nicholas County.
      As you pointed out, they all could not read and write which also points to their all being from the same family.
      Thank you, Amy.

      Like

      1. Right. The wrong marriage for John which meant I had followed the wrong family and descendants. But with the intermarriage in the families in this area, they still fit into the overall tree. Kind of like the connections you find in your families.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree that the 1820 Nicholas County census with its lighter and then darker writing makes it suspect, and you’re right to question it for possible mistakes.

    I had to laugh when I read your note: “Pruning is unlinking but keeping all the names and research – just in case!”

    I just went through a round of this in my own tree. You’re absolutely right not to delete the names and research entirely. You never know when you may have to re-link and welcome them back into the family.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know many genealogists do the research outside of their genealogy program and will only enter them when they have proven a connection. I could never do this. As soon as I begin researching I add the individual and input the facts and events. It is the only way for me to keep track.

      I have an entire cluster of Dempseys of Orange County, Virginia, which I added while proving my 2nd great-grandfather (William A. W. Dempsey) was not the William A. Dempsey who entered the army in Orange County and served in the Civil War. My ancestor’s grave is marked with the CW marker of this other man. But I would never delete them from the database because I am hoping to welcome them back into the family someday when both of my Dempsey brick walls tumble!

      Thank you, Michael.

      Like

  3. Hello, I am a new reader to your blog – referred by Luanne Castle.
    Have you visited the new Legacy Museum in Montgomery, Alabama?
    I was there this summer – amazing. I think every American should be required to visit the museum. It’s that powerful.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.