About Lost Census Records

Genealogy Tips by Jeannette Holland Austin

Unfortunately, the 1790, 1800 and 1810 census of Georgia did not survive the British troops destruction of Washington, D. C. during the War of 1812. That leaves 1820, 1830 and 1840 of scant information (before 1850) for purposes of trying to locate where relatives resided. Everyone with the ancestral surname needs to be noted. What I do is make a list of everyone in each county for 1820. Then, I do the same for 1830 and 1840. This provides a comparison. It is interesting to see whether or not a person was still in the county, or had moved elsewhere. The movements provide other counties to search. Now, when you begin the 1850 census, you will better understand who these people were and how the families connect. Be sure and note the age ranges of the children and determine if that person is still with the family, or has married or died. Then, you need to search for old wills and estates and examine all of those records, looking for receipts from heirs. The husband would have been the receiver of the estate of his spouse. Hence, the receipts and vouchers are quite important.

After census records, the next step is to research county records where the ancestor resided, including the surroundiing counties.

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