Monday, November 17, 2008

More Census Data

It occured to me that the map we have from Mr. Barbour has not only the names of the people who owned certain properties in PT but also what the buildings were, i.e., "Smoot Warehouse" and "Coombs Smithy".

With that, I went to the census data to look at what the different peoples occupations were in each year. Some of the information matched and some didn't. At least, not exactly.

In 1880, James Coombs is indeed listed as a Blacksmith. However, I had questions about a couple others. The old Quenzal store was in the town square. Mr. Quenzal's occupation though is listed as that of a watchrepairer. The Wade's were indeed merchants according to the census. David Smoot was a horsetrader and is listed as having a warehouse on the map.

The simplest answer is that these folks, like most in the late 19th Century in small towns, had multiple professions and used their homes and businesses for these jobs. I'm curious as to why Mr. Quenzal chose to have watchrepairer listed as his profession rather than merchant like Mr. Wade?

Census data is limited in actual information written down but take it in a different context and compare it to other available resources and a better picture can be made about the people you are looking into.

- Peter

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