Caroline County Virginia was formed in 1727 from parts of Essex, King and Queen and King William Counties. It is a strategic county for geneologists because of its location. Many colonial Virginia ancestors settled or "passed through" Caroline. The 1850 Caroline County Census was enumerated by Thomas T. Chandler. Mr. Chandler's work has numerous legibility and spelling "problems," as well as what appears to be a few bonifide errors. Mr. Chandler must be forgiven. How was he to know that as he traveled the roads of 1850 Caroline, that every letter he put down would be under extreme scrutiny by future researchers. Chandler's writing is often difficult to discern as t's are uncrossed confusing them with unlooped l's, a's are not closed and might be u's, i's are often not dotted and can't be distinguished from unlooped e's and similar problems. Even more frustrating for me were the names that were clear but didn't really make sense; as letters seem to be excluded or extra ones added. An example of this would be the several families that have different spelling within the household such as # 897 with "Bird" and "Byrd" or # 1014 with "Garnet" and "Garnett". In the case of the few names that really didn't fit, the transcriber entered it as it appears in the census unless he could find the spelling for that specific name in at least two other sources. Readers are reminded that the burden of proof remains on the researcher and therefore consult the original record when in doubt.
CENSUS COLUMN LEGEND (Left to Right)
- Dwelling houses numbered in the order of visitation (Not shown in this book)
- Families numbered in the order of visitation
- The Name of every Person whose usual place of abode on the first day of June 1850, was in this family.
- Color (White, black, or mulatto)
- Profession, Occupation or Trade of each Male Person over 15 years of age.
- Value of Real Estate
- Place of birth, naming the state, territory, or country.
- Married within the year, attended school within the year, persons over 20 years of age who cannot read or write.
- Whether deaf and dumb, blind, insane, idiotic, or pauper.
Mark Anderson Sprouse