Beginning in 1850, the Federal Census listed the names of all in the household, instead of just the names of the head of household. This book includes all of the information in the 1850 free census except for the three columns of "married within the year, attended school within the year, and over the age of 21 and can't read and write." Using the typed and indexed form of the census makes it easier to find ancestors and other useful information. To double- check the accuracy, a researcher should check the microfilm to verify the typed data. If your local public library does not have the Rockingham County census microfilm, you can usually request it through interlibrary loan for a small fee.
Look for all possible spellings of the name. The Historical Society Publication Committee for this project was composed of three people with Rockingham County connections who were familiar with local names. However, the old style writing was faded and difficult to decipher in some places.
In 1850 other census information was also collected in different schedules. Three of the other schedules are included here. The slave schedule which is transcribed here lists the owners and the age, sex, and race of every slave. The mortality schedule was to include names and other data on residents who died in the twelve months before June 1, 1850. Since the State of Virginia did not require deaths and births to be recorded until 1853, this mortality schedule may give death dates that are unavailable elsewhere. The social statistics give a snapshot of economic and social conditions in the county. For instance, there were no libraries but there were 97 common schools with 1970 pupils. There were 30 church buildings in the county and two newspapers. The year 1850 must have had a poor growing season, for the corn crop produced half of the usual yield.
Harrisonburg-Rockingham Historical Society.