I had intended to summarize what I'd learned about my great great
grandfather Jonathan Phelps West and his brothers from the 1850-1880
Nonpopulation Census Schedules. But I hadn't found the1880
Agricultural Schedule for JP yet and I wanted to take a last shot at
it over at Ancestry.com. Searching by name hadn't turned up anything
so I decided to search every image for every town in Oxford County,
Maine.

The 1880 images show two pages and theorizing that the missing page with JP might have
be a right hand page indexed under the name of the town on the left hand page, I narrowed
my search by looking at the last image for each town. Sure enough, after starting
alphabetically with the town of Albany, I found the missing Upton, Maine image at the
end of the images for Grafton, Maine.

I discovered why the name search hadn't worked when I added the record to JP's
profile: he'd been indexed just as "Jonathan P." and with no last name!

Figuring I was now on a roll, I decided to try my luck with the same method for
the missing second page of the 1870 Agricultural Schedule. This presented
a different challenge. The images show two pages with the right hand one being
the front page of a record and the left hand page being the second page of the
previous record.Reasoning this time that the missing second page might be
indexed with the first page of the following town, I decided to search the first
image for each town.The main trouble with this was that those pages don't
have the names of the towns or citizens on them; that information was on
the front page. So how could I tell if a page was the missing Upton page?

I looked at the image I had of the front page for anything that might be
dark enough to show through onto the second page. Nothing. Then, I

counted the number of entries on the page. There were 33, so logically,
there should be a corresponding number on the missing second page.
I started looking at the images for the 1870 Schedule and once again I
lucked out! The page preceding the page for the town of Gilead had 33
entries! But not taking any chances, I went through all the towns to see
if there was another image with the 33 entries, but there were no others.

So I have a few more posts to write before that summary.


And that's why it pays to be persistent!





Views: 28

Comment by Melanie Farmer on March 31, 2011 at 11:01pm
How do you know it was Jonathan P WEST?

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