Cumberland County Kentucky 1860 Federal Census

Researchers: please be aware that this database is very likely full of mistaken interpretations of 150-year-old handwriting. A discussion of specific problems is given after the index below. Another stumbling block in using this data is the odd spellings that occur frequently throughout. We have tried to maintain the integrity of the original census as far as possible, including retaining the unusual spellings.

This work is intended as a launching pad for searching an actual microfilmed copy of the original census pages. It is not to be considered as a correct, primary source document. Please feel free to let us know of any errors we should correct. Now a word about the use of these electronic pages:

Many, MANY long laborious hours have been spent transcribing this data from microfilm. If the message below doesn't deter fellow web surfers from stealing my work, then consider Velma's Genealogical Curse, which follows this fair use and copyright message:

The transcriptions of Federal Census Data listed on this website may be used freely for personal non-commercial research. This message must remain on all copied material. None of these electronic pages may be reproduced in any format or presented by any other organization, person, or persons. Individuals or organizations desiring to use this material for profit or any form of presentation, must obtain my written consent. © 1999 Velma Tinch

Velma's Genealogical Curse:

If you steal and/or profit from my work (or the work of any other diligent slave who labors day and night transcribing public records to provide you with easy, free, armchair genealogy)...

May all your ancestral listings be written in illegible handwriting with disappearing ink!
May you find nothing but burned counties as you track your illusive kin.
And upon your death, may your disinterested heirs deposit your life's work in the nearest dumpster!

The data from this federal census is provided in two formats.

One set of pages sorts the names alphabetically by surname.

The other set of pages lists the persons and families in the order in which they were enumerated on the original census. Those pages are divided by enumeration district.

Most researchers will find it easier to consult the alphabetical list first. This will provide the Enumeration District number and the household number. With that information in hand, the researcher may then easily find the desired individual within the context of the original census pages.

Notes regarding difficulty in deciphering the enumerators' handwriting

Most recent corrections: 23 July 1999

Alphabetical by Surname

Alphabetical List -- A thru E
Alphabetical List -- F thru L
Alphabetical List -- M thru R
Alphabetical List -- S thru Z

Original Context by Enumeration District and Household Number

Enumeration District 1
Households 1 thru 279
Enumeration District 1
Households 280 thru 497
Enumeration District 2
Households 1 thru 259
Enumeration District 2
Households 260 thru 517

Other Cumberland County Kentucky Items of Interest

Deciphering the handwriting:

There were many inconsistencies in the handwriting of both enumerators of this county. Researchers are advised to note the letters with which we had most difficulty. If you can't find your ancestor listed with the proper initial letter, try some of the others that closely resemble the correct letter. Confusing initial letters combined with a couple of indistinguishable lowercase letters can completely change the way a name might be deciphered.

Enumeration District #1:
The enumerator for this district was Asa P. Simpson, a local merchant. At first glance the script looks easy to read. Don't be fooled by first glances!

His lower case "u, n & v" were extremely difficult to distinguish. Most of his "o"s were not closed, particularly those preceding "n". He often used long "tails" preceding a letter, giving the impression of an additional letter. His double "s" was usually the old style resembling the letter "p". The letters "i" and "e" were almost identical. The letters "g" and "z" were often identical. His uppercase "S, L & T" were almost identical and he used them interchangeably, often on the same page. Uppercase "C" and "O" also made stumbling blocks.


Enumeration District #2
The enumerator for this district was J.D. Burton, a local lawyer.

His lower case double "s" was in the old style resembling the letter "p". Lowercase "n, u & v" were almost identical. His uppercase "M" and "W", as well as "V" and "N", were at times almost impossible to distinguish.

Other Cumberland County Kentucky Items of Interest

Cumberland County Post Card: ca. mid-20th. Century

An Every-Name Index to the first eleven chapters of J.W. Wells' "History of Cumberland County" 1947 edition


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© 1999 Velma Tinch