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Cheshire Co., NH, weirdness

Cheshire Co., NH, weirdness

Posted: 1159485417000
Classification: Query
Does anyone know what's going on with the 1790 census of Cheshire County?

I have three sources I'm dealing with: Broderbund's 1790 Census Index (CD-311) and subscriptions to the indices and page images online at and

There's a sequence of pages, 117 thru 131, from Cheshire Co., NH, that are one (roughly) alphabetical sequence, so they obviously represent the enumeration of one geographical location (the digital images are two-page spreads, so each image includes two census pages). A large number of individuals are involved because each page has four columns of names, and there are about 75 names in each column. The Broderbund CD shows these as "Cheshire Co., NH," without breaking them down into towns. And how could they be indexed by town? There's nothing on the pages to indicate the town.

These same page images, containing the single alphabetical sequence, are duplicated 31 times (!), with each set having a different town label and with individuals being indexed in different towns. I see no conceivable way to tell which town an individual is in.

The situation is even more bizarre at, where each page image is duplicated and given a different town name, even though they are clearly *one* alphabetical sequence, namely:

The image of pp. 117-118, which contains surnames beginning A and B is given twice, labeled Croydon the first time and Lempster the second time.

The image of pp. 119-120, which contains surnames beginning B thru E is given twice, labeled Dublin the first time and Charlestown the second time.

The image of pp. 121-122 , which contains surnames beginning E thru H is given twice, labeled Alstead the first time and Hinsdale the second time.

The image of pp. 123-124, which contains surnames beginning H thru L is given twice, labeled Langdon the first time and Charlestown the second time.

The image of pp. 125-126, which contains surnames beginning L thru P is given twice, labeled Gilsum the first time and Marlow the second time.

The image of pp. 127-128, which contains surnames beginning P thru S is given twice, labeled Chesterfield the first time and Cornish the second time.

The image of pp. 129-130, which contains surnames beginning S thru W is given twice, labeled Charlestown the first time and Croydon the second time.

The image of pp. 131-132, which contains surnames beginning W thru Y is given once and is labeled Packersfield.

And the weird thing about the index at like the one at, individuals indexed in Cheshire County *include* the town names.

There are some stray pages for New Grantham, Plainfield, and Protectworth on another microfilm roll, but let's not complicate things further. However, what's a little disturbing about these is that they are written in an entirely different hand in a different style and format, with the town name very obvious, which makes me worry that there were once such pages for the rest of the towns, which have been lost. Was the index compiled from a different set of pages, ones that included the town names? If so, why were those pages not digitized? Are the images we're viewing a handwritten copy of missing pages? Does anyone know what's going on here?

It seems to me that until we understand where the town locations in the indices came from, we should ignore them.

Re: Cheshire Co., NH, weirdness

Posted: 1196983689000
Classification: Query
What names are you looking for?

Re: Cheshire Co., NH, weirdness

Posted: 1289055512000
Classification: Query
Whoever did the 1790 census for Cheshire County alphabetized the entire area that he/she covered. (It isn't all of Cheshire County, by the way.) And the grouping of each town's residents by the first letter of the last name is denoted by a number at the beginning of that town's names. Go to the first page of the entire census and you will see how it is organized and broken down:

You will need to enlarge it at least to 150 percent for easy reading.
For example, Cornish is town number 6. So, go to the census for the names you are researching (by first letter) and look for the letter 6 in front of a name. That name and the subsequent names, up to where the next number appears, are in the town of Cornish. (It doesn't help that the letters sometimes blend in with the name following it!)
Yes, it is horribly awkward for the genealogist, but that wasn't the original point of the census.
And could help us genealogists by doing a clearer microfilming of this census (page #116, beginning with town Acworth, thru page 131).

Another suggestion for is that putting a black sheet of paper behind the sheet you are microfilming dramatically cuts down of the "bleed-through" of the images from the back side of the pages. (This also works for photocopying documents that have ink bleed-through!)
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