Duncan research files of
What's in the Indexes
These indexes include almost all persons with the last name DUNCAN or similar in the 1850, 1860 and 1870 US census for all states. There are about 11,700 listings in 1850, about 15,000 listings in 1860, and about 21,000 listings in 1870.
The index does not include a separate listing for females if they appear to be the wife of a head of household.
The usual spelling of DUNCAN, DUNKIN, DUNKEN, or DUNKAN may be noted. DUNCAM, DUNCOMB, DUNCUM or similar variants are noted. The index only rarely includes DUNGAN or DUNHAM, or other variant spellings, but when it does, the spelling is noted.
The list is semi-alphabetic by first initial or first name, including variant spellings, then by age in ascending order, by state of birth (where shown), and by state and county and page of the census. Any middle initial or name is shown but is ignored in alphabetizing the list.
Variant first-name spellings have usually been mixed with the more common spellings.
Shortened names are frequently together. For instance, Alex and Alexander are together. Ann, Anna, and Annie are together. Eliza, Elisa, and Elizabeth are together. John and Jonathan are together. Mary and Marian are together. Nathan and Nathaniel are together. Rose and Rosannah are together. Susan and Susannah are together. Kate and Catherine are together but Kate is also separate.
Nicknames are separate. For instance, Ann and Nancy are listed separately, as are Betsy and Elizabeth, Sally and Sarah, Milly and Mildred, Mary and Polly and Molly, and others.
If only initials were used by the census taker but the first name could be determined from other records, the name is given in parentheses in the Remarks column and also listed in parentheses with other similar names.
Age and State of Birth
Any child whose age is given in months is listed as age 1 and the age in months is in parentheses in the Remarks column. The names are in order by age, state of birth, state and county of the census. The two-letter state abbreviations are used when it is a US state. UNK is Unknown, SCT is Scotland, IRE is Ireland, etc.
Census State and County
The two-letter state abbreviations are used, and the county name is written in full when possible.
The page number for the 1850 census is usually the stamped page number on the census or the unnumbered page immediately following, except for Ohio and Tennessee which use the handwritten page numbers. Each page is usually numbered on the 1860 census.
Remarks - Head of Household or Spouse
If the listing is for a male Duncan as head of the household, the Remarks column contains the name, age, and birth state of the wife if a likely female is listed on the census.
If the listing is for a Duncan who was in another Duncan's household, the Remarks column contains the first name of the head of the household & possible wife if any.
If the listing is for a Duncan who was close in age to the Duncan head of the household, the age and birth state are in parentheses immediately following the name in the Remarks column.
If the listing is for a Duncan who was in a non-Duncan household, the non-Duncan surname is given in all capital letters. The abbreviation "w/" means "with".
If the surname was something other than DUNCAN, DUNKAN, DUNKEN, or DUNKIN, it is sometimes given in parentheses in the Remarks column instead of the name column.
Sometimes the Remarks column contains the county township or city ward in parentheses.
Suggestions for using the index
For example, if you want to find a Mary Jane Duncan born in Kentucky in 1846, you could assume she would be about age 4 (plus or minus two or three years) in 1850. Look in the index file for M names, scroll down to Mary, and look for a Mary age 4 born KY. Note the state, county, page number, and head of household for any possibility. Then go to the corresponding 1850 Census Transcription for that state, and look at the county and the household on that page to find the complete household. You will now have at least one county to search for more information.
If you do not find a Mary or Mariah or Marian age 1 to 7 born KY, try looking at the initial M. (female) names, for an M. age 1 to 7 born KY. Try looking under Polly and Molly in case she was listed on the census under a nickname. Try looking for her middle name Jane. Try any other nickname or spelling you can think of.
Be creative in spelling. The census taker wrote what he heard, I read the film as best I could, and I re-alphabetized. For instance, try checking the spelling with a "c," "s," and "k." If you are searching for a male with a name like Franklin or Jackson or Washington, try looking for Benjamin F. or Andrew J. or George W.
If you do not find your Duncan in the 1850 census index, try the 1860 census index which follows the same format.
Enjoy your research.
Mary Ann (Duncan) Dobson, the Genealogy Bug
Return to List of 1850 Census Indexes and Transcriptions
Return to List of 1860 Census Indexes and Transcriptions
Return to List of 1870 Census Indexes and Transcriptions
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