Thursday, March 4, 2010

Census and Genealogy

I’m part of United States' 2010 Census. All citizens are. All of us are to complete the questionnaires, just as we have done since 1790.

I have found some ancestors in each of the American Census records. I think there was one, even, in the remnants of the burned 1890 census. I really miss that one. It would have connected my grandmother with her family. She was born in 1881 – missing the 1880 census – and married in 1899, so she shows up with my grandfather.

I was working on the 1930 census (laughter from my daughter – “You are that old?”) when I found entries that were very legible (we appreciate that!), very thorough – every field completed and readable – and an excellent example of penmanship (well, we just don’t do that much any more.)

I checked the enumerator – and found my grandmother’s name. She died the year I was born and I had never seen her handwriting. I did keep a copy, not just for the names on it.

Last Sunday’s lesson touched on genealogies, as did Timothy a couple of weeks ago.

Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do. (1 Timothy 1:4 KJV)

But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain. (Titus 3:9 KJV)

Genealogies were important in Judaism. Moses used pedigrees when numbering the children of Israel:

And they assembled all the congregation together on the first day of the second month, and they declared their pedigrees after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, by their polls. As the LORD commanded Moses, so he numbered them in the wilderness of Sinai. (Numbers 1:18-19 KJV)

Genealogy was important to show Christ’s lineage through David to Abraham:

So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations. (Matthew 1:17 KJV)

And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph … which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God.
(Luke 3:23 … 38 KJV)

There really isn’t a devotional thought today, just random thoughts about how past census taking has helped in my own genealogy studies and how both census taking and genealogies run in the Bible. Perhaps, after these few days of work, my mind is capable of nor more than that!

One last thought for my American readers – be kind to the census workers you meet. State representation and budget apportionment hinge on the count submitted. Accurate counts mean those items will provide fairness to both.

Now – back to the car and out to the field – literally, my assignment areas are rural, the “blocks” are miles in circumference. No walking door to door without miles of driving. Prayers and/or kind thoughts much appreciated.

(1850 Census from my research files)

1 comment:

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