Edward Marden Sr. in Census Records

It is time to get to work locating Edward Marden Sr. and Jr. in census records. But, before I do, I want to take a moment to remind my readers about the hazards associated with census records.

Census records are not proof of anything. The census taker may have made an error in recording information at the time he visited the family. The census taker may have made an error when he transferred his field data to the actual schedule he submitted to the government. The census taker may not have found anyone at home when he was in the neighborhood, so perhaps asked a neighbor to supply the information – there is no guarantee the neighbors knew what they were taking about. The person at home when the census taker visited may not have known the information being asked of them, they may have guessed! The census taker may have missed a family completely. This goes on and on – far too many ways for the information to be corrupted.

Prior to 1870, Native People are seldom found in census records – at least not labeled as “Indian”. The census was originally established to determine how many people are paying taxes and how many elected representatives where needed for a particular region. It was about votes and taxes – Native People did not pay taxes and they did not have the right to vote, so there was no need to enumerate them in census records.

Edward Sr. was born about 1751 and died in 1835. I should be able to locate him in census from 1790 through 1830. Unfortunately, census of this time period don’t give us a lot of information, but they are still useful in determining general ages, general makeup of the household, and locations lived. If I find more than one person of the same name, it will take additional investigation to determine which one is the person I am looking for.

The Census Documents

My readers can view the census pages by following this link to the Marden Family Tree and selecting the “Edward Marden Sr. Document Package”. Sorry- this is no longer available. Please contact Ne-Do-Ba and request the “Edward Marden Jr. Document Package”.

The 1790 Census tells me

  • he is recorded as Edward Mardin
  • he is living in Concord, Grafton Co., NH
  • the household consists of 1 male over age 16, 1 male under age 16 and 2 females of unknown age.
  • there are two men in town using the surname Martin or perhaps “Marlin” but definitely no others using Mardin. The handwriting is reasonable good on this document.
  • Maj. Benj. Whitcomb lives in the same town as does some other Rangers that served under Maj. Whitcomb. (but I’m jumping ahead, sorry)

I found a James and John Mardin living in Dartmouth, Grafton Co., NH. Benjamin Marden Jr. & Sr were living in Rye, NH and a few other Marden families in Rockingham Co, NH. No other Edward Mardin/Marden etc. households show up in Ancestry.com index for 1790.

The 1800 Census tells me

  • he is recorded as Edward Merdeln
  • he is living in Lyman, Grafton Co., NH
  • the household consists of 2 males age 10 to 15, 2 males age 45 or over, 2 females age 16 to 25, 1 female age 45 or over

I found a few scattered Mardin/Marden families in the region but no other Edward Mardin households.

The 1810 Census tells me

  • he is recorded as Edward Mardin
  • he is living in Lyman, Grafton Co., NH
  • the household consists of 1 male age 45 or over and 1 female age age 45 or over

A cluster of Marden families continue to appear in Rockingham Co. NH. A few other scattered families, but still no other Edward Mardin families appear in the general region (except his son, Edward Jr. in Lyman).
The 1820 Census for all of Grafton County appears to be missing. I did not find Edward in other Counties.

Marden and Mardin continues to show up in Rockingham and Hillsborough Co., NH. A William Marden is at Jefferson, Coos Co., NH.

The 1830 Census tells me

  • he is recorded as Edward Mardin
  • he is living in Lyman, Grafton Co., NH
  • the household consists of 1 male age 70 to 80, 1 female age 15 to 20, 1 female age 50 to 60

Now I see an Edward Marden at Winchendon, MA and an Edward Marden at New Castle, Rockingham Co., NH. Also an Edward E. Marden is at Hooksett, Merrimack CO., NH. I have no reason to believe any of these are Edward Sr. since we know he was at Lyman earlier and he died there in 1835. However, I should make sure none of them are Edward Jr..

My Analysis of the Data

Seven years after the end of the War, Edward is settled in Concord, NH. He moved to Lyman between 1790 and 1800, where it appears he remained until his death. His age is given in 1830 as 70 to 80 years, which places his birth between 1750 and 1760. The 1800 Census age is off a little bit, but not enough to cause concern.

There are two females in his household in 1790. One is probably his wife, but the other we can only speculate about. Since we have no age for either female there are a number of possibilities. The most likely are a daughter, a servant, a sister or sister-in-law, or mother, mother-in-law, or step-mother. In 1800 there is also 2 females in the household and a little more data about them. One is age 26-45 (born between 1755 and 1774), probably his wife but I can’t be certain of that. The other is age 10 to 16 (born between 1784 and 1790). This may be the second female in the 1790 household. She could also be a servant or step daughter.

A surprise in the 1800 household is the 2 extra males, one an adult and the other a boy. Who could this be? A likely scenario is relatives of Edward or his wife or perhaps a neighbor family down on their luck. One or both females could belong to this second adult male. I may never know the story behind this household.

In these early census we can never be certain if the females in the household are wives. For now I will assume they are spouses. The 1790 Census really doesn’t tell me anything but the 1800 and 1810 are more useful. In 1800 the older female was born between 1755 and 1774 and in the same age bracket as Edward. In 1810 she is age 45 or over so born before 1765 and again in the same age bracket as Edward. The missing 1820 Census leaves a whole in my analysis for that year. The 1830 census shows 2 females, one age 15 to 20 (born between 1810 and 1815. Perhaps she is a servant, step-daughter, or granddaughter. She is too young to be the second female in earlier census. The other woman is age 50 to 60 (born between 1770 and 1780). She is certainly not the same woman found in earlier households and too young to be the mother of Edward Jr.. Is she a wife, sister, in-law, or servant?

It seems I now have more questions than answers! This is not at all unusual, just a natural part of the investigative process. I learned nothing about “Indians” and very little about possible wives. I do seem to have a good age bracket for Edward Sr. and I now know where he lived in his later years, but nothing about where he came from. Guess I will just have to keep exploring.

Has anyone spotted the problem with Edward Jr.?
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