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Correlations: Warren County, Tennessee 1850 Census Database Project


Warren County, Tennessee

1850 Census Database Project

Ann Turner

(c) 1994-2002

The title of this project - "Correlations" - is a bit of a play on words. The goal is to correlate the 1850 census records for Warren County, Tennessee with other types of records which show family connections: marriage, probate, court, land, Bible, Ancestral File, personal GEDCOM files, magazine articles, Internet newsgroup messages, and so forth. If we can do this, we might expect to see many "co-relations" develop among the families listed in the census.

Stage I of this project was completed in 1994 when a team of volunteers entered the entire 1850 census into a PAF database, linking individuals into family groups wherever it appeared "plausible." Our methods are described more fully on a separate page. There were 8468 individuals in 1385 households. The biggest family tree consisted of 14 individuals.

Certain fields from this database were then extracted and saved in a comma-delimited format, suitable for importing into any general purpose database program. WCTN1850.ZIP (104K) is essentially a straight transcription of the census and does not assume any family links. The census numbering system does generate a unique ID for everyone living in the county, which is useful for making hypotheses and deductions in Stage II.

Stage II will be a never-ending story as we establish more and more family links in the PAF database. Details about our progress can be found on another page. It is exciting to see clusters of families coalesce into bigger and bigger connected groups. My FOREST utility program for PAF now counts 4604 records connected by ties of blood or marriage in the largest "tree."

The database has been used by a social scientist, Dr. Douglas White, to illustrate kinship patterns. A graph shows clusters of families with multiple inter-relationships.

The most current GEDCOM file can be downloaded from this site. The ZIP file will always be labelled WCTNPROJ.ZIP (310K) for ease in file transfer requests. The name of the GEDCOM inside the ZIP file will change to reflect the date of creation. You may check the GEDCOM update history file to see the latest additions.

If you are interested in only a few names from the GEDCOM file, you might find Randy Winch's program GEDSPLIT a handy way to view and extract them.

A searchable version of the GEDCOM file with a surname index is hosted at MY-GED.COM.

I must admit I feel somewhat apologetic about the plain and primitive appearance of this web page. I would like to provide more features, such as a form to register your interests in specific records. I regret that I do not have the time and resources at the moment to do these things, but if I wait until I do, the database itself might never see the light of day. In the meantime, the surname frequency list may help you decide if you would like to download and work with the bigger files.

The value of this project will grow exponentially as more and more people participate and provide cross-checks on our hypothetical connections. I would be delighted to incorporate your information and corrections into the database. Your name and contact information will be included in future editions of the GEDCOM file unless you request otherwise.

I would also enjoy hearing from others who are managing projects of this nature. You can reach me by e-mail APTurner@AOL.COM or snail-mail, 418 Gilbert Avenue, Menlo Park CA 94025. No phone calls, please -- I am very hard of hearing, and names and numbers are particularly difficult for me to catch on the phone.

Ann Turner

In search of Emaline ID #1047-02