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"Census Records for the Mitchell Family"

1850 Census

Starting from the beginning, the 1850 census (done in September) for Bellevue, Iowa (Jackson County) lists the James C. Mitchell household as having five inhabitants.

NameAgeOccupationValue of Real Estate ownedBorn
Mr. James C. Mitchell40None2500Pangborn*
Eliza 41  Africa
Nathaniel Kilborn 28None1500Missouri
Hannah K. 26  England
John D. Simmons*10*  Iowa or Tex???*
1850 U.S. Census data - Bellevue, Iowa (Jackson County) - Compiled September 1850

Note: Census records were written out in long hand and very often are hard to read.  They have been transcribed but by someone that does not know who the individuals are so sometimes the transcribed version will be an interpretation of what was written in long hand, and consequently can be wrong.  Having knowledge of some specifics when doing research very often will show this off.  The transcribed version must be accessed separately for each name.  When researching a name, an option is to view the entire household (provided data is available).  Also, the original page can be viewed.  The above table was derived from viewing a copy of the original photo-copied census page and not the household listing; therefore, the birthplace of John D. Simmons is in question.

In the 1850 census, Nathaniel was spelled Nath'l.  Also, Hannah (age 26) is missing the final h (written by the enumerator,* not Hannah).  In 1870, (age 46) her occupation is "Keeping House."  Even though no one by the name of Florence is listed, there are three children listed:
James, aged 18, attending school
Hannah, aged 13, attending school
and Nathaniel, aged 2.

Notice that Eliza is listed as being 41 years old (1 year older than James). Contrast to the 1860 census, where she is ten years younger. See the page on Eliza for more info.


1860 Census

The 1860 census (unknown exact date when compiled) for Florence, Nebraska (Douglas County) lists the James C. Mitchell household as having at least five inhabitants.  Here is the transcribed data from the census record.  Notice the 1860 census added a new field to indicate the "Personal Estate" value.

NameAgeOccupationValue of Real Estate ownedValue of Personal EstateBorn
James C Mitchell50Sea Captain20000200Pennsylvania*
Eliza K. Mitchell 40 5000500Cape Good Hope, S. Africa
??? 32    
??? 32    
1860 U.S. Census data - Florence, Nebraska (Douglas County) - Compiled ???? 1860


1870 Census

The 1870 census (done June 20th) for Bellevue, Iowa (Jackson County) lists the Nathaniel Kilborn household as having at least six inhabitants.  The six persons are the last six entries on the census sheet.  Here is the transcribed data from the census record.

NameAgeOccupationValue of Real Estate ownedValue of Personal EstateBorn
Nathaniel Kilborn49Flour Manufacture100006000Ohio*
Hannah46Keeping House  On the Ocean
James Kilborn * 18Attending school  Iowa
Hannah Kilborn 13Attending school  Iowa
Nathaniel Kilborn 2   Iowa
Winnie Wychman (F) 18Domestic Servant  Iowa
1870 U.S. Census data - Bellevue, Iowa (Jackson County) - Compiled June 20th, 1870

Notice that Florence's mother Hannah lists her birth place as "On the ocean" for the 1870 census and "England" for the 1850 census.  Presumably, she is getting more technical in 1870.  Since in 1850 Hannah is 26, she would have been born in approximately 1824.  Her mother Eliza, (following the death of her first husband) married James C. Mitchell in 1836 in Liverpool.  Therefore, unless Eliza traveled the seas often, Hannah was possibly born while her mother traveled to England from her birthplace home in Cape Good Hope, South Africa.

Per the 1850 (September 10) census, Nathaniel was 28 years old and was born in Missouri.  Per the 1870 (June 20) census, Nathaniel was 49 years old and was born in Ohio.  The birth dates seems like a contradiction, since in less than 20 years (19 years and 9 months), he aged 21 years.  In the 1880 U.S. Census, Nathaniel is listed as age 59, confirming that he was 49 in 1870.  It could be that after 20 years of sweeping Hannah off her feet, that he admitted that he was actually a year or so older than he originally said.

Also, there appears to be a contradiction in where Nathaniel was born, however, there is the possibility that both birthplace statements are correct.  My theory was that both birthplace statements could be correct based on the knowledge that state lines changed, or new states were cut out of other states or larger territories.  In this case, I can't see how but imagine that there was a territory called Missouri Territory that was so large that it covered what we now know as Ohio.  The same birthplace could have been known as two different names in time (words also used as state names).  If in 1850 the place that Nathaniel was born was considered to be called Missouri, as in Missouri Territory, the same place could very well have been Ohio in 1870. ... except there was not a Missouri Territory that covered any lands that are now part of Ohio.  There are many possible explanations why census records do not always have acurate information.  It is not uncommon, especially back in those days, that people did not know exactly where they were born.  Also, when the census taker came around, he didn't always arrive at a place when everyone was at home. Therefore, he took down the information provided based on it being in good faith. If his wife (or another person) gave the information, they might not be 100% accurate.

It is also important to note that in the 1880 U.S. Census data* that the Nathaniel Kilborn household only had Nathaniel and Hannah listed; Nathaniel as a "miller", and Hannah as "Keeping house."  It is understandable that son James would be 28, and daughter Hannah would be 23, both of age to be out of the house.  The youngest son Nathaniel would be only 12 but his whereabouts at that time is unknown.

Son, James is listed in the 1880 census as a "Grain Buyer," married to a lady from Prussia, and had a 2 month old son.

The 1880 census gives us additional information: Bellevue, Iowa is in Jackson County, and Jackson County had several other Kilborns living there; most notably, Nick, who was born in Germany in 1849, and who was married to Marlinda, also born in Germany.  They had three children, Michael (4), John (3), and Cathrine (10 months).  An elder Michal Kilborn was 70 years old at the time, also born in Germany.  Most likely, these were relatives of Nathaniel Kilborn.  Nick was probably a younger brother, and most likely, Michal (70) was their father.  Nick's wife Marinda was born in 1855 in Germany, one year later than Florence Kilborn.  Even though she was born in Germany, if she had moved to Bellevue at an early age, she may have grown up with Florence, or went to school with her.  Nick himself is not too much older than Florence (born 1849) and if Florence was his niece, he could have been the favorite uncle.  The only problem with this theory is that Nick was born in Germany, and if Nathaniel is his older brother, why would Nathaniel be born in the U.S., and later siblings be born in Germany?  Very possibly, Nick is a younger cousin of Nathaniel, or not even related at all. Most likely with the same last name, they were related somehow.