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From: "Margaret Waters" <>
Subject: [APG] Page numbers for a census citation
Date: Mon, 27 Oct 2008 15:37:05 -0400

I'd like to hear other people's ideas and suggestions on how best to handle the issue of citing page numbers on a particular census. The enumeration I am working with is the 1820 population schedule of Orangeburgh District, South Carolina. It can be viewed at Ancestry.com by looking at 1820 U.S. census > South Carolina > Orangeburg.

Ancestry.com shows 3 "township" divisions for this census but there were actually only two. The district had two internal divisions, St. Matthews Parish and Orange Parish (identified as Orangeburg Parish on this census), which existed prior to this census. The enumerator used these divisions for his count with a secondary designation, Orangeburgh Court House, appearing near the end of the Orange Parish section. St. Matthews Parish actually appears first on the microfilm roll even though that is not obvious from the listing mentioned above at Ancestry.com.

This enumeration had stamped numbers placed on every other page, with one exception, that I will mention shortly. When citing this census the convention that seems to have been used in the past was to cite the pages between the stamped pages with the suffix "A". For example, frame 6 (on Ancestry.com) of the St. Matthews parish section has the stamped number "201" in the lower right corner. Frame 8 shows the stamped number "202" in the same position so the page seen on frame 7 was often cited as "201A" even though this number appears nowhere on the page. This "system" works well from here to the end of the Orangeburgh District section of the microfilm. There is some basis for using this system as someone wrote the number "199A" in the upper right corner of the first page (first frame) of the St. Matthews section and the second page (frame 2) is stamped "200". There is also a "221A" written on the next to last page (frame 1 of the Orangeburg Court House section at Ancestry) of the district enumeration with a "222" stamped on the last page.

The problem (or at least one of the problems) with this method is on frames 3 through 5 of the St. Matthews section. As already noted, frame 2 is stamped "200" and frame 6 is stamped "201". This leaves 3 pages (images) between the ones stamped "200" and "201". The handwritten designation "201A" appears on image 4. Various methods usings additional letter designations such as A, AA, and AAA or A, B, and C, have been used by different authors to cope with this problem but none seem satisfactory and are confusing.

There is also a set of penned numbers in the upper left corner of every other page of this enumeration. These occur on the images without a stamped number and appear to be the page numbers used by the enumerator within each portion of the district. His "pages" were apparently in a bound manuscript which was separated before filming. St. Matthews Parish is listed with 8 pages (16 frames) and Orange Parish (including Orangeburg Court House) is listed on 14 pages. Each section starts with page "1". The parish designation occures only on the first page of each section except that someone wrote "Orangeburg Co SC 1820" on one of the pages in the Orange Parish section.

Ancestry's solution to citing these Orangeburgh District census pages is to use the page numbers that probably start at the beginning of the microfilm roll (which contains several South Carolina districts). Some of these page numbers can be seen on a few of the Orangeburgh District pages but these numbers do not appear on all of the pages. See frame 6 for an example, where the number "350" was written at the upper right hand corner but then lined through.

My thinking is that the page numbers that should be cited for a particular census listing are the ones that are actually visible on a given page. I have several unresovled questions with this approach, though.

If the penned numbers on the upper left side are used for those pages on which they appear, there will be two pages cited as "1" through "8". In the citation the parish entry would appear just before the page number (... St. Matthews Parish, p. 8 (penned, upper left) or ... Orangeburg Parish, p. 8 (penned, upper left)). Scrolling back to the parish designation at the beginning of each section to determine which page 8 one might be looking at could be tedious and an inexperienced researcher might not recognize the need to do that. How might this method of citation be improved?

If staying with the convention of using the "A" suffixes a notation could perhaps be made within the citation such as: ... St. Matthews Parish, p. 203A [between pages stamped 203 and 204]. This could get a little lengthy and tedious. And what could be done with the pages on frames 3, 4 and 5?

If only one citation to this 1820 Orangeburgh District census were to occur in a given work, the varied page numberings would not be noticed. I am working on something that will contain numerous references to this census and have been trying to think of an acceptable way to cite all of the various pages in a fairly uniform and concise manner. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how this might work?

If you have read this rather lengthy post, I appreciate the time and effort you took to do so. Thank you for any thoughts or ideas you would be willing to share.


Margaret Waters
Savannah, GA

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