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1885 Census Transcription Project

This was by far the largest census of 19th century Escambia County and was conducted by the state rather than the federal government. The spreadsheet that the transcription team used to record the data had well over a half million cells and the transcription took over three years beginning in August 2001 and ending in December 2004. We almost didn’t have enough volunteer transcribers to get it done.

While everyone who worked on the copying, transcription and proofreading effort deserves great credit, three people stood out above the crowd. Those are Rod and Marsena Smith who transcribed over 180 pages and Jennie Merritt who single-handedly proofed over 200 of the 350 pages. Their efforts account for well over half the total work. Without their tremendous output I don’t think we would ever have completed this census transcription. Certainly not in the three-year period it took to actually do it.

This original census was conducted by several enumerators and apparently large parts of it were re-transcribed into a more or less alphabetical order at a later time. It is this latter, re-transcribed census copy that survives. This alphabetizing effort, of course, destroyed the relational clues among neighbors and families in those reordered areas. Mothers who remarried have their early children listed in a different place in the census and relations with different last names living with family members are no longer shown with the family.

Some of the enumerators had handwriting so poor that some names and occupations are mere guesses on the part of both transcribers and proofreaders. Most of these are marked with a “?” but not all. So, if you don’t see your ancestors in here, try looking for name variations in the index and hope we got the first few letters right or try searching by first name or known children’s names.

Don’t use this transcription for your final family history input without verifying the correctness of the actual parts you are using. Look up the original census. We may have hard-to-read ages wrong or places of birth misidentified. Again, it was a challenging piece of work to transcribe with 100 percent accuracy. Still, I am confident that more than 95 percent of it is completely correct. But there are errors.

As the enumerators passed back and forth across Pensacola’s city limits they made entries in the left most columns indicating that fact. We have entered these notations as well. By using these notations you can tell who in this census was in the city, the naval reserve or the country.

In some places everyone’s birth month is listed, even some actual birth dates are listed, too. In other places the enumerator left out places of birth altogether. It’s a mix and match effort throughout the enumeration. In addition, there are many homespun abbreviations and shorthand notations in the original census. For instance, an entry like “6mo” in the age column indicates a child 6 months old. Often their birth month is listed in the following column. In the Health columns entries are listed starting in the applicable block and stretching across columns to the right if there were no other entries in those columns. If there were entries, a double row was used to preserve the data by text wrapping.

Here are some of the less obvious abbreviations used in this census:

 

 Ire = Ireland

Port = Portugal

Md = Maryland

Vt = Vermont

Me = Maine

R Island = Rhode Island

It = Italy

Ca = Canada

Svt = Servant

Mcht = Machinist

HK = House Keeping

Bdg HK = Boarding House Keeper

A.A.S.U.O.A. = No Clue

W.L.A = No Clue

U.S.A. = United States Army

Sergt = Sergeant

Ins = Inspector

SS RR = Southern States Rail Road

Agt = Agent

Mdse = Merchandiser

Comm = Commissary

Kr = Keeper

Whf = Wharf

Ct Ct = County or Circuit Court

USC = United States Customs

Condr = Conductor

Tr = Teacher

Book K or Bk Kr = Book Keeper

Ms or Mas = Master

Tct = Ticket

Fgt Agt = Freight Agent

 


Finally, listed below are the people who carried out this transcription. All of us involved sincerely hope our effort provides you with the clues you were looking for.

Jerry Merritt
Transcription Program Director

These are the volunteers who copied, assembled, transcribed and proofread the 1885 census transcription:

Pages               Copier                          Assembler                      Transcriber                             Proofreader

1072 - 1087     Pat Kerr                       Pat Kerr                         Dorothy Jacobs                      Gayle Sweet

1088 - 1094     Jerry Merritt                 Cynthia Dean                  Cynthia Dean              Judy Jolly

1095 - 1099     Jerry Merritt                 Linda Bauer                    Rod & Marsena Smith            Marie Bancroft

1100 - 1104     Jerry Merritt                 Rod & Marsena Smith  Rod & Marsena Smith  Jennie Merritt

1105 - 1109     Jerry Merritt                 Jennie Merritt                 Jerry Merritt                           Jennie Merritt

1110 - 1114     Jerry Merritt                 Cynthia Dean                  Cynthia Dean              Judy Jolly

1115 - 1119     Jerry Merritt                 Berdine Rittenhouse        Berdine Rittenhouse                Linda Bauer

1120 - 1124     Jerry Merritt                 Jean Stucky                    Cynthia Dean              Helen Armstrong

1125 - 1129     Jerry Merritt                 Pat Kerr                         Sergio Hernandez                   Gayle Sweet

1130 - 1134     Jerry Merritt                 Pat Kerr                         Dorothy Jacobs                      Gayle Sweet

1135 - 1139     Jerry Merritt                 Pat Kerr                         Rod & Marsena Smith            Jennie Merritt

1140 - 1144     Jerry Merritt                 Pat Kerr                         Rita Bartmess                         Judy Jolly

1145 - 1149     Jerry Merritt                 Pat Kerr                         Gail Roth                                Gayle Sweet

1150 - 1154     Mary Birch                   Mary Birch                     Rod & Marsena Smith            Jennie Merritt

1155 - 1159     Mary Birch                   Mary Birch                     Rod & Marsena Smith            Jennie Merritt

1160 - 1164     Mary Birch                   Mary Birch                     Rod & Marsena Smith            Jennie Merritt

1165 - 1169     Jerry Merritt                 Pat Kerr                         Benny Klock                          Marie Bancroft

1170 - 1174     Jerry Merritt                 Christine Bonoyer           Christine Bonoyer                   Jennie Merritt

1175 - 1179     Jerry Merritt                 Christine Bonoyer           Christine Bonoyer                   Jennie Merritt

1180 - 1184     Jerry Merritt                 Christine Bonoyer           Christine Bonoyer                   Jennie Merritt

1185 - 1189     Jerry Merritt                 Pat Kerr                         Rod & Marsena Smith            Jennie Merritt

1190 - 1194     Rod & Marsena           Rod & Marsena             Rod & Marsena Smith            Jennie Merritt

1195 - 1199     Rod & Marsena           Rod & Marsena             Rod & Marsena Smith            Jennie Merritt

1200 - 1204     Jerry Merritt                 Pat Kerr                         Rod & Marsena Smith            Jennie Merritt

1205 - 1209     Jerry Merritt                 Pat Kerr                         Rod & Marsena Smith            Jennie Merritt

1210 - 1214     Jerry Merritt                 Pat Kerr                         Rod & Marsena Smith            Jennie Merritt

1215 - 1219     Jerry Merritt                 Pat Kerr                         Rod & Marsena Smith            Jennie Merritt

1220 - 1224     Jerry Merritt                 Pat Kerr                         Rod & Marsena Smith            Jennie Merritt

1225 - 1229     Mary Birch                   Mary Birch                     Rod & Marsena Smith            Jennie Merritt

1230 - 1234     Pat Kerr                       Pat Kerr                         Dorothy Jacobs                      Gayle Sweet

1235 - 1239     Pat Kerr                       Pat Kerr                         Dorothy Jacobs                      Gayle Sweet

1240 - 1244     Pat Kerr                       Pat Kerr                         Rod & Marsena Smith            Jennie Merritt

1245 - 1249     Marie Bancroft             Marie Bancroft              Rod & Marsena Smith            Jennie Merritt

1250 - 1254     Marie Bancroft             Marie Bancroft              Rod & Marsena Smith            Jennie Merritt

1255 - 1259     Marie Bancroft             Marie Bancroft              Edith Walker                          Gayle Sweet

1260 - 1264     Marie Bancroft             Marie Bancroft               Annette Baisden                     Gayle Sweet

1265 - 1269     Pat Kerr                       Pat Kerr                         Edith Walker                          Jennie Merritt

1270 - 1274     Pat Kerr                       Pat Kerr                         Rod & Marsena Smith            Jennie Merritt

1275 - 1279     Pat Kerr                       Pat Kerr                         Rod & Marsena Smith            Jennie Merritt

1280 - 1284     Marie Bancroft             Marie Bancroft              Rod & Marsena Smith            Jennie Merritt

1285 - 1289     Marie Bancroft             Marie Bancroft               Maurice Johnson                    Jennie Merritt

1290 - 1294     Marie Bancroft             Marie Bancroft              Rod & Marsena Smith             Jennie Merritt

1295 - 1299     Marie Bancroft             Marie Bancroft              Rod & Marsena Smith             Jennie Merritt

1300 - 1304     Pat Kerr                       Pat Kerr                         Rod & Marsena Smith            Jennie Merritt

1305 - 1309     Pat Kerr                       Pat Kerr                         Rod & Marsena Smith            Jennie Merritt

1310 - 1314     Pat Kerr                       Pat Kerr                         Rod & Marsena Smith            Jennie Merritt

1315 - 1319     Pat Kerr                       Pat Kerr                         Dorothy Jacobs                      Gayle Sweet

1320 - 1324     Pat Kerr                       Pat Kerr                         Rod & Marsena Smith            Jennie Merritt

1325 - 1329     Pat Kerr                       Pat Kerr                         Rod & Marsena Smith            Jennie Merritt

1330 - 1334     Pat Kerr                       Pat Kerr                         Rod & Marsena Smith            Jennie Merritt

1335 - 1339     Pat Kerr                       Pat Kerr                         Rod & Marsena Smith            Jennie Merritt

1340 - 1344     Pat Kerr                       Pat Kerr                         Dorothy Jacobs                      Gayle Sweet

1345 - 1349     Pat Kerr                       Pat Kerr                         Rod & Marsena Smith            Jennie Merritt

1350 - 1354     Pat Kerr                       Pat Kerr                         Rod & Marsena Smith            Jennie Merritt

1355 - 1359     Pat Kerr                       Pat Kerr                         Rod & Marsena Smith            Jennie Merritt

1360 - 1364     Pat Kerr                       Pat Kerr                         Rod & Marsena Smith            Jennie Merritt

1365 - 1369     Pat Kerr                       Pat Kerr                         Rod & Marsena Smith            Jennie Merritt

1370 - 1374     Bruce Rova                  Bruce Rova                    Maurice Johnson                    Jennie Merritt

1375 - 1379     Bruce Rova                  Bruce Rova                    Bruce Rova                            Jennie Merritt

1380 - 1384     Bruce Rova                  Bruce Rova                    Bruce Rova                            Jennie Merritt

1385 - 1389     Bruce Rova                  Bruce Rova                    Rod & Marsena Smith            Jennie Merritt

1390 - 1394     Bruce Rova                  Bruce Rova                    Rod & Marsena Smith            Jennie Merritt

1395 - 1400     Bruce Rova                  Bruce Rova                    Rod & Marsena Smith            Jennie Merritt

334 - 337         Jerry Merritt                 Pat Kerr                         Cynthia Dean                          Judy Jolly

338 - 340         Jerry Merritt                 Jerry Merritt                   Cynthia Dean                          Jennie Merritt

342 - 351         Jerry Merritt                 Jerry Merritt                   Jerry Merritt                           Jennie Merritt


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