Essex, Mass. - 1860 Census


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1860 Federal Census of Essex, Mass.
Kurt Wilhelm, March 2000

    Contents
  1. Description of 1860 federal census
    1. General description
    2. Dwellings and households
    3. Name
    4. Description: Age, Sex, and Race
    5. Occupation
    6. Birthplace
    7. Tables
      1. Surnames and number of individuals
      2. Number of males and females by age group
      3. Occupations of females
      4. Occupations of males in Essex, grouped by job categories
      5. Population by birthplace
  2. Surnames
  3. Index of Names
    1. Adams to Burnham
    2. Butler to Lyons
    3. Mahoney to Woodwell
  4. Transcription
    1. pages 1 through 14
    2. pages 15 through 29
    3. pages 30 through 43

  1. Description of 1860 Federal Census

    1. General description

The 1860 Federal Census was taken between June1 and June 11, 1860 by Norman Story, assistant marshall. There are 43 pages, which are also numbered pages 247 through 289. Microfilm roll 499 was used for this transcription.

    Columns and column descriptions in the census are:
  1. Dwelling-houses numbered in the order of visitation
  2. Families numbered in the order of visitation
  3. The name of every person whose usual place of abode onn the first day of June, 1860, was in this family.
  4. Age
  5. Sex
  6. Color } white, black, or mulatto
  7. Profession, occupation, or trade of each person, male and female, over 15 years of age
  8. Value of real estate
  9. Value of personal estate
  10. Place of birth

Transcription: Remarks included by the transcriber, but not found in the census, are contained in brackets. The symbol [] indicates that the text was illegible. Columns 8 and 9, value of real estate and personal estate were not transcribed.

In general the census is quite legible. There are a couple instances where the text is obliterated by ink smudges.

    1. Dwellings and households

In 1860 there were 348 dwellings in Essex, occupied by 430 households. Three of the dwellings were vacant, and one was the Poor House.

    1. Name

The census list only lists the surname of the head of the household, and ditto mark are not used to indicate family members with the same surname. In a few cases it is difficult to determine whether a name includes the middle name or a surname. For example, on page 37, Robert Wallis, age 11, is listed in the household of William and Elizabeth Allen, who were in their forties.

The six most commonly found names in Essex, accounting for 50% of the population, were Burnham with 356 people (21% of town population); Andrews with 172 (10%); Story with 148 (9%), Low with 70 (4%); Mears with 46 (3%); and Perkins with 45 (3%). Forty percent of the town were named Burnham, Andrews, or Story.

Table 1. Surnames and number of individuals found in the 1860 census of Essex, Mass.
Adams 2 Crowell 4 Griffin 5 Lufkin 25 Rideout 1
Allen 21 Dade 3 Hardy 7 Lynch 10 Riggs 8
Andrews 172 Dam 1 Harlihe 1 Lyons 3 Roberts 3
Annable 4 Day 1 Harlow 1 Mahony 5 Roe 6
Annis 3 Derling 2 Hart 2 Maro 1 Rollins 1
Bacon 4 Dodge 7 Haskell 28 Marshall 14 Ross 5
Barron 1 Doty 1 Hatch 2 Marston 5 Rundlet 2
Bartlett 5 Downing 5 Hayden 7 McCloud 3 Rutherford 1
Beverage 1 Doyle 6 Hibbert 1 McDonald 2 Sargent 7
Bingham 2 Dudley 3 Hobbs 7 McIntyre 8 Sheldon 1
Bowers 5 Duggan 10 Holmes 7 McKenzie 18 Smith 4
Boyd 13 Duncan 1 Howard 3 Mears 46 Spofford 9
Bradley 3 Dunkinson 7 Howes 9 Minus 3 Stanwood 3
Brown 2 Ellis 2 Hull 2 Morgan 1 Story 148
Bryant 1 Eveleth 8 Jackson 3 Morse 12 Tarr 1
Burnham 356 Farnum 8 James 7 Murdock 1 Thomas 1
Butler 6 Fields 8 Jenkins 5 Noble 4 Trask 4
Butman 11 Foss 1 Jerret 6 Norton 14 Trefry 1
Callahan 11 Foster 2 Johnson 3 Nutter 9 Tucker 3
Chapman 4 French 1 Jones 9 O'Brien 4 Tuller 1
Chase 4 Frost 1 Kalihan 1 Percival 1 Twamer 1
Choate 19 Frye 1 Kelleher 7 Perkins 45 van Buskirk 4
Chocrine 2 Fuller 7 Keys 4 Pierce 10 Varnum 2
Claiborne 4 Gage 7 Killmister 1 Pitts 1 Wade 4
Clifford 7 Gardner 1 Kimball 4 Poland 22 Wallis 2
Cogswell 38 Giddings 3 Knight 2 Pray 8 Wellington 1
Colburn 1 Gilbert 8 Knowlton 17 Prest 4 Wentworth 2
Condon 5 Goddard 1 Lakeman 1 Preston 3 Wheeler 1
Conlin 1 Goldsmith 3 Lalanne 2 Prince 5 Whipple 5
Cook 7 Goldthwait 5 Lamson 2 Prindall 1 Whittemore 10
Coose 3 Goodhue 13 Lander 3 Procter 17 Willson 1
Coy 6 Gorton 9 Lee 11 Quimby 5 Woodwell 1
Crafts 6 Gosbee 9 Lemmons 3 Raymond 2  
Crockett 3 Grant 1 Lendall 6 Reardon 3
Crombie 2 Greggs 2 Low 70 Richardson 6 Total 1701

    1. Description: Age, Sex, and Race

There were two people who lived in Essex, and were over 90 years old. Abigail Gorton was listed as 97, and Ebenezer Story was 93.


Table 2. Number of males and females by age group.
Age Males Females Total
under 10 199 168 367
10-19 135 140 275
20-29 161 159 320
30-39 128 92 220
40-49 89 87 176
50-59 86 83 169
60-69 47 53 100
70-79 21 26 47
80-89 11 10 21
90-99 1 1 2
unknown 3 1 4
Total 881 820 1701

There were 24 blacks in Essex in 1860, or 1.4% of the population.

    1. Occupation

A total of 192 women had occupations listed. The most common occupation was shoebinder, with 80 women employed in this activity. A shoe binder was someone who stitched the parts of a shoe together before the sole was nailed on.

Table 3. Occupations of females
Occupation count
Shoebinder 80
Servant 29
School teacher 22
Seamstress 18
Dress maker 11
Washer woman 10
Milliner 4
Music teacher 4
Student 4
Nurse 3
Tailoress 3
Artist 1
Mistress of House 1
Housekeeper 1
[illegible] 1
Total 192


Table 4. Occupations of males in Essex, grouped by job categories.

Agriculture & Food Marine Rope & line maker 1
Farmer 49 Master mariner 1 Rope & line maker apprentice 1
Farm laborer 93 Mariner 9  
Gardner 1 Pilot 1 Trade
Miller 2   Storekeeper 6
Baker's apprentice 1 Professional Dry goods dealer 1
Drovier 1 Physician 2 Clerk 2
Butcher 5 Druggist 1 Peddler 2
Tanner 1 Universalist Clergy 2 Auctioneer 1
Currier 1 Congregational Clergyman 1  
    Transportation
Clothing Public Service Wheelwright 2
Shoemaker 93 Dept. Sheriff 1 Wheelwright's Apprentice 1
Shoemaker's Apprentice 9 Postmaster 1 Harness maker 1
Tailor 1 Superintendant of Poor House 1 Hostler 2
    Livery stabler 1
Construction Shipbuilding Stabler 1
Brickmaker 1 Boatbuilder 1 Teamer 9
Stone cutter 2 Master Shipwright 12 Teamster 3
Mason 2 Shipwright 116 Stage driver 3
Mason's apprentice 1 Shipwright's apprentice 8 Expressman 2
Carpenter 31 Rope maker 4  
Carpenter's apprentice 5 Ship carpenter 2 Other
Cabinetmaker 4 Ship joiner 8 Master blacksmith 1
Painter 4 Carver 3 Blacksmith 7
  Caulker 5 Blacksmith's apprentice 2
Education Caulker's Apprentice 1 Cooper 3
Professor of Latin 1 Sparmaker 3 Barber 1
School teacher 3 Sparmaker's Apprentice. 1 Ambrotypist 1
Student 4 Rigger 1 Gentleman 6
  Pump & block maker 2 Day laborer 41
  Line manufacture 1    
    Grand Total 604


    1. Birthplace

In 1860, Essex seemed little affected by immigration from Canada and Europe. Ninety percent of the residents were born in Massachusetts, three percent came from other New England states, three percent from the Canadian provinces, three percent from Ireland, and one percent from England and Scotland.


Table 5. Population by birthplace
Birthplace count percent
Massachusetts 1,530 90%
Maine 40 2%
New Hampshire 12 1%
New York 1 <1%
Rhode Island 2 <1%
Virginia 2 <1%
Vermont 2 <1%
Canada 1 0%
    New Brunswick 10 1%
    Nova Scotia 41 2%
Ireland 49 3%
England 9 1%
Scotland 2 <1%
South America 1 <1%
Total 1,702 100%


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Copyright 2006, 2010 by Kurt A. Wilhelm