As anyone who researches their genealogy knows, the women can be hard to track down once they leave the house. It gets doubly hard in very rural areas where records might not have been kept. I run into this problem a lot in my Kentucky/Ohio research. One of my more recent “brick walls” is Margaret Slusher. I say “brick wall” because technically it isn’t. I know who her parents are and I know who her husband is. I even know the year she married. However, in 1860, she’s not living with her new husband or her parents. I’m a stickler for the details, so it bugs me when I can’t find people in certain censuses. Sometimes it’s unavoidable, but most times it’s just you’re not looking in the right place. The key to the problem is Margaret’s marriage to James Mays happened in September of 1860.
What a lot of people forget is that most censuses take a few months to complete, however, the enumerator is supposed to record the data as it reflects the household on a certain day. In 1860, that day was June 1, 1860.
I was transcribing the surrounding households of Joseph and Nancy Slusher, Margaret’s parents, when I came across William Jenkins household. At the very end, it shows a 20 year old Margaret Slusher. Since I don’t know my Margaret’s exact birth date yet, this one definitely fits with her estimated birth. The birthplace of Virginia fits. It’s the little tick that the blue arrow points to that interests me now. That tick is to show that the person was married within the year. I’d say this is my Margaret. I got very lucky that she didn’t get missed in the census all together since her marriage fell at such an awkward time of the year for the census. I also got lucky that the Jenkins household gave Margaret’s maiden name. If they hadn’t I might have just had to live with not locating Margaret on the census.