The decade-by-decade details that have been cataloged by United States Census takers since 1790, culminate in one of the most research-rich and personally insightful record sets regarding the everyday existence of our ancestors and communities. Available for public perusal for years 1790 to 1940 (excepting the damaged 1890 entries), census records indicate: where and with whom our relatives lived; when and where they were born; how they earned a living; the languages spoken at home; the values of their real and personal property; and, all of this for each of their neighbors too. As incredible as this information is, the thing that is really exceptional about the Census, is that it goes a step further – a step taken when the Census taker walked through our ancestors’ doors and into their homes.
Henry Clay Snyder and his wife, Hannah (McVay) Snyder, appear in the 1880 Census of Aleppo Township, Greene County, Pennsylvania. Their preserved entry reveals some of the few known details surrounding the lives and deaths of Hannah and her child just days after his visit.
This is the lesson of a missed clue that unraveled the story of a female ancestor. Follow along in the search for Grandma Elizabeth Mary (Garber) Staggers of Greene County, Pennsylvania.