The family of John M. and Matilda Boyers was located in Sumner County, Tennessee in 1830. In 1840 and 1850, they were found in Tishomingo County, Mississippi. The 1850 household included the parents, who were listed as ages 49 and 44, and eight of their younger children with ages ranging from 3 to 17. Although it is possible the parents died before 1860, it is unlikely all of the children had also passed away. So, why couldn't I find them after 1850?
Here's how I ran the search for an 1860 census record without using a last name:
- On Ancestry, click "SEARCH" then "Census and Voters Lists"
- In the right column, click on "1800s censuses"
- In the right column, click on "U.S. Federal Census Collection"
- Near the bottom of the page, click on "1860 United States Federal Census"
- Then, fill in the search terms
I first tried one of the daughters, Lucinda, since her name is fairly uncommon:
- First name: Lucinda and set to "exact"
- Last name: [leave blank]
- Birth Year: 1840 then click on "exact" and change to "+/- 5 years"
- Birth Location: Mississippi, USA and set to "exact" for "this place"
- Lived In: Tishomingo County, Mississippi, USA and set to "exact to this place"
|Screen shot of Ancestry and the information I filled in|
After clicking "SEARCH," only 11 results showed up. The 10th hit was for a "Lucinda Rogers," who was, in fact, my Lucinda Boyers!
It really helps if you have rather unusual first names. And, though searching for the son, David, resulted in over 400 results when searching for "lived in Mississippi," by changing it to "David E" as it appears on the 1850 census, you decrease the number of hits to only 8.
Let me know if you try this technique and it helps you find one of your missing families!