Tuesday, August 09, 2011

1790 Census

I have still not been able to locate a legible copy of the original 1790 Ocracoke census. However, I do have Ellen Fulcher Cloud's transcription: "Ocracoke Portion of the First Census of the U.S. 1790."

According to Ellen Marie's summary the population consisted of 135 whites, 2 free persons of color, and 31 slaves. Adding her columns I get 29 free white males 16 & up, 28 free white males under 16, and 69 free white females (29 + 28 + 69 = 126, not 135). She lists 31 slaves, as in the summary, however she does not specify any free persons of color.

I located an on-line transcription of the 1790 census for Carteret County (Ocracoke was moved to Hyde County in 1845). All of the names and numbers that Ellen Marie lists are included in the Carteret transcription, although no free persons of color are noted, and Ocracoke is not listed separately from the rest of the county.

Only nine surnames are present on Ocracoke in 1790:

  • Bragg (2 families, 10 members)

  • Garrish (1 family, 3 members)

  • Gaskins (5 families, 39 members)

  • Howard (4 families, 20 members)

  • Jackson (2 families, 13 members)

  • Neale (3 families, 18 members)

  • Salter (1 family, 3 members)

  • Scarborough (2 families, 9 members)

  • Williams (3 families, 11 members)

    • Ten families (Gaskins, Howards, Salter, Scarborough, and Williams) owned a total of 31 slaves. The Braggs, Garrishes, Jacksons and Neales owned no slaves.

      I will share more census information in future blogs.

      Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is Lou Ann's story of the Night Blooming Cereus Cactus. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news072111.htm.


      1. Anonymous8:09 AM

        Thank you for this very interesting information. Has the early name Neale changed through the years to O'Neal? Or was it always O'Neal, mispelled in the early records?

      2. Early records show O'Neal, O'Neil, O'Neel, O'Neele, Neele, and Neale. They are all part of the same family.

      3. Anonymous10:28 AM

        Would the historical society have copies of say records or diaries of the save holding families? As to what economic pursuit would slave owning families on ocracoke island be engaged ?

      4. Anonymous10:40 AM

        Is it not common knowledge that LDS church helps the general public in locating genealogy and census records. Also is there not a library in your area designated as a federal depository of records of this nature ie census . perhaps the county has ancient records on micro film

      5. Anonymous12:36 PM

        Great stuff! Appreciate all the time you put into it.

      6. I am not aware of any detailed records re. slave holding families. I only know of a few anecdotal stories. I can only guess why Ocracokers kept slaves -- to work in commerce (loading and unloading ships), to harvest clams, oysters, and other seafood, and for domestic service.

      7. Various readers have sent me links to web sites with census information. I will be following them as I find time in the next few days and weeks. Many thanks to all for your help.

      8. Anonymous3:53 PM

        Do you, by any chance, know if those Neales & Braggs included Phillip Neale & Anne Marie Bragg?
        Thank you- Ceilie

      9. Anonymous8:45 PM

        In 1850, there was actually a a slave schedule census taken for Hyde Co, that shows ownership. I will email you a copy.

      10. Above post by Dawn Taylor who was trigger happy with the "send" button.

      11. Dawn, looking forward to seeing the 1850 slave schedule census!

      12. Re. Phillip Neale & Anne Marie Bragg: Phillip Neale does not sound familiar...but Anne Marie Bragg does. I will do some research and post another comment...but it may be several days. I've got a lot going on right now. Keep looking!

      13. A quick perusal of a few documents does not yield any Phillip Neale (or any other spelling of the last name). However Ann Mariah Bragg (1847-1917), wife of Samuel Dudley Bragg, Sr., is buried near the Sound Front Inn. Ann Maria Bragg (1810-1880), wife of Thomas Bragg, is buried on Howard Street. I can gather more information later if you would like.