1860 Census Summary

As I go through this process I usually find data entry errors (or find, as I revisit the original pages, that names that were unclear to me become readable). As with any transcription of original documents, errors do occur — if you find that something doesn’t seem right, I suggest you visit the original. If you should find an error, please let me know.

About the 1860 Census

The main table has been transcribed from the 1860 Federal Census Population Schedule, for the Town of Brookhaven, Suffolk County, New York.  The other tables are various “views” of the main table.  The enumeration date for this census was June 1, 1860.  Fire Place was actually enumerated in August, 1860.

Enumerators of the 1860 census were instructed to record the names of every person in the household. Added to this, enumerators were presented with printed instructions, which account for the greater degree of accuracy compared with earlier censuses. No relationships were shown between members of a household — I’ve had to “infer” relationships for entries into The Hamlet People database.  These inferred relationships sometime prove to be inaccurate as I find later evidence — for example, someone I thought was a wife later turns out to be a sister; or a son is actually a nephew.

The handwriting of the census enumerator sometimes makes it difficult to determine the entries — I’m not always very good at interpreting the flourishes of the mid-19th century hand.  Therefore, doubtful entries are identified with “?’s.”  And as a result, these pages are not fixed — they reference a database, which from time to time I updated as I get corrections or discover additional information.  Please — don’t be afraid to correct me!

Only those pages which may contain residents in Brookhaven Hamlet (in 1860 called Fire Place) have been transcribed.  For this census, a post office was recorded on each page.  However, the enumerator did not indicate when he moved from one postal area to another.  So I’ve made my best guess, which is noted on the first and last pages.  In order to be consistent with the 1850 census transcription, I’ve included portions of the South Haven postal area west of the Carman’s River as well as all of the Fire Place postal area.

The census enumerator was much less regular in his travels than was the enumerator in 1850.  While he travels more-or-less from west to east, he jumps around a bit.  In fact, he seems to have traveled down from Yaphank, started somewhat in the middle of the Hamlet, moved west to the Bellport postal area, then back east to the Carman’s River.

Since the boundaries of the hamlet are ill-defined, it is not certain that the list is all inclusive, or that all the residents listed resided in what is now loosely defined as Brookhaven Hamlet.  I have checked the names against the 1858 Map of the Hamlet, but many names are not found on the map.  However, having issued this disclaimer, I’m reasonably comfortable that this is a good snapshot of the residents of Brookhaven Hamlet (including South Haven) in 1860.