The past few days have mostly been spent finishing up another of my comprehensive reading lists and working on the census project as my breaks. Yesterday, I digitally transcribed the 1870 Agricultural Census for the Three Village area, and then went back to the microfilm area of the library to get some more high-res scans of the 1860 Agricultural Census. Since the 1850 Census broke down locations by regions of Brookhaven (ex: The North Part of the Town of Brookhaven), there were a lot more entrants accounted for.
Subsequent censuses, however, identify the area surveyed both by Township (Brookhaven) and Post Office.
This is slightly problematic, because it’s unclear what the 1850 census taker considered to be part of “The North Part of Brookhaven.” Is it just the villages farthest north? The ones adjacent to the Long Island Sound? Can it include Coram and Middle Island?
The issue becomes more complicated when the 1860 census taker grouped together on the same page, without distinguishing between them, two different villages that are on opposite shores of Long Island.
So, for now I’m entering what data is safe to enter, and if I don’t hear back from my supervisor by the time I’m through with that, I’ll move on to the pages that mix geographically disparate towns. When it comes time for that, I recognize a number of the names on the first half of the page as ones that show up in the 1850 Census for “The North Part of Brookhaven,” so maybe I’ll start with recording up to a point where there is a major divergence in the names (especially since the major goal of this project is to be able to compare the changing agricultural production of individual farms over the decades, not so much to be able to identify every agricultural good produced by every farmer in Suffolk County. In other words, the most important people here are the ones who reappear throughout the censuses).