Tuesday, September 6, 2011

My McAlpin Ancestors in 1870

I have been reviewing census records while preparing a post about my great great grandfather, David Hunter McAlpin (1816-1901). By searching for different family members and using different spellings, I found the family enumerated in multiple places in the 1870 U.S. Federal Census, since my great great grandfather owned a home in New York City and had recently started purchased property in Morris County, New Jersey.

When I first searched for David H. McAlpin in the 1870 U.S. Federal Census, I found the following listing for the family in New York (21st District of Ward 21), New York. The official 1870 Federal Census enumeration date was June 1, 1870. However, I like to look at the date that the census taker visited that neighborhood to see how timely the information was. In this case it was July 16, 1870. There is a note to the right of the family that says "In Country, Unknown."

Ancestry.com, database online. Year: 1870; Census Place: New York Ward 21 District 21, New York, New York; Roll: M593_1010; Page: 644B. Record for David McAlpin.
David Hunter McAlpin(e)'s known children (all with his first wife, Frances Adelaide Rose) are:
Edwin Augustus McAlpin (1848-1917)
Joseph Rose McAlpin (1853-1888)
George Lodowick McAlpin (1856-1922)
William Willet McAlpin (1858-1925)
Frances Adelaide McAlpin (1860-1937), my great-grandmother
David Hunter McAlpin, Jr. (1862-1934)
           (though there may have been a son of the same name who died young)
Charles Williston McAlpin (1865-1942)
John Randolph McAlpin (1870-1893)

The first seven children were listed at the New York address above, but I also found five of them in the census at Hanover Township, Morris County, New Jersey. (Note that this was not the property that he later purchased in Harding Township and named Glen Alpin.) In this case, the date was July 22, 1870. In reviewing the names of the Irish servants in the household, I can see that three (Mary Riley, Rose Riley and Julia Farley) were enumerated twice as well.

Ancestry.com, database online. Year: 1870; Census Place: Hanover, Morris, New Jersey;
Roll: M593_877; Page: 129B. Record for David McAlpine.

Since only five children were listed here, I looked to see if I could find the two oldest, Edwin and Joseph, again in the 1870 Census. I found the oldest son, Edwin (listed as Edward) McAlpin in New York City, in the household with, yes, his father, D.H. McAlpin! (See the image below.) Note the date of this enumeration is December 24, 1870. The source citation provided by Ancestry.com indicates that this is a second enumeration, presumably to count those who were not at home to be counted in the previous July.

Ancestry.com, database online. Year: 1870; Census Place: New York Ward 21 District 21 (2nd Enum), New York, New York; Roll: M593_1050; Pages: 700B & 701A. Record for D. H. McAlpin.
The young woman, Annie McAlpin, listed at the top of the next page is Edward's/Edwin's  new wife, Anna Brandreth McAlpin; they were married in October 1870. (She was enumerated with her family in Ossining, Westchester, New York on August 3, 1870.) At the bottom of the household's listing was 18-year-old Joseph McAlpin, who is listed in the July 16 New York listing above but not in the July 22 New Jersey listing.

Note that D. H. McAlpin's wife was not listed in December. Frances Adelaide (Rose) McAlpin died on November 28, 1870.

In a separate search for Joseph McAlpin (born about 1853), I found him at a boarding school in Connecticut, enumerated on June 7, 1870. The census doesn't indicate the name of the school, but the post office is noted as Ellsworth, which is a section of the Town of Sharon.

Ancestry.com, database online. Year: 1870; Census Place: Sharon, Litchfield, Connecticut; Roll: M593_106; Pages: 434A. Record for Joseph R. McAlpin.
So it looks like my great great grandfather, David Hunter McAlpin was counted three times in the 1870 census, on July 16 in New York, July 22 in New Jersey, and December 24 in New York. The remaining members of his family were counted twice, in New Jersey and New York, or, in the case of Edwin/Edward, twice in New York and in the case of Joseph, in Connecticut and New York.


  1. What a great find! So many times I just hope to find someone counted once. You've found them numerous places. Such rich history. I also look at the dates too as they tell so much.

  2. D - thanks for reading and commenting. The funny thing is that I can't find him in the 1900 Census, but I think I should try again; I haven't tried in awhile.