Thursday, February 26, 2015

U.S. Census Series: Wheeling, West Virginia 1880

About 30,000 residents were enumerated in Wheeling, West Virginia in the 1880 U.S. federal census. Irish immigrants accounted for about 5% of the population at that point. J.L Stauton[1] was the census enumerator in the first sub-district of the 6th Ward. This section was in the downtown area where Market, Main and 20th Sts. straddle Wheeling Creek as it flows into the Ohio river. As he went about his work, he recorded the county or province of birth for about 55% of Irish immigrants that he enumerated.

Page from 1880 U.S. federal census, Wheeling, West Virginia
The 1880 federal census also asked for the place of birth of the person's parents and he also recorded this information. This can be particularly useful if one of the parents is deceased. For example 23 year old Alice Moran, is living with her mother Mary at 31 Main St.[2] Alice is listed as being born in West Virginia, mother born in Kilkenny and father born in Dublin. There is no male of the correct age living with the family so he may be deceased. Despite this possibility, we know what county in Ireland he most likely came from.

It is interesting to note the strong presence of people from Connaught, with Mayo, Galway, Roscommon, and Connaught itself, all heavily represented. The numbers for place of birth information from this 6th Ward sub-district are:

Galway 13
Mayo 13
Connaught 6
Roscommon 5
Cork 3
Derry 3
Ulster 3
Tyrone  3
Kilkenny 3
Sligo 2
Donegal 2
Laois (Queens) 1
Longford 1
Dublin 1
Carlow 1
Down 1
Munster 1 [3]
Cavan    1
Total 63

Ireland  50

[1] That is my best effort at interpreting his signature at the top of the census pages.
[2], 1800 US Census, Ohio County, West Virginia, population schedule, City of Wheeling 1st Supervisors District, Sheet 2B, House 17, family 21, Alice Moran; digital image, accessed 2 February 2015; citing Family History Film 1255410 Roll 1410. 
[3] This could refer to Munster, Germany

1 comment:

  1. Wow! What a find! I love stumbling across "mistakes" like that--only in my case, those are few and very far between. Bet there are a lot of West Virginia Irish-American descendants rejoicing at this blog post. Wish that enumerator had taken a job with the federal government in Chicago!