HOW THESE CENSUSES WERE SCREENED
IMPORTANT:† READ THIS
††††††††††† Every census page was individually and meticulously read.† As many as 4,000 Maddox soundexed names in a state were read through in order to find all the Maddoxes of all spellings.
All last names were left as they were found in common census indexes.† However, first names were corrected if the census takerís handwriting was mis-read in common indexes; i.e., Jatious corrected to Ignatius.† However, the spelling of the census taker of correct names was retained, such as Henery.
††††††††††† After finding a Maddox on a page, the rest of the page was screened to catch Maddoxes not hitherto included in any common indexes or lists.†
††††††††††† All possible spellings of our name were meticulously searched and individually read to see if the name was really Maddox/cks, including previous mis-readings and mis-spellings:
†Soundex was used for Mad*x and that included the tt and cks spellings.†
Mallock was checked since some census takers did not always cross their tís.
Matlock was checked because some census takers did not cross both tís, or the second t was larger and resembled an l.† This was the most difficult to interpret.
Maddon and Matton† were checked because sometimes a tightly-written x looked like an n.††
Waddo* was checked because sometimes an M looks like a W.†† Also, the Irish spelling is Waddock.
Thaddo* was checked because some Ws look like Th
Maddoy, Mattoy & Madrey were check because sometimes the x had a long tail
††††††††††† Occasionally when common indexes interpreted a name as ours, but it looked more like Meadows (for example), both names were included on the line.
††††††††††† Initials and ages were sometimes difficult to read because they were not in a context.† (Ge_ge with the middle letters smudged would logically be George in this context.)† Therefore double check initials and ages if you are able to read images of the original writing.
††††††††††† The pre-1850 censuses involved much line counting in order to line up the age tallies with the right person.† The 1820 census was most difficult to read, partly because we believe the occupation categories were near the seams of the books, thus causing them to tear.† Also, most census takers were still hand writing their column headings, and did not do so on every page.† Adding to the difficulty was no or vague lines separating rows, and some pages being photographed quite crooked.
††††††††††† Soundex and wild cards were both used to search 1790-1870 censuses.† But that meant searching through sometimes 4,000 names to find the Maddoxes.† From 1880 on only wild cards were used to search for Maddoxes of all spellings because of the growing population.
††††††††††† In 1850 and 1860 sometimes two different surname spellings are giving, one representing common index transcription of the census and the other representing common index transcription for the same person, but as a slave owner.
††††††††††† Keep in mind that ďcoloredsĒ referred to all non-whites.† They could be Indian, Oriental, or etc.† In designating Black or Mulatto, all were black unless otherwise listed. Slave gender and age was given to census takers, but never a name.†
††††††††††† Free non-whites before 1870 were highlighted in yellow because they were so rare.†† However, I found some were designated Black in one census and not on another.†† Also, Indians at this time preferred to be identified as black.
††††††††††† In some counties, the census taker only listed occupation of adult† if it was not agricultural.† So, if no occupation is listed, it is either for this reason, or they were retired or disabled.
††††††††††† All were sorted 1st by township, then either microfilm roll, page, & line number (for pre 1850) or household number & age (for 1850 and after).† Shaded lines were placed between groupings as a search aid.† However, if a family lived in another township, they may be on the border, so it does not mean they were not related to families in a nearby township.† Check page and household numbers to see how far apart they lived from each other.
††††††††††† In cases where the Maddox lived in the household of another surname, only the names of the Maddoxes were listed.† †Therefore, if a Maddox appears alone in a household, do not assume s/he was living alone.† It is important that you try to read the original if you can.
††††††††††† Also, as with all transcribed lists, especially ones of this magnitude, there are bound to be some errors and omissions.† Therefore, you should try to find the original to read for yourself.† Corrections welcome.