Lincoln County Missouri 1860 Census Transcription
General Notes and Comments

The following are supplemental notes and comments about the transcription of the 1860 United States Federal Census of Lincoln County, Missouri completed in January 2008 by Neal Underwood.

The total free population enumerated in the Lincoln County, Missouri 1860 census was 11,378. The Slave schedule count was 2,858 for a total population of 14,236.

The enumeration dates were from June 1, 1860 to August 31, 1860 by Jno. B. Britton, Assistant Marshall. Roughly two to three pages, or 80-120 names were completed each day. Given the primitive circumstances (distance, riding by horseback, re-writing field lists, etc.), I suspect he had helpers.

The electronic images of the census schedules were very clean, clear and bright. The handwriting generally was good and easily decipherable, and all pages appeared to have been written by the same person. Occasionally the writing was tiny and compressed and presented difficulties. Unfortunately many of those instances involved the "oddball" surnames. Particular writing interpretation problems were some of the Prussian and Bohemian names, especially the long ones. Those were very difficult to decipher. I suspect the census taker himself was not always sure about them. I attempted to trace some questionable surnames to prior or subsequent censuses but generally had little success. Families seemed to come out of nowhere and then just disappeared. This search included using very clearly-written given names with age and birthplace. The surnames (or persons under a changed surname) simply couldn't be found.

The schedule pages each contained 40 lines; some pages did not fill all lines. Also, the enumerator specifically listed and numbered unoccupied dwellings. Consequently, the record count for the Schedule File will be larger than the actual population count due to inclusion of lines for unoccupied houses and blank lines.

Page Numbering

The NARA identification for the 1860 US Census for Lincoln County, Missouri is Series M653, Roll 629, beginning Page 299 (handwritten), ending Page 600.

There are three different sets of page numbers used in the 1860 census for Lincoln County.

  1. The printed field on the schedule "Page No. ____" is serially numbered 1 through 298 to cover the entire Lincoln County. This is the page number I use in the transcription.
  2. Page numbers written in by hand, beginning with 299 and ending 598 for Lincoln County. Page 599 is the attestation, 600 is blank and 601 is "Page No. 1" for Linn County, Missouri. These are the numbers Heritage Quest (HQ) uses for image retrieval. So, the formula to translate the transcription page numbers to HQ look-up SHOULD BE HQ Page No. = Transcription Page No. + 299 - 1 but there is an anomoly somewhere in their sequencing that causes slight discrepancies in the resulting computation.
  3. Page numbers serially within the Townships. These numbers correspond to online images at

See later table of Township Page Number Counts for page number exceptions.

There were numerous gaps and duplications in the sequences of dwelling and family visitation numbers. I could not discern a pattern. Occasionally a series of numbers was duplicated or not used. Other times duplications or skips with a single number. I just transcribed as listed and what you see is what was written. Sorting was acomplished using page and line number.


Generally the handwriting was clear. Surnames were quite readable and spelling corresponded surprisingly well to contemporary spelling of known Lincoln County families. However, handwriting was rather small and in certain cases was very compressed and difficult to interpret. There were special problems with some of the complex names, many of which were of German or Czech origin. I attempted to trace the uncertain names to prior and subsequent censuses but generally had little success in finding them. Most apparently did not stay in Lincoln County and I could not find elsewhere. So flexibility needs to be maintained in searching for the name. Browsing the list in surname alpha order should be sufficient to locate all names. A few potential surname alternatives:

  Dawson - see also Dorson?
  Estes - see also Estis
  Janes - see also Jones
  Jones - see also Janes and Joans
     Writing of these appeared clear and were transcribed as written.
     Still may be mis-interpretation.
  Koester - see Custer
  Mabry - see also Mayberry
  O'Bannon - see Oblannon
  Ray - see also Roy
  Roberson - See Robinson
  Robinson - see Roberson
  Roy - see also Ray
  Shields - see also Shealds

Unknown oddballs:
   Pearn ?
     One family.  Some letters smudged. Pears?
   Reyns (Raines?)

Birthplace Comments:

Birthplaces were copied as written. Census taker probably had problems understanding some non-English birthplaces. There was a native German immigrant population in Lincoln County at the time.

  "Byron" - Unknown.  Possibly Bayern, Germany which is Bavaria in English.
  "Slasing" - Unknown.  One family.  Possibly Germany.
  "Leeper" - Unknown.  Nine individuals.  Maybe Leipzig?
  "Hannover" - 66 individuals.  Kingdom in Germany.
        In external sources this may be spelled Hannover or Hanover.

Keep in mind that Germany did not become a united country until 1871 and before that, from 1814-1871, consisted of a loose league of 39 sovereign states.

Individual Exceptions, Errors, Anomolies

The census transcription format is not currently set-up to show alternate or corrected spellings or reference notes. For now, I will note exceptions here individually.


Page Numbering Exceptions

Population Count by Birthplace

Miscellaneous Facts:

Prepared January, 2008 by Neal Underwood. All rights reserved. Explicitly authorized to post on the Lincoln County, Missouri USGenWeb/MOGenWeb site at