Am I correct that the first person listed on a census form is the head of household?

+4 votes

I am working on the profile for Whitton-331.  In the 1870 US census for Oglethorpe County, Georgia, a 20 year old black female was listed first and the white farmer and family were listed below. I cannot interpret what the occupation for the first name means on the form.  Can someone help me understand the information?  I am attaching a screenshot of the census page.

"C:\Users\lhemr\Dropbox\Screenshots\Screenshot 2017-08-26 09.32.18.png" 

WikiTree profile: Frances Taylor
in Genealogy Help by Lynn Hemrick G2G6 Mach 1 (16.4k points)
It's a shame you don't use the free site Family Search for your citations.  A link is included in the citation which would have the image attached.

Not so much can be done with the "screen shot"? you have attached!

1 Answer

+5 votes
Best answer
I think this is the record:

The occupation is Dom Svt.  Mr Taylor, below, owned property, and Cynthia Johnson did not.  Maybe the Census worker neglected to number the households on the last few entries on that page, or put the Taylor's number on the wrong line.  Or maybe, everybody lived in the same house, and Cynthia was the first person the Census taker spoke to.  Usually the first name was the head of household, and usually boarders and servants were listed after family members, but there are no absolutes.

by Herbert Tardy G2G6 Pilot (521k points)
selected by Susan Laursen
FYI, I had found the same record that Herb found, and I agree with his conclusion.  I think Cynthia Johnson would most likely be associated with the Johnson family listed above her, not with the Taylors, although the numbering admittedly might lead you to a different interpretation.
I believe Dom Svt. would be an abbreviation for domestic servant.

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