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An Analysis of the Census Data for Henry King

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Location: West Greenwich RImap
Surnames/tags: Henry King Martha Sweet
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An Analysis of the Census Data for Henry King


The census data of 1774 for Henry and his family are:

1M>16, 2M <16;1F>16, 2F<16. In this and the following entries M and F stand for male and female and the numbers represent age ranges. I shall interpret this array of numbers to mean: 1M over 16, 2M 0-16; IF over 16, 2F 0-16 By 1782 these members of the family be eight years older and, therefore, they would fit into the pattern: 1M over 24, 2M 8-24; 1F over 24, 2F 8-24. The actual 1782 census for this family, however , lists 1M 22-49, 4M<16; 1F 22-49, 3F<16 that is, 1M 22-49, 4M 0-16; 1F 22-49, 3F 0-16 By comparing this sequence with the foregoing pattern we find the family consists of 1M 24-49, 2M 8-16, 2M 0-8; 1F 24-49, 2F 8-16, 1F 0-8 By 1790 the members of the family would be older by eight more years and, therefore, the new distribution would be

1M 32-57, 2M 16-24, 2M 8-16 2F 32-57, 2F 16-24, 1F 8-16 Throughout this analysis thus far we assume no member of the family has died. The first federal census for Massachusetts as taken in 1790 shows for Henry King of Hancock: 2M>16, 3M <16; 6F The actual distribution for members of the family at home now can be written: 1M 32-57, 1M 16-24, 2M 8-16, 1M 0-8; 1F 32-57, 2F 16-24, 1F 8-16, 2F 0-8. Evidently, one of the oldest sons either died or left home. By 1794 the second of the oldest sons would have reached age 21 and left home as well. Also by this time one or two of the daughters would have reached a marriageable age. By adding ten to the foregoing distribution of numbers we obtain a new sequence that should apply for 1800; namely,

1M 42-67, 1M 26-34, 2M 18-26, 1M 10-18; 1F 42-67, 2F 26-34, 1F 18-26, 2F 10-18. However, the federal census data of 1800 for Henry King and family are: 1M ~ 45, lM 10-16, 4M ~ 10; IF 26-45, 1F < 10. Comparing these data with the foregoing sequence we obtain for family members at home, 1M 45-67, 1M 10-16, 4M 0-10; 1F either 42-45 or 26-34, 1F 0-10. Clearly, the mother has died and several children have died or left home; namely, one son 26-33, two sons 18-25, one daughter 26-33, one daughter 18-25, and two daughters 10-17. Furthermore, it is highly unlikely that the five children under ten years old were offspring of Martha, for by 1800 she would have been over 50 years old. As a matter of fact, we know that she was born on July 1, 1747. For the next step in this analysis we add 10 more years to the last distribution: 1M 55-77, 1M 20-25, 4M 10-19; 1F 36-43, 1F 10-19. This sequence now is compared with the 1810 Federal census data: 1M > 45; 1F > 45, 1F 10-16, 1F ~10. The new distribution is: 1M 55-77; 1F over 45, IF 10-16, 1F 0-9. The son 20-25 and the daughter(?) 36-43 have left home. The four males 10-19 may have been sons of this daughter and, therefore, left Henry's household with her. I am tempted to suggest that the female over 45 years old is Henry's second wife - perhaps Anne; but Mrs. Fyvie states that Henry married Anne in 1818! (This should be checked.) Is it possible that Anne was his third wife? Who is the female over 45 years old in 1810 if not a second wife (or a live in) who died (or left Henry's household) before 1818? In this analysis we have demonstrated that Henry and Martha had at least ten children. Also. Martha appears to have died between 1795 and 1800 at an age betwen 48 and 53. Henry died in 1824. We can estimate his age from the fact that he was married in 1766 and young men usually did not marry until they were at least 21 years old. This would mean that Henry would have been at least 79 years old when he died.

Curiously, there was a young man named Henry King who settled, circa 1790, in the Town of Washington, Berkshire County, Massachusetts. A 1791 deed records a purchase of land by him. Later he sold it and bought another piece; but by 1813 he had also sold it. This Henry King appears in the 1800 and 1810 censuses. Was he perhaps the oldest son of Henry and Martha? Where did he go after 1813?

In an Indenture executed on March 17, 1859, John King, son of Henry King, and his wife Jane transfer all their land and personal property over to their son Benedict of Northampton, New York, with the provision "to take my father John King amd Mother Jane King into my own house and provide them food and all nesiary (sp) clothing and all things necisary (sp) for people of their age and standing in society that may be for their comfort during their natural lives and at their deaths Give them a christian Bural (sp) and further after the death of both father and mother agree to pay to his Brother Henry King thirty dollars and to pay all Just demands ..." Here is the only direct reference found to date suggesting that John's father Henry had a son also named Henry. Was this Henry the oldest son of Henry and Martha King who left home shortly before 1790? Often the first son would be given the father's name.

Reference: page 207 of Rhode Island Vital Records, Vol. 7. East Greenwich and West Greenwich, "Marriages from Probate, Grave, and Death Records, 1680-1860", as compiled by Alden Gamaliel Beaman and Published by Compiler, Princeton, MA, 1980. December 21, 1987





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