The Gettysburg Census of 1860

census1860I’ve transcribed the entire 1860 Federal Census of Gettysburg in the ongoing effort to learn more about the residents of the Borough at the time of the battle.  (I might even add all of the residents in a future version of our smartphone app, Pocket Gettysburg.)

The transcription process was time-consuming because I frequently found myself asking questions like “What the heck is a ‘mantua maker’?”, “What’s a ‘saddle tree maker’?”, and “What’s the difference between a domestic and a servant?”  So, of course, I got sidetracked while looking for those answers.  But it has all been great fun and a quite a learning experience!

The census was taken over the first 18 days of June, 1860.  Here’s the breakdown on some of the types of data that were recorded:

Total People 2390
Number of dwellings 421
Number of families 474
Avg. size of household 5.68 people


Sex and Race
Male Male% Female Female% Total Total Percent
White 1109 46.40% 1103 46.15% 2202 92.13%
Black 69 2.89% 88 3.68% 157 6.57%
Mulatto 16 0.67% 15 0.63% 31 1.30%
Total 1194 49.96% 1206 50.46% 2390 100


Average Age
Male 23.93
Female 25.84
Total 24.89


Age Distribution
Age Male Male% Female Female% Total Total Percent
0-10 347 14.52% 310 12.97% 657 27.49%
11-20 272 11.38% 255 10.67% 527 22.05%
21-30 197 8.24% 237 9.92% 434 18.16%
31-40 124 5.19% 130 5.44% 254 10.63%
41-50 101 4.23% 118 4.94% 219 9.16%
51-60 90 3.77% 84 3.51% 174 7.28%
61-70 37 1.55% 48 2.01% 85 3.56%
71-80 13 0.54% 12 0.50% 25 1.05%
81-90 3 0.13% 10 0.42% 13 0.54%
91+ 0 0.00% 2 0.08% 2 0.08%


Other
Count Percent
Married within the year 38 1.59%
Attended school with the year 578 24.18%
Over 20yrs and cannot read or write 53 2.22%
Deaf 1 0.04%
Convict/Prisoner 5 0.21%
Foreign born 171 7.15%


Age Distribution of People Who Were Married Within the Year
Age Male Male% Female Female% Total Percent
17-20 1 2.63% 4 10.53% 5 13.16%
21-30 9 23.68% 13 34.21% 22 57.89%
31-40 5 13.16% 0 0.00% 5 13.16%
41-50 2 5.26% 2 5.26% 4 10.53%
51-60 0 0.00% 0 0.00% 0 0.00%
61-70 0 0.00% 0 0.00% 0 0.00%
71-80 2 5.26% 0 0.00% 2 5.26%
Total 19 50.00% 19 50.00% 38 100.00%


Age Distribution of People Who Attended School Within the Year
Age Male Male% Female Female% Total Percent
4-10 150 25.95% 123 21.28% 273 47.23%
11-20 164 28.37% 131 22.66% 295 51.04%
21-30 7 1.21% 2 0.35% 9 1.56%
31-40 0 0.00% 0 0.00% 0 0.00%
41-50 0 0.00% 0 0.00% 0 0.00%
51-60 0 0.00% 1 0.17% 1 0.17%
Total 321 55.54% 257 44.46% 578 100.00%

Place of Birth
Count Percent
Pennsylvania 1965 82.22%
Maryland 188 7.87%
Germany/Bavaria/Prussia, etc. 132 5.52%
Virginia 21 0.88%
Ireland 19 0.79%
New Jersey 12 0.50%
France 10 0.42%
Ohio 10 0.42%
New York 8 0.33%
Delaware 4 0.17%
England 4 0.17%
Indiana 3 0.13%
Connecticut 2 0.08%
Holland 2 0.08%
Illinois 2 0.08%
Canada 1 0.04%
English Channel 1 0.04%
Georgia 1 0.04%
Massachusetts 1 0.04%
Missouri 1 0.04%
New Hampshire 1 0.04%
Scotland 1 0.04%
Switzerland 1 0.04%

As is generally known, coach making was the biggest industry in Gettysburg in 1860.  When you count all of the coach-related trades like wheelwrights and coach lace weavers, it represented a little more than 11% of the work force in the Borough.  Of course, that population is limited to the 672 people (28.12%) whose occupation is specifically listed in the census. For many people (including 16% of males between the age of 18 and 60), no occupation was listed — so some occupations were probably under-represented (e.g., farmers).  Lastly, it is acknowledged that the grouping of occupations into industries is somewhat subjective.

But with those caveats, here are the top 10 industries in Gettysburg in 1860:


Industry Count Percent Includes
Coach Making 75 11.16% Coach/Wagon Maker, Coach Painter, Coach/Carriage Trimmer, Coach Smith, Coach Lace Weaver, Body Maker, Wheelwright, Carriage Seller
Service 73 10.86% Domestic, Housekeeper, Help, Waiter, Coach Driver
Clothing 72 10.71% Tailor(ess), Seamstress, Hatter/Milliner, Shoemaker/Cordwainer, Mantua Maker, Clothier
Construction 62 9.23% Carpenter, Plasterer, Stone Cutter, Stone Mason, Brick Maker/Layer/Carrier, Mason
Labor 55 8.18% Day Laborer, Hireling
Equine 48 7.14% Blacksmith, Harness Maker, Saddle/SaddleTree Maker, Livery Keeper, Hostler
Education 22 3.27% Teacher, Professor
Merchant 21 3.13%
Furniture 18 2.68% Cabinet Maker, Chair Maker, Furniture Dealer
Clerk 18 2.68%

As for specific occupations, these are the most common among men, including their average estate (real estate + personal estate):


Occupation Count Avg Estate
Day Laborer 53 $319
Coach Maker 33 $644
Blacksmith 30 $752
Shoemaker 29 $622
Carpenter 23 $470
Merchant 21 $10747
Clerk 18 $272
Farmer 17 $5541
Printer 14 $60
Cabinet Maker 13 $790

(For this purpose, each category includes journeymen, apprentices, and masters).

These are the most common occupations among women:


Occupation Count Average Estate
Domestic 56 $37
Mantua Maker 10 $317
Tailoress 9 $55
Teacher 9 $200
Milliner 8 $325
Housekeeper 7 0
Help 5 0
Nurse 3 $33
Seamstress 3 $41
Laundress 2 $137

Oh, and the difference between a domestic and a servant?  Domestics were generally white (44 of 50 or 88%) and servants were generally black (5 of 7 or 71%).

I’ll post more analysis with respect to individual residents once I finish cross-checking name spellings against other records.

Bob Velke
SegTours, LLC




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