Monday, August 24, 2009

Back in time--1820

So, when last heard from, I was trying to organize all the data I’ve collected on the Dehorty family in Delaware to try to identify the father of my brick wall, 3g-grandfather James M. Dehority (1819-1891).

I am most of the way through that, having sorted through census records, probate records, orphan’s court records, tax records, marriage listings in the Delaware Public Archives’ card files, land records, and various mentions in books and journals on the period. I’ll chronicle my thoughts here in hopes that if someone reads this and notices things I have overlooked or errors of any sort, they will be so kind as to leave me a note.

I’ve decided to focus on the time around the 1820 census, as James was born in 1819 (or, by one count, 1816). Either way, he would be under age 5 in 1820. If I count the number of Dehorty men on the census who are of an age to father a child in 1820, I have 15 candidates. If I use information from James’ obituary, that he was orphaned by age 8, then I am looking for someone who has died by the 1830 census, both husband and wife (and the wife could have died prior to 1820). This is a little harder, but I can definitely eliminate 5, so I am down to 10.

Of the 10, there are 2 definite candidates. One Benjamin Doroty of Little Creek Hundred, Kent County, is enumerated in 1820 with 9 people in his household, of which 2 are males under the age of 9 and 2 males of “fathering” age (16-25). Benjamin dies intestate in 1823. The problem with Benjamin is that his wife is listed a s Louvania, and the will to Thomas Dehorty previously mentioned references a James, son of Sarah Silivan (Paternity Search in Delaware).

Research that I just received also finds a John Dehorty in the tax lists of Kent County who is a head of household in 1820, but dies insolvent by 1823 (must be a bad year for Dehortys). Here is where I run headlong into what I don’t know about the 1820 census.
I think that everyone counted in the household was a member of the family, excepting the slave listings. But, could they be related as siblings of the head and his wife, grandchildren, cousins, or in other ways related? This is where my count of 10 could be high. There seem to be a lot of “blended” households on my list. There is a John Dorothy in Duck Creek Hundred, Kent, listed in 1820. Could this be the one from the tax list? Or, might he be listed as a tick mark under a different household? How do I resolve the unnamed gentlemen from the census?

This is going to require some thought.


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