Dear Temples in the Census readers,
I will give you an example of how the "Temples in the Census of the United States of America" webpages work by using my line to demonstrate. There are many ways to use the book but just for demonstration purposes I will say that I only know my grandfather's name and nothing further back than him. I will say that I know approximately when and where he was born.
I knew my grandfather as a child. His name was Ralph E. Temple. I was named after him because I was born on his birthday. He lived in the country in a place called the Colony in Clinton County Michigan. To start with I would go to a place in the census where I knew he would be. In 1900 I suspect he was either a teenager or in his 20s. All census records are in alphabetical order according to place. I did not know if he would still be at home with his parents so I decided to use the book "Temple in the Census Index". This index lists Temples in alphabetical order according to given name. There are three sections. One lists Temples by head of the household and the others by children and wives. First I decide to go to the childrens's section looking for a Ralph Temple born somewhere between 1875 and 1885 in Michigan. I do not find him there so I go to the head of the household part of the index. All I find is a Ralph Temple born March 1878 in Michigan who was living in Hanover County Virginia. I expected my Ralph to be in Michigan but March is my birth month so I have something to go on. According to the 1900 ensus he would be age 12 in 1890. For a convenient aid, go to page 4 in the "Temples in the Census" book to calculate his age. The 1890 census was destroyed in a fire so I have to go to an earlier census. In 1880 he would be age 2. I look in the children's section of the index and find a Ralph Temple age 2, born in Michigan and living with Bliss Temple. Bliss is listed as being age 29 and can be found on line number 946 in the 1880 census. I am still not sure this is my Ralph Temple so I go to line 946 in the 1880 census of the "Temples in the Census - 1790 to 1900" book. Sure enough Bliss Temple lived in Riley, Clinton County, Michigan with his wife Clara. Clinton County is the place I expected him to be so I am now quite sure this is my line. Bliss Temple was age 29 and born in Vermont. I later found out that my grandfather had left home at about age 20 to go to Richmond Virginia to farm. I now have found my great grandparents Bliss and Clara Temple.
I now want to find Bliss as a child so I skip to 1870 census and go to the children's section of 1860 in the Index. Sure enough Bliss was there listed as being age 9 and born in Vermont. He is living with M. (Merritt) Temple on line 1143. I now go to the 1860 census in the book to line 1143 and find M. (Merritt) living in Sunderland, Bennington County, Vermont living with his wife Sabrina and their children. I have now found my 2nd great grandparents Merritt and Sabrina Temple. There is also a reference number in the Ref # column. This number 443 is the number that Albert R. Temple used in his publication "The Rise of the Temples". You could go to his book and find him and all of his ancestors. But now say you don't have this publication but you do have "Some Temple Pedigrees" by Levi Daniel Temple. There is a cross-reference chart on page 3 in this book. Follow the numbers and go to number 443 on this chart. Next to it is number 144, which is Levi Temple's reference number. Go to his book and find him and all of this ancestors. But now say you don't have either of these publications, so you will have to use the "Temples in the Census" book to find Merritt Temple's parents.
Merritt was 47 in 1860 so he should be 37 in 1850. Let us go to the 1850 census but let us skip the index this time and go directly to Sunderland, Bennington County, Vermont in 1850 hoping he was there. We do know he was born in Vermont so there is a good chance he was someplace in Vermont. Sure enough we find him on line 940 in Sunderland, County Vermont. There are several others in Sunderland, Vermont in 1850 which are about the same age. The first thing I do is to assume they may be brothers. There is a Palmer Temple who lives in the same place who is listed as age 77 and is born in Massachusetts. His reference number is 303 in "Rise of the Tempes" and using the cross-reference chart he is number 71 in "Some Temple Pedigrees". He is old enough to be the father of those others who live there. I now will assume that he is the father of Merritt Temple. Further research could be done to prove it but for the time being I highly suspect he was the father so I will continue with him. Now here is a good chance that I have found my 3rd great grandparents Palmer and Rhoda Temple.
I could go to the index for 1800 to 1840 but instead I check first to see if Palmer Temple was in Sunderland, Bennington County, Vermont. Lucky for me he was listed there in each of the census years from 1800 to 1840. All with the reference number 303. In 1840 Palmer's family size shows one male between age 20 and 30. This would match Merritt's age of 27. By going to the blank census chart at the beginning of the 1840 census you match the ages with the family size column.
Now I decide to go to the 1790 census. Palmer would be age 27 at that time, but is not found in Vermont. I now go to the Index looking for Palmer in 1790, but no luck there either. I guess this is the end of the line for finding Palmer's father. But wait! Remember the 1850 census said that Palmer was born in Massachusetts. This prompts me to look in Massachusetts in 1790. There is no name that closely matches Palmer's but we do have a list of males, one of which may be Palmer's father. More research can uncover Palmer's father. In this case it happens to be Stephen Temple.
Anyway I have showed several ways to use the book and hope your search is as easy as my line was. Give it a try. Good Luck.
Ralph L. Temple
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