Princes - Head of Household in 1850 census

As you know, the 1850 census is the first census to list every member of the household by individual names. Although, for various reasons, many families were omitted from this important census it is nevertheless one of the key references available to researchers for tracing their blood lines. Several years ago I made up several charts illustrating the whereabouts of various Prince's found in the 1850 census. I thought some of you might find this interesting.

Usually, relatives traveled together as they ventured west. Upon reaching their destination they usually settled very close to each other for mutual support. They nearly always settled within the same County. However, some families split up and settled in adjoining counties in order to obtain better farm land. Sometimes their land was divided by actually the County line thus placing them in separate counties, yet they lived very near each other.

Therefore, when we find Prince families residing in adjoining counties it increases the odds they were related to each other. At least we ought to consider the possibility they were related and research both families to prove or disprove a close connection. It appears that by the year 1850 the majority of Prince families moving westward from Virginia, North and South Carolina settled in the state of Tennessee. However, many other Prince's settled in the adjoining states of Alabama and Georgia. The following is a list of Prince heads of household who resided in adjoining counties in Tennessee and in adjoining borderline counties within the states of Alabama and Georgia.

By the year 1850, there were 14 Tennessee counties established along the southern border of that state. The 1850 census shows that Prince families resided in 10 of these fourteen counties on the southern border of Tennessee. Eight of these 10 counties were contiguous to each other.
Additionally, these 10 counties were contiguous to other counties within the state of Tennessee, as well as the states of North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi, all of whom listed Prince family members in the year 1850. The following is a list of those Prince family members. You can get a better perspective of these families by writing their names on the relevant statemap that clearly shows the boundaries of the various counties. It's best to use a map that is blank, that is, has nothing on it but the county names. The best source for such a map is The Handy Book For Genealogist by The Everton Publishers, Logan, UT. We'll begin our list with the eastern most County on the southern Tennessee border, which happens to be Polk County. Beginning with Polk County I've listed the Prince's shown as "head of household" or those Prince's listed in a household headed by someone other than a Prince. Other family members are not included in this list. For sake of clarity I have inserted the names of husbands (in parentheses) whose names are known but were not listed as head of household for various reasons.

Polk Co., TN-Isom, Ephraim, James, Andrew, William
McMinn Co., TN-Sanford
Bradley Co., TN-Daniel
Cherokee Co., NC-Cooper C.
Gilmer Co., GA-John, William D., Chesley D., Elizabeth (Willis), Jesse
Walker Co., GA-John, Hiram, William
Murray Co., GA-William, Wiley
Dade Co., GA-John, Green B.
Jackson Co., AL-Zachariah, Jesse, William, Thomas, Nancy (John)
Marshall Co., AL-David
Morgan Co., AL-Richard
Lincoln Co., TN-Gideon
Bedford Co., TN-Presley, Andrew, Littleton, Asa, William, Sarah
Rutherford Co., TN-Chaney, Wiley, Abigail (Jacob)
Williamson Co., TN-Elijah, Owen
Marshall Co., TN-Hosea, Sanford
Giles Co., TN-Ransom
Lawrence Co., TN-Hardy, Asa, Isaac
Hickman Co., TN-Hiram, Pinkney, Polly
Wayne Co., TN-Thomas, Jeremiah, Moses, Peter, James, Angeline, Mary
Lauderdale Co., AL-William, Jason
Franklin Co., AL-Jesse, Jason, Gabriel
Itawamba Co., MS-Aaron
Hardin Co., TN-John P., Calvin
McNairy Co., TN-David, Daniel
Carroll Co., TN-George H., Emma
Benton Co., TN-James, John #1, John #2, Thomas
Henry Co., TN-Landy M.
Weakley Co., TN-Joshua
Hardeman Co., TN-William
Tippah Co., MS-Gilbert, William, Joseph, Richard, Mary

None of this will make much sense until you write these names on a State map showing the counties listed above. Then you will have a "bird's eye view" of those Prince's living in counties that adjoined each other in the year 1850. This may be a useful tool in tracing the various branches of your Prince family tree.

Regards, Ron Prince

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