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Giles County, Tennessee 1840 Census

©2000. All rights reserved. Contributed by Janell McCann.

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The 1840 federal census was ordered to begin 1 June 1840 and to be completed within 10 months. On the 17th of October 1840 Thomas W. Grubbs certified the number of residents in his Division were 21,517. The same day F. T. McLaurine and Robert M. Bugg certified that correct copies of the census schedule had been set up at two of the most public places within the Division open to the inspection of all.

Giles County was formed from Maury County in 1809. In 1830 the total population of Giles County was 21,494. It would seem the growth of the county had reached a stand-still, but a portion of Giles had been taken into Marshall County to become the southwest quadrant of the new county. (For those who had ancestors in Giles in 1860 who are not there in 1870, the 17th Civil District was annexed to Marshall County before the 1870 census. You may find your kin in Marshall County. Check there for county records of those formerly in Giles County.)

The north part of Giles County is separated from Maury County by a range of hills called Elkridge. Maury County had been formed in 1807 from Williamson County and Williamson was taken from Davidson County. Earlier records of people in Giles County can be found in those records.

The north part of Giles County was a part of the lands North Carolina had designated to pay their Revolutionary War veterans. Look for North Carolina grants for those in Giles County. Most of those grants were sold in parts and in whole to others who subdivided them for sale.

The names of creeks, communities, churches and other landmarks have changed through the years. Robertsons Fork of Richland Creek was formerly Big Creek. (Ref: Deed from John Haywood and Richard Hightower to Peter Ussery and Jacob Bogard, 20 September 1812. The community on current maps named Waco was the original Lynnville. When the railroad was built about two miles east of that town the businesses moved to be near the railroad and is shown now as Lynnville. The original Lynnville was known from some years as "Old Lynnville" until it was named Waco.

Regarding the 1840 census it is important that you check all variations of spellings, including the use of vowels. In the column headed "Pensioners and Other Information" are the names and ages of pensioners for Revolutionary or military service who are included in the household count, giving their name and age. Other comments regard free colored and slaves where no count was given for the apparent white owner of the land. Also in that column is listed the count of the unfortunate deaf, dumb and those called insane and idiotic. Possible alternate name spellings are given in some instances.

There were parts of the census where there were ink smears or the entry was questionalbe. In some cases there would be a °1" and a dot which was meant to represent "0". In those instances I added the column to balance to the total at the bottom of the page. In one instance I could not balance to the total. If there is some question about the number in the household, please read the film for your own satisfaction. I did not have sufficient room to go into the details of the nature of the occupations and those who were students.

The age groups for the free whites were:

0 5 10 15 20 30 40 50 6G 70 80 90 100 and over

5 and under 10 15 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 over

The age groups for the free colored males and females and the groups for slaves were:

0 10 24 37 55 100


10 24 36 55 100 over

Printed census abstracts are rarely infallible, so please do read the film for your most accurate information in all cases. This is a guideline to be used in helping find lost kin.

Good luck in all your research from the compiler,

M. Janell McCann

313 N. Chandler

Fort Worth, TX 76111

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