Thursday, March 29, 2012

A Soldier in 1840 in the census?

Where would I find a census record of a soldier supposedly stationed at Fort/Camp Jesup, Louisiana in 1840? I've searched for him on reading line by line without success.

A fort would be a somewhat permanent structure, a camp is a more impermanent place. In the case of Fort Jesup it was built in 1822. It was a fort and would remain so until about 1846 when it was abandoned. There is a state park there today, so the park ranger might be a good person to contact to see if they have a card file or something of that ilk that deals with soldiers at the fort.

It is likely for this time period you will not find a census record for a soldier at Fort Jesup. Military people are ignored a lot when it comes to census enumerators.

It would be a good idea to determine what units were at the fort in 1840. Your soldier could be a part of the fort headquarters staff or part of an infantry, cavalry or artillery regiment stationed there.

If you do not know what unit the soldier was in you can start on with the Register of Enlistments.

Regimental muster rolls are found on NARA microfilm for the years after 1821 when the Army reorganized into the alpha company - numbered regimental system.

So finding the soldier on the muster rolls would be like finding them on the census in that time period.