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Thank you for starting this discussion.
Census enumerators received a set of instructions on how to record the responses received during their work. The instructions for the earlier census years were usually vague. Reviewing them, we found that the instructions don’t give any information about taking notes or listing groups separately. Frequently, the enumerators, as government clerks, made their own decisions while in the field. Therefore, it could be that an enumerator in a specific county or area chose to complete these forms in a certain way and we may never know why. NARA does not have a separate series of census enumerator notes or reports.
It would help if we knew exactly what county you’re looking at and if you’ve compared it to others to see if this practice was widespread. If it was, then there could have been a policy for that state, even though the instructions don’t say anything. You can email NARA a copy of what you’re referring to at firstname.lastname@example.org. I don't know if that will help us figure out the situation, but we could do a bit more digging into the administrative records.
I hope this helps you with your research.
This response was compiled by Ms. Cherkea Howery.
This is so helpful! I was sent a link to the Enumerator's Instructions and you are correct, there are no specific instructions on enumerating Indians. The County I am looking at is Fresno County, California, Township No. 1. I will look at my families and see if there is one living in Mariposa County at the time to see if the same enumeration process was followed for Mariposa County. Will update later. Thank you again for the link and for the article!
Below are two Census Enumerations; Mariposa County and Fresno County. On the Mariposa County Census, please refer to Dwelling 653 and on the Fresno County Census, please refer to Dwelling 174, two different Census Enumerators. Mariposa County shows Samuel Hogan listed with his Indian Wife and Children, while Tom Lewis on the Fresno County Census is shown with his children only, with all the Indians are listed at the end of this Township .