Re: 1870 US Federal Census - Manhattan - SOLVED #general

Meron Lavie

Dear All,

I wish to thank all who wrote me offline with helpful suggestions, but would
particularly like to thank Sherri Bobish and Yehudah Ben Shlomo, each of whom found
my great-grandfather and his first wife in one of the two enumerations performed
in Manhattan for the 1870 census.

The family name, LESSEL, was indeed mangled. In the first enumeration, it
was given as LISSON (made even more difficult to read due to use of the old
"ss" ligature). In the second enumeration, it was given as LESSER.

Yehudah made use of searching by first name. Simon and Hanah were obviously
less liable to be seriously misspelled than LESSEL. Yehudah did a methodical
search-by-suspected-neighborhood, and found it in the first enumeration in
"a leading commercial site". One of the important questions that Yehudah
asked me was if my great-grandfather was married then. I actually had
assumed he wasn't, but once asked - I started looking at the eldest child's
birthdays, and it was clear that he was most likely married already - which
gave Yehudah the two names to work with, which helped him identify the
LISSON entry as my great-grandfather.

I was aware that LESSEL was occasionally misspelled LESSER, so I looked for it -
in the same "leading commercial site" I usually use. However, as Sherri pointed out
to me, the FamilySearch index was an entirely different index. She searched there,
and came up with the second enumeration LESSER entry with amazing speed. The reason
I didn't find it in the "leading commercial site" was that it was indexed as

The generosity of the members of this forum never ceases to amaze me.


-----Original Message-----
I understand that there are some peculiarities with the 1870 Census for
Manhattan. First of all, I believe it was performed twice, as the first attempt
was deemed unsatisfactory. Second, it appears to me that street numbers were not
listed. Is that possible? Am I missing something? Does this essentially mean that I
have to go through reams of records online to manually cover, let's say Fifth Ave.,
even if I know the exact address?

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