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30 January 2011

How to name search the federal census using the 1850 census for John SHULER/SCHULER

All surnames have different variations; even common names such as Smith can be Smyth. offers the researcher the choice of exact, soundex or phonic. Google, Family Search and other websites offer the researcher the choice of Boolean characters.
 The 1850 census is the first census to list everyone in the dwelling. This census does not state the relationship to the head of the house, but information is given as to ages, occupations and birth place.

The 1850 Census contains information linked to my maternal 2nd great-grandparents in Lockport, Illinois. They purchased property from the Illinois and Michigan Canal Commission. A quick index search on shows that John SHULER is enumerated on microfilm Series M432, roll 133, dwelling number 120, family number 120.

The enumerator wrote that John SHULER, is a 36-year old laborer. He was born in Germany. His property is valued at $50. Listed in the family dwelling are: Eufen, age 31, female, born in Germany. John, age 8, male, born in Illinois, Eliza, age 7, female, born in Illinois. Charles, age 4, male, born in Illinois. Mary A. age 2, female, born in Illinois. My direct line is from John, age 8. 

With this information, the researcher has more questions. What was the reason John choose Lockport, Illinois? Are other relatives in the area? If so, who? A census search was made which included a page-by-page search of the immediate area in Lockport and a wider county index search with spelling variations. The name SHULER is the only match. There are no surnames SCHULER, SHOOLER, SHOOLAR, SCHOELER, SHOELAR, SHULAR, SCHULAR, SCHOOLAR, SHOOLAR, or SCHOOLAR.

The three other SHULERs in the 1850 census all live in one dwelling in Joliet probably less than 10 miles away. Francis Pauling, age 31, male, occupation (unable to decipher), born in New York, is the head of the household. Mary Shuler, age 21, female, born New York; Catherine Shuler, age 21, female, born New York; and Wm. Shuler age 26, male, occupation clerk, born New York are in the household. Also in this same household are Wm. A. Pauling, age 1, male, born New York; Martha Garret, age 13, female, born Mich. attending school; Albert Amsden, age 26, male, occupation wool carder, born New York; Sarah Amsden, age 21, female, born New York; and Oscar Amsden, age 1, male, born Mich.

This research project did not have a happy ending. At this time, I have not found Mary, Catherine or William Shuler in future censuses. At this time, I see no connection between the SHULER’s born in New York and John SCHULER born in Germany. This has been driving me crazy for years. WHY DID JOHN SHULER CHOOSE LOCKPORT, ILLINOIS? WHERE DID HE COME FROM?