We depend upon records to reveal the “truth” about our pasts.
Yet sometimes records have anomalies.
Some are amusing or humorous.
Some are interesting or weird.
Some are peculiar or suspicious.
Some are infuriating, even downright laughable.
Yes, “Records are the Darnedest Things.”
Records Are the Darnedest Things: Darned Missing Census Pages
You can see (if you have a subscription) where one is missing by navigating to Virginia > Randolph > Beverly. Note that image 1 is page 265 and image 2 is page 267. Page 266 exists and contains names from B to G. But it is missing from Ancestry.com. The first few names are
You can see another one in Virginia > Monongalia > Western Division. Jump to image 10, which is page 122. Go on to image 11 and you will see that it is page 124. Page 123 (aka page 51a) exists, but is missing from Ancestry.com. It contains names from G to H. Some of the missing names are
There is a good reason—well, maybe a reason—the pages are missing. NARA missed the pages when it microfilmed the records! Maybe Ancestry.com will go back and photograph the missing pages. Until then: darned missing census pages!
For more information, see “Missing 1820 Census Pages,” West Virginia Archives & History News [a publication of the West Virginia Division of Culture and History], December 2003, 1; online archive (http://www.wvculture.org/history/ahnews/1203news.pdf : accessed 10 January 2012).