Mississippi Enumeration of Educable Children, 1850-1892; 1908-1957

Toni Carrier
by Toni Carrier
Charity Marshall in Educable Children List, Benton County, MS
“Mississippi Enumeration of Educable Children, 1850-1892; 1908-1957,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:939F-PV9K-V3?cc=1856425&wc=M6NC-7TP%3A167440101%2C167437502 : 18 September 2015), Benton > 1892 > image 109 of 128; Government Records, Jackson.

About This Collection

Today’s featured FamilySearch collection is Mississippi Enumeration of Educable Children, 1850-1892; 1908-1957.

These records are lists of black and white students prepared by the counties and school districts for the years 1850-1892, 1908 to 1957 to determine each county’s education funding needs.

The early records include only the names of students and the school attended. More recent records added the age of the child and a parent or guardian’s name.

School records can be a viable substitute for birth records and can bridge the gaps between U.S. Census years.

To learn more about these records, please visit the collection’s Learn More page.

Information in These Records

These records may include:

  • County, town, and school district of enumeration
  • Race
  • School Status (regularly attending, enrolled, or withdrawn from school)
  • Parents’ names
  • Name of child
  • Age
  • Month of birth
  • Gender
  • School and ward
  • Address

Researching From This Collection

If you find an ancestor among these records, be sure to look at every year available for that county to see if your ancestor appears in more than one year’s records. You can browse by county to see which years are available for your county of research interest.

Let’s look at an example. In 1892, Charity Marshall of Benton County, Mississippi enrolled four children in school – Isaac, James, Lula and Julia Marshall.

Charity Marshall in Educable Children List, Benton County, MS
“Mississippi Enumeration of Educable Children, 1850-1892; 1908-1957,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:939F-PV9K-V3?cc=1856425&wc=M6NC-7TP%3A167440101%2C167437502 : 18 September 2015), Benton > 1892 > image 109 of 128; Government Records, Jackson.

We looked to see if any of the children were listed in any other years for Benton County, and we found a record that is possibly for Lula and Julia in 1885, although the girls’ ages are a bit off.

Julia and Lula Marshall in 1885 Educable Children List, Benton County, MS
“Mississippi Enumeration of Educable Children, 1850-1892; 1908-1957,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QK6W-V3K8 : 19 July 2017), Marshal in entry for Julia Marshal, 1885; citing School enrollment, , Benton, Mississippi, United States, Mississippi Department of Archives & History, Jackson.

Charity Marshall in United States Census

Let’s look now at Charity Marshall’s household in the U.S. Census. Both the 1885 and 1892 Educable Children lists bridge the gap between the 1880 and 1900 U.S. Census (most of the 1890 U.S. Census was destroyed by fire). Let’s see which of these children were captured in either the 1880 or 1900 U.S. Census.

Charity Marshall, 1880 U.S. Census

Isaac, James and Lou are listed in Charity Marshall’s household in the 1880 United States Federal Census:

Name Age
Charity Marshall 25
Isaac Marshall 10
James Marshall 7
Lou Marshall 3

Year: 1880; Census Place: Beat 3, Benton, Mississippi; Roll: 641; Page: 270D; Enumeration District: 009. Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010.

Charity Marshall, 1900 U.S. Census

Only Lou or Louisa is listed in Charity’s household by 1900:

Name Age
Ben Wright 28
Charity Marshal 42
Louisa Marshal 20

Year: 1900; Census Place: Beat 3, Benton, Mississippi; Page: 9; Enumeration District: 0005; FHL microfilm: 1240801. Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004. United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1900. T623, 1854 rolls.

Where is Julia Marshall?

Julia Marshall, who is listed in both the 1885 and 1892 Educable Children lists, is not listed in Charity Marshall’s household in either the 1880 or 1900 U.S. Census. In fact, the only records we have found for Julia so far are these two Educable Children lists!

That’s the beauty of the Educable Children lists – they can fill in gaps between census years and quite possibly, as in this case, document children whose names were not captured in the U.S. Census.

Sharpen the Saw

Have you found children listed in the Educable Children lists that were not documented elsewhere during that time period? Let us know in the comments below.

Explore More: Related Resources

To learn more about researching African American genealogy in Mississippi, you can view BlackProGen LIVE Ep11: Louisiana and Mississippi Genealogy Research.

The wiki page Benton County, Mississippi Genealogy is a great place to start to learn more about researching in Benton County, Mississippi. Benton County was created July 21, 1870 from portions of Marshall and Tippah counties. Keep in mind that earlier records may appear in those parent counties.

The Mississippi Department of Archives and History website contains a browsable digital collection County Tax Rolls, 1818-1902. Your ancestor may be listed among these records.

More than 25,000 African American men are listed in the MDAH collection Mississippi World War I Statement of Service Cards and Indices. Your ancestor may be among them.

Be sure to view MDAH’s Genealogy page to learn about more resources for researching African American ancestors in Mississippi.

More FamilySearch Wiki Resources for African American Genealogy

Researching African American Genealogy provides step-by-step guidance for beginning your ancestor search, as well as links to online resources.

Quick Guide to African American Records contains information on beginning research tips, links to suggested guides for beginning your search for African American ancestors, overviews of major record sets, tips for finding the slaveholder, links to tutorials for African American genealogy in the FamilySearch Learning Center, and links to other online and offline resources.

Southern States Slavery and Bondage Collections will help you locate digitized searchable collections as well as digitized microfilms in the FamilySearch catalog related to slavery and bondage. The page is arranged by state. 

African American Genealogy provides links to Wiki pages for researching African Americans in each U.S. state.

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