Friday, April 12, 2013

Christian/Christopher and His Neighbors, 1860-1880

I recently posted results of my search for Christian/Christopher Gardner/Garner/ (possibly Gerner) and his family/their families in 1860, 1870, and 1880 census records.  I've been reviewing those records, continuing to guess that they are the same man, yet continuing to seek confirmation.  With this post I'm looking specifically at Christian's neighbors in those censuses.  Below are the individuals listed in each census beginning one page before Christian and ending one or two pages after his page.  (The page numbers refer to written page number/printed page number).

1860 census
Christian Gardner, Fairview Township, Butler County, Pennsylvania
40 years, farmer, owned property, born Prussia
Neighbors (pp. 45/405, 46/405, 47/407) (40 lines/page)
  • Thomas Jamison, John Smith, Nichols Snow, George McKinney, Alex B. Story
  •  Peter Kaler, Andrew McElroy, Simon P. Wiles, Christian Gardner, Wm. McGarvy, Henry P. Shakely
  • James Blany, Hugh Young, Samuel Ervin, John S. Moor, Henry Wagoner, Mathew Porterfield

1870 census
Christopher Gardner, Fairview Township, Butler County, Pennsylvania
50 years, farmer, owned property, born Prussia
Neighbors (pp. 14/220, 15/221, 16/222, 17/223) (40 lines/page)
  • Leonard Keller, Ann Keller, Elisabeth Farringer, Simon Farringer, Hiram Farringer, George McKinney, Thomas Jameson
  • William B. Jameson, W. W. McDermott, John B. Jameson, Alex B. Storm/Story, Andrew McElroy, Simon Wiles, Christopher Gardner
  • William McGarvey, John J. McGarvey, Matthew J. McGarvey, Jane Mortimer, Joseph Wiles, G. W. Wiles, Henry Wiles, Washington Campbell, Amos Campbell, Jacob Kaylor
  • A. L. Campbell, Andrew Campbell, William Gibson, Jacob Hepler, James Wilson, Geo. H. Graham, James Blaney

1880 census
Christian Garner, Fairview Township, Butler County, Pennsylvania
60 years, farmer, (census did not question whether property owner), born Prussia
Neighbors (pp. 50/219, 51/220, 52/221) (50 lines/page)
  • Rozilla C. Wiles, Frank Sweney, Jacob M. Zarmun (?), Jacob Calendar, Wash. Campbell, Adophus Gral, Jos. F. Campbell, William H. Shakley, Donald Anderson, Edward D. O'Brien, Lewis E. Robinson, Albert E. Anderson, Jason C. Thompson
  • Georgia A. Hannah, John M. Dixon, Philander Mock, Christian Garner, Alford Heusel (?), William J. Myers, Alex B. Storey, Jas. S. Jameson, Isaac Kaylor
  • Hiram Farringer, Francis Hamon, Andrew G??ves, George McKinney, Joseph Horton, Samuel McKinney, Edward H. S???, Ann Niblock, David Boyd

I notice that several names appear from census year to census year and that they are in the same sequence.  (In 1880 the census taker recorded the census in reverse order from the census takers in 1860 and 1870.)
  • George McKinney (1860, 1870, 1880)
  • Alex B. Story/Storm (1860, 1870, 1880)
  • Andrew McElroy (1860, 1870)
  • Simon Wiles (1860, 1870)
  • Christian/Chrisopher Garner/Gardner
  • William McGarvy (1860, 1870)
  • Washington Campbell (1870, 1880)
Based on the record that several near neighbors remain the same throughout the 20 years, I believe that Christian/Christopher is the same man in all three censuses.  In years subsequent to the 1860 census additional names/families appear amongst the earlier ones.  Some of the additional families may be the sons and daughters of the individuals in the 1860 census.  Since it was a farming area, it makes sense to me that the fathers gave property to their children as they became adults and/or at the time of their marriages.  Another possibility is that property owners sold parts of their property to others.

Next I will look at an available Butler County property map current to the time.

This research doesn't give me any evidence to further my thought that this man is my ancestor.  I believe it supports my idea that Christian/Christopher are the same man with name variations.  I'm still searching for my connection to Christian Gerner.



  1. Wow, Nancy, this must have taking quite a bit of time! But what a thorough way to narrow things down. Great work and great idea!

    1. It took a bit of time, Heather, but haven't I read that it's supposed to be helpful to look at neighbors? I think this mostly confirms the man was there but it doesn't help to confirm his relationship to me. Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment.

  2. In my research, I've noticed lots of variation in names. In the days before computers, it almost seems like people sometimes made slight variations in their names on a whim.

    1. I know what you mean about the name variations, Sheryl. Usually they seem to be spelling variations of the same name and I can see how pronunciation might cause someone to spell it one way or another way. Meinzen/Mincin, Biggerstaff/Bickerstaff, Garner/Gerner. But this - Garner to Gardner - puts an extra sound in the middle. It seemed more different than usual. I think it's the same man - I just needed to check. Thanks for visiting.


I appreciate your comments and look forward to reading what you have to say. Thanks for stopping by.

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