Fourth US Census, 1820:  Occupations and Manufactures of Jefferson County, Virginia

Donald E. Watts, Jefferson County, West Virginia, historical researcher, has written and published Fourth US Census, 1820: Occupations and Manufactures of Jefferson County, Virginia.

Watts created this valuable research source for historians and genealogists by transcribing, compiling, and summarizing the enumerations of occupations and manufactures made by Robert Avis, Jr., in August 1820.  Avis was Jefferson County’s enumerator for the fourth US census.

The author converts Avis’ data into over 50 tables that provide significant insight into the commercial life of Jefferson County in the second decade of the 19th century. Also, to give additional perspective on the major towns of the county, Watts provides excerpts on the social and economic conditions in Charles town, Shepherds Town, Harpersferry, Smithfield, and Lee Town from two important early sources: the 1810 Topographical Description of the Counties Of Frederick, Berkeley & Jefferson, Situated in the State of Virginia by Charles Varlé and the 1835 Gazetteer of Virginia and the District of Columbia by Joseph Martin.

“The most time consuming task for a Local Historian is the countless number of hours spent sifting through a myriad of resources. Because no potential source can be overlooked, anything and everything that holds promise must be carefully examined in hopes of locating just one specific piece of information. This effort is frequently made more difficult when documents have not been properly transcribed and put into some sensible order.”

“Fourth US Census, 1820: Occupations and Manufactures of Jefferson County, Virginia edited by historical researcher Donald E. Watts, is a good example how to properly organize a source. Watts has skillfully compiled the raw data of the 1820 United States census into a logical series of tables which clearly explain the state of Jefferson County, Virginia’s economy. This book will be an invaluable tool for anyone interested in the rich history of Jefferson County.”

Fourth US Census, 1820: Occupations and Manufactures of Jefferson County, Virginia, is available for $27.00 (plus tax and shipping of $4.00) from the author or from the Jefferson County Museum, Charles Town, West Virginia. The author will donate $5.00 to the Jefferson County Museum for each book sold.