Mapping the Census—1840–1911

Census records are among the most valuable sources of genealogical information. They give us “snapshots in time” that help to fill in the gaps between traditional birth, marriage and death records. They tell us where our ancestors lived and how their families grew and changed over time. They give us insights into how our ancestors lived, with information about occupations, education and income.

This page takes data from multiple census years and puts it on the map. This allows us to see the movements of Casbon ancestors across multiple decades and places. You can “drill down” to see details about individual households.


Data for the map is extracted from every United States and England census beginning in 1840 and continuing through 1911 (with the exception of the 1890 U.S. census, which was destroyed). Each country conducts a decennial (every 10 year) census, the United States during years ending in “0” and England during years ending in “1.” I selected these dates because digital images of the censuses are available for both countries for the entire time span. The United States allows census data to be made public 72 years after collection of the census.[1] England requires 100 years before releasing census data.[2] Hence, U.S. censuses are available through 1940, while the last England census released to the public is the 1911 census.Prior to 1841, the England census only provided head counts and no names. The 1840 U.S. census only gives names of the head of household. Otherwise, the names of family members are included in the census reports from both countries.

How to use the map:

Open the map in a new window by clicking on the small “frame” symbol in the upper right hand corner.

When you first open the map, you will see a panel on the left with check boxes for each pair of census years from 1840/41 to 1910/11. You may need to scroll down to see all the years.

  • Basic navigation: use scroll wheel to zoom; click and drag mouse cursor to move the map.
  • The base map is set for 1840/41. Clicking on check boxes for subsequent years will open the data for those years.
  • You will need to zoom in (a lot!) to see markers for individual households. Browse through the 1840/41 map to see how many households there were and where they were located.
  • Each marker on the map represents a single household in a given census year. Click on a marker to see census information for that household in the left-hand panel.
  • Click on the left-hand arrow at the top of the panel to return to the census year check boxes.
  • Within each census year different family branches or origins are color-coded. The branches are as follows:
    • Meldreth/Melbourn (“MM”): these are the descendants of Thomas (~1743–1799) and Jane (Wilson, 1741–1831) Casbon of Meldreth, Cambridgeshire. The village of Melbourn is adjacent to Meldreth and was the home of many of Thomas’ descendants. Two of Thomas’ grandsons (Thomas [1803–1888] and James [~1813–1884] emigrated to the United States, eventually settling in Indiana. Hence the Meldreth/Melbourn branch has descendants in both England and the United States. A later descendant (Arthur Casben, 1886–1961) emigrated from England to Australia in 1913. This family is not represented on the map since their migration occurred after the 1911 census.
    • Littleport/Peterborough (“LP”): these are the descendants of Thomas Casborn (~1776–1855) and Ann Dolby (~1777–1843). Thomas was born in Littleport, Cambridgeshire, but migrated to the county of Huntindgonshire after his marriage. His son, Thomas (~1807–1863), settled in Peterborough, Northamptonshire, as did subsequent generations.
    • Chatteris (“Ch”): this branch can be traced to John Casbon or Casborn (~1818–1848) and Emma Taylor (~1825–1882). John’s origins are unknown, but the family first appears in the 1851 census, living in Somersham, Huntingdonshire. They settled in Chatteris, Cambridgeshire sometime before the 1861 census.
    • Creole (“Cr”): the term describes the cultural & ethnic heritage of this family, whose roots have been traced to Spain and France in the 18th century, and who migrated to Louisiana in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Some descendants use the Casbon surname and others go by Casborn.
    • Other (“Ot”): these households have no apparent ties to the other branches, and randomly appear in different census years. The Casbon spelling of the surname appears to be either an error on the part of census enumerators or perhaps temporary variant spellings that did not persist. These households are included for the sake of completeness and to distinguish them from the other identified branches.
  • Lines representing major migrations have been incorporated into the map. Clicking on a line gives a brief description of the migration.
  • Locations are not precise; I’ve used street addresses when that information is available on the census; but many of these addresses no longer exist. When no address is available, I’ve used other sources when available. As a last resort, I’ve just manually placed markers in the appropriate county or parish.

[1] “The ’72-Year Rule’,” United States Census Bureau (https://www.census.gov/history/www/genealogy/decennial_census_records/the_72_year_rule_1.html : accessed 24 March 2018).
[2] “Census in the United Kingdom,” Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Census_in_the_United_Kingdom#2021 : accessed 24 March 2018), rev. 11 Mar 18, 00:27.

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