The census takers of the 1850 US Census of Aroostook County, Maine

B. Cummings
The census taker for the northern part of the county was Bradford Cummings. In the census his name is at the top of each page, after "Enumerated by me" on the given date, and is signed "B. Cummings, Ass't Marshall."

His father was General John Cummings, who in Oct 1825 settled on land two and a half miles west of Houlton, and who was "for years the principal man in the settlement and was agent for the trustees of the Belfast Academy for the sale of lots and location of settlers." Bradford and his brother John also settled in the Belfast Academy Grant. Bradford "was a land surveyor and in 1826 lotted the half-township" of Belfast Academy Grant, which is now Ludlow. "He built a mill on the stream which flowed across the southwest corner of his lot. The mill contained an up-and-down saw and manufactured lumber for the settlers. Bradford Cummings moved to Houlton and then to Fort Fairfield. Judge Cummings, as he was known for many years, was a man greatly respected in Aroostook County; he served there as sheriff and also as judge of probate." Chadbourne, p.179

Bradford Cummings was one of the early settlers of Letter D, Range 1, which was to become part of Fort Fairfield. In the 1850 Census he shows up as a farmer in Letter D.

John F.H. Hall
The census taker for the Houlton district was John F.H. Hall. He was born in Castine, Maine around 1814. By 1841 he was working as a bookkeeper for Patrick Collins, who ran a store in Houlton west of the Snell House. Hall was appointed the fourth postmaster of Houlton in 1841 and served in that capacity until 1843. In the 1850 census he is listed with his family in Houlton, and gave his occupation as "trader." Putnam, p.238

Humphrey Chadbourn
The census taker for the southern part of Aroostook County was Humphrey Chadbourn. He was a carpenter living with his family in Molunkus Plantation at the time of the census. Based on his entries in the census, he was the least literate of the county's assistant marshals, mispelling the names of states as well as common first and last names. In the 1850 census he is listed in Molunkus Plantation at the bottom of page 1b.

Humphrey Chadbourne was the son of James Hobbs Chadbourne, and was born in Harrison, Maine on 1 Nov 1811. He died in Molunkis or Macwahoc, Maine on 29 Sep 1867. He married for the first time to Jane Wight in Otisfield, Maine, 16 Jan 1834. He married a second time in about 1840 to Susan Hayden (sometime after the 1840 census of Aroostook, which was undertaken from July to about September). They are buried on Rt. 2 in Macwahoc. "He was a carpenter and builder and lived several years in N. Bridgton. He built some of the best homes still standing there. While in Macwahoc Plantation he was town clerk, assessor, member of the school board and moderator, 1851-1875. George Langlais, a descendant, has a small notebook with the records of Macwahoc Plantation. They are handwritten by Humphrey while he was serving in his various offices and setting up the procedures to withdraw from Mulunkis and become Macwahoc." In the 1840 US Census he is listed in Township 1, Range 4 (subsequently Molunkus Township) as living by himself. Humphrey had 11 children, including: Harriet Libby Chadbourne, b Macwahoc, 19 Apr 1846, d Danforth, 7 Nov 1928, m Clinton Warren. Also James Hobbs Chadbourne, b Macwahoc, 7 Mar 1860, d 28 Nov 1945, m Danforth, 28 Jul 1897 Elizabeth Agnes Leen, d/o James and Mary (McCormick or Brennan) Lean/Leen. He was a hotel keeper at marriage. Of Danforth in 1900 census. Child Walter Whitmore Chadbourne, b Danforth, 5 Sep 1899. (Thanks to Al Hodnett for biographical info on H. Chadbourne.)

If you have any information on any of the three census takers for Aroostook county for the 1850 census, please

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Last revised 31 Dec 2001
©2003 C.Gagnon