It still amazes me when I find the connections between my mother's and my father's families years before they met. I was working on an 1850 census today, about 100 years before my parents married. I grew up thinking Mom's family was on Millstone and Dad's was at Goosecreek and the two areas were not close. I did not know where the roads were at that time period so I always thought of travel the way the roads are today. It was actually fairly easy to go between the two locations.
The census records go down thru an area taking the information on the families in one dwelling, then the next and so on. It helps to know who the neighbors are sometimes, because of the errors in spelling that make some ancestors seemingly disappear (like my Hayes who went down as Hays, Hase and Haze or the Bentleys as Bently and the Wrights as Rights).
Let me tell you who was on page 22 of the 1850 census for Letcher County, District 2:
Family 152 William & Nancy Quillen with Louisa, Hanor & Elizabeth. Nancy was Nancy Susan Yonts, the daughter of William and Levisa Yonts. William's first wife was Margaret Bentley, the daughter of Thomas & Hannah Bentley, the sister of Daniel Bentley.
Family 153 is Allen and Hanor (Hannah) Hall with Solomon and Mary. Allen is a descendant of Reuben Hall who is the brother of our Masias Hall. Hannah is Hannah Yonts the granddaughter of William and Margaret Bentley Yonts (great granddaughter of Thomas & Hannah Bentley).
Family 154 John Bentley, a widower, with his children, Squire, John Q., Benjamin and Patty. John was John Queller Bentley, the son of Daniel Bentley and brother of our Benjamin Bentley.
Household 155 is Andrew and Harriet Adams Wright with their children William and Freelove. Andrew was the son of Joel and Susannah Wright. Harriett was the daughter of William Adams and Christina Crace. Christina was the sister of Elizabeth Crace who was married to Benjamin Bentley.
Dwelling 156 is Daniel & Marinda Ramey Bentley with Tabitha, Didema and John. Daniel is the son of John Bentley from Dwelling 154.
Dwelling 157 is Lewis & Nancy Bentley with William, Sally, Nancy and Dicy. Lewis is the son of Daniel Bentley and Nancy Jane Lewis. Nancy is Nancy Hammons, the sister of Druscilla Hammons who was our great grandmother who was married to James Craft, the grandparents of Chunk Craft.
Dwelling 158 is Joseph & Anna Bentley with John, Matilda, Elizabeth and Lewis. Joseph is the son of Lewis and Nancy in dwelling 157.
Family 159 is Sarah Bates, widow of John Wallis Bates, living with Robin, Saryann, Henderson and Martin Van Buren Bates (the Kentucky giant). Sarah is the mother of Eliza Agnes Bates who married Joel Ellis Wright. They were the parents of Jesse Wright.
It just shows how entwined our families were a hundred years before my parents married.
It is one of the reasons that I love looking at census records.