Atoka County, Oklahoma Genealogy
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1910 Bentley
Dists. 1 (IN) & 2
Dists. 3 & 4
Dist. 5
Dists. 6 & 7
Dists. 8-10
1910 Wilson
Dists. 11 & 12

1920 Bentley
Dists. 1 & 2
Dists. 3-6
Dist. 7
Districts 8-9
Dists. 10-12
1920 Wilson
Dists. 13 & 14

1930 Atoka and the Jail
Dist. 1
Dists. 2 & 3
Dists. 4, 5, 6 & 7
Dist. 8
Dists. 9 & 10
1930 Stringtown
Dists. 11-15
Dists. 16-18

The Federal Census records are a good source of information, but, they can and often do contain mistakes. Census records usually fall into the category of "Primary sources", meaning the data obtained was obtained from a witness, a reliable source, someone intimately associated with the information, in theory that is. But there are exceptions.

Census takers went from door to door and interviewed family members in order to obtain the census data. I would imagine they talked to the man of the house, or the lady of the house. If neither of these were available, they might interview one of the older children or another resident of the household. Accuracy of the information, depending on who the census taker got the information from. If from father or mother, then the information given was possibly highly accurate. If from a child or other household member, then the data might be fairly accurate.

Exceptions come about from a variety reasons, the most common being the family was not at home when the census taker came around. If this were the case, and the family was known to the census taker, he might estimate all the ages of the family members, and possibly leave out members he didn't know about. If the family were unknown to the census taker, then he would probably ask a neighbor about them, and then the results could be very different.

Another exception is when the family is being deliberately evasive about ages and birth places. This might be done for a variety of reasons, but it has been known to happen. People then, as now, were not always forthcoming with personal information given to the government.

The accuracy of any census depends on who the census taker got the information from. Unfortunately, the census records do not make any notation as to who gave the information in each case, so we have no way of determining the original source.

Some errors are caused by the census taker himself. The spellings of names could be written the way the census taker thought they should be spelled, which might not the families preferred spelling. Another possible problem is with the race or color category. Census takers used their own opinions when filling in this category, which was not always correct.

The census records that you look at ,usually on microfilm or digital microfilm or online, on not the original census records. The census taker made the census record as he went from house to house. However, he was required to make a copy to be submitted to the Federal Government. He did this by hand and it sometimes seems it was often done carelessly. The copy for the government, full of new errors, is what we find now on microfilm. The original copies were mostly discarded, or filed away, and lost over the years, and are very hard to find, if even available.

Comparisons have been made between the original census records, when originals are available, and the copies we have now, and have found numerous transcription errors. Cases where the surnames as originally noted were totally different on the copy. Given names were different, ages, birth places, etc were often changed from the original to the copy. Census taker did not do any of this intentionally, but it happened, and it is one of the many problems we have with today's census records.

Any census record should be considered a Primary Source, and could be highly accurate or not. It is helpful to confirmed census information with another sources, family bible, or other records. Unfortunately, sometimes a census record are all we have.

The 1790 through 1840 census records did not give the names of family member, only the person considered the head of household. The 1850 and later census records gave the name of each person living in each house. In 1850, 1860, and 1870, there was no relationship information given, even though all the names were given, the relationships are not clear. Marital status was not listed until 1870.

It is often assumed in 1850, 1860 or 1870 that if there are two adults, a man and woman, and several children, that this represents a husband and wife and their children, and most often, this could be true. However, those children listed might actually be grandchildren, nieces and nephews, or even cousins. Starting in 1880, the relationship to the head of household was given, making it easier to figure out the family structure.

Another common problem found in the census records, is that even when everyone in a household is listed with the same surname, some of them might have had different surnames, but as a census mistake, either originally, or in the copy, a different surname was not noted. This can be found over and over again. Again making information found in other sources important.

Online Census Records

Soundex Code Generator

Atoka County

Census Records Atoka Co.


1855 Partial Census of Choctaw Nation I.T.

© 1996-2023 by OKGenWeb ~ Atoka Co. Coordinator

State Coordinator: Linda Simpson Asst. State Coordinator: Mel Owings