1880 Census of James Madison Cooper, Sr. and Selected Censuses of His Chilrden

The 1880 census is the first of the Coopers' to show a more precise location, underlined in green: "Here ends Township 27 S & Ranges 17 & 18".  According to the family history in "Citrus, Sawmills, Critters & Crackers" (hereafter referred to as CSC&C) the Coopers had 11 children-- 7 daughters & 4 sons (but names 8 daughters and 3 sons) and that all the daughters' middle names were "Ann."  


From their various censuses, the children's names that appear are Mary Ann, Elizabeth, Amanda Ann, Sarah Ann, Rebecca Ann, Susan Ann, James M., Eli C. and Josiah.  The family history in CSC&C adds daughter Jane Ann Cooper.

According to CSC&C: Amanda Ann married Berrian Godwin and lived in present day Pasco County. Amanda's sister Elizabeth married Rit Ellis and lived at Cypress Creek at now Hwy 54.  Jane Ann married a man named Hill then when he died she married an Orr.  Jane Ann's daughter Martha Ann Hill married Scott Denison.  A son of Martha and Scott Denison was Whit Denison.  The Denison family (and therefore the Coopers) have more descendants in the Lutz area than any other family.  No info was found on Mary, Susanna, Sarah and Rebecca, nor on James Madison Cooper, Jr. or Eli who settled in Ehren and worked at the sawmill.

According to the 1880 census above, it looks like James Cooper's daughter Mary married a Hill.  Mary J. Hill age 47 is living next to James Cooper and she is widowed and has a 14 yr. old son Allen A. Hill.  Next to her is Allen S. Denison, with wife Martha A. and son Edward DeW Denison. 

The table below shows the ages of James and Elizabeth Cooper, and their children's ages across the censuses while they were all living in the same household (except for Mary Ann's 1880 age, read further.)

Name 1850 age 1860 age 1870 age 1880 age
James Madison Cooper 26 39 56 65
Elizabeth - wife 27 30 58  
Mary (Jane?) Ann 15 18*   47**
Elizabeth 11      
Amanda Ann 9      
Sarah Ann 6      
"Shoog"   15    
Rebecca Ann 5 18    
Susan Ann 3 2    
James M. 1 10    
Eli C.   7 18 30**
Josiah     16  

The ages being inconsistent throughout their censuses, a possible explanation is that the enumerator should have written Amanda 18 instead of Mary 18 on the 1860 census,   Amanda was 9 in 1850 and Mary was no longer in the home, being married to Mr. Hill.  They may have referred to Amanda as "Mandy" and the enumerator wrote "Mary".

Evidence to support this is the calculated birth year of Martha A. Denison, age 24, so born circa 1856.  At some point, Mary Ann became known as Mary Jane (she appears as "Mary J." in 1880, which may have evolved in the family history to Jane Ann.  (Could be she was Maryjane Ann).  The question of what happened to Mary Ann Cooper could be answered by "she was Jane Ann Hill."   Allen S. Denison would be Allen Scott Denison, his wife Martha is Mary Cooper's daughter, and Edward DeWitt Denison is Whit Denison.

Going further, the 15 year old female "Shoog" in 1860 could be Sarah Ann who was 6 in 1850.  Rebecca's age of 18 in 1860 is clearly inconsistent, for whatever reason.  Susan may have been 12 instead of 2, a careless enumeration of omitting the "1".  If Josiah was 16 in 1870, he should have appeared at age 6 on the 1860 census.   Mistakes like these are not rare on censuses.

**denotes ages on censuses after leaving their parent's household.

Eli Cooper is found on the 1880 census on the page previous to his father James Madison Cooper.  Eli is 30 and his wife Edie is 31 (or 36, which could be why Eli wanted to appear older).  His daughter appears to be "Cibbee C." and son Noa (Noah.)  Next door is Robert Grantham.  The Grantham's were also early settlers in the area of Township 27, range 18.  Enumerated before Eli Cooper was the Ellerbee family, also well-known early settlers of the area.


The 1870 census shows next household from James Cooper was Richard Ellis.  According to CSC&C,  Elizabeth Cooper, James' daughter, married "Rit Ellis."

If Elizabeth's 1850 census was correct, she should be 31 in 1870.






Census records are not guaranteed accurate.  Many times enumerators are tired, bored, or just plain in a hurry to get done.  They may not interpret a response correctly due to local accent.  Sometimes one or both parents are out and the oldest child gives the information, or worse yet the whole family is out and a neighbor gives the info to the best of their knowledge.  Ages were officially to be given with respect to the official census date.  For example, responses on the 1850 census were to be with respect to June 1, 1850.  If a person would turn 18 on June 2, 1850, they were to be reported as 17, even if the enumerator knocked on June 29, 1850.  Some families didn't adhere to this and would give the next older age since the were "almost" that age.  Though a person should age 10 years between censuses, variances of 9 to 11 years between them are common for a given person.