Jeremiah and Aaron Phips, 1820, Jefferson Co., KY

The following is a census entry for two consecutive households in 1820 at a place called Shippingport in Jefferson County, Kentucky. As could be guessed by the name Shippingport, Jefferson County, Kentucky is located along the Ohio River and, in its current configuration, is adjacent to the Indiana counties of Clark, Floyd, and Harrison. The county is also adjacent to the Kentucky counties of Bullitt, Hardin, Oldham, Shelby, and Spencer.

Shippingport was simply a small settlement, and is today an industrial site. In 1820, the time of the census, it had reached its all-time population high of about 600. Shippingport went into decline in 1825 when the Louisville and Portland Canal caused ships to bypass the settlement.

Two Phips households appear at Shippingport in the 1820 census, those being the homes of Jeremiah Phips and Aaron Phips. Aaron was born about 1775 to 1794. No one else was in the household except for a woman of the same age range, presumably his wife, and two girls born around 1810 or later.

Jeremiah Phips, assuming that he was the oldest in the household, was also born about 1775 to 1794. In his household, two women appear of that same age range, plus two girls born about 1810 or later, and a number of males. In fact, the number of males would seem unlikely if the numbers were not clearly specified in the census.

In Jeremiah’s household, if he was born about 1775 to 1794, he was merely one of 10 men in that age range in the same household. In addition, 9 were born about 1794 to 1804, one was born about 1804 to 1810, and 4 were born about 1810 or later.

Since relationships were not stated in censuses this early, perhaps the individuals in this household were not all related. This could conceivably have been, perhaps, a small hotel or a boarding house for workers in local industry. That could explain the presence of 10 men aged 26 to 45 and 9 men aged 16 to 26, with 8(?) working in commerce and 4 in manufactures. Another household a short distance away, that of James A. Palmer, contained 9 men aged 16 to 26 and 12 aged 26 to 45.

From the 1820 federal U.S. census, Jefferson County, Kentucky:

[labeled “31” in upper right corner]

Schedule of the whole number of Persons Within the Division Allotted to Chs. L. Harrison

[The following has been reformatted from the original wide tabular form. In the margin appears “Name of the County &c Where the Family resides,” and in accordance with that, in the margin next to the two Phips names, the location name “Shippingport” appears. Personal names appear under the heading “Names of Heads of Families.”]

Jeremiah Phips

  • Free white males: 4 -10, 1 10-16, 9 16-26, 10 26-45
  • Free white females: 2 -10, 2 26-45
  • Occupations: [8? (overwritten)] under Commerce, 4 under Manufactures
  • Slaves: blank
  • Free Coloured Persons: blank

Aaron Phips

  • Free white males: 1 26-45
  • Free white females: 2 -10, 1 26-45
  • Occupations: blank
  • Slaves: blank
  • Free Coloured Persons: blank
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