The 1850 federal census was the first to list every inhabitant's name, rather than simply that of the head of the household. Besides this information, also listed is the gender, race, age, state or country of birth, value of real estate, occupation, plus information about literacy and citizenship. It opens up whole new areas to the researcher.
In 1850 the county had eight towns. The census is organized by town, and because of its huge size (the county's population then as now was a few more than 20,000 persons) it was thought best to divide the index, which lists every name, by town as well. The chart below indicates which towns are on line at this point; click on the name and it will link you to the index for that town. Town boundaries in 1850 were the same as in the previous few censuses, and the map for that period is available on line.
Each index is set up exactly alike; the name of each individual named is followed by the dwelling number where that person may be found. This is the number in the far left-hand column of the enumeration itself. If several persons are listed with the same dwelling number, it means they live in the same house. The county has a copy of this census, from which this index was made. The National Archives microfilm was made from the federal copy, but the dwelling numbers should be the same.