In censuses before 1850, only the head of the household was identified. Everyone else in the household had a hash mark put in an appropriate column, i.e. female 20-29 years of age.

Who was the head of the household? Was it the oldest male in the household? Not necessarily. It may be that a man was head, and his father was living with him. Hence, the oldest was not the head. Also, I have seen a woman as the head, and males living in the household.

So, be careful. Don’t assume anything!