Beginning with the 1850 census, the head of the household was listed along with a list of other household members.

Before 1850, the census listed just the head of the household – there were “numbers” given for the other members of the household.

Who was this “head of the household”? Was it the oldest male found in the “70-80” category?  Or, was it the male found in the “20-30” category? It could be that the head was the oldest male listed. But, keep in mind that it could have been a younger male listed since the older male could have been an aging parent or older relative and was no longer the family’s head.

Be careful.