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1870 US Federal Census Data Waterville
Data extracted by the Colby Jewish History Project (2012)





Jews in Waterville in 1870


DMJ-IDSurnameFirst nameagebirthplaceparentsoccupationpagenotes  
36530BonnaFannie39Bavariafkeeping house44nj?  
36301BonnaHannah19Mainefat school44nj?  
36529BonnaLaura15Mainefat school44nj?  
COL110BleyerJacob45Bohemiafclerk RJ Dry Goods44nj? Lives with Bonnasno independent evidence that Bleyer was Jewishnote: p. 56 family of 3 NJ Germans, he's a peddler from Prussia
36183PeavyJacob51Posenfclothing dealer RJ70nj??  
36186PeavyRose E38Posenfkeeping house70   
COL101PeavyRebecca15Mainefat school70   
30148PeavyGustavus13Mainefat school70   
30149PeavySilas11Mainefat school70   
36182PeavyHenry9Mainefat school70   
36181PeavyEsther7Mainefat home70   
36184PeavyLeopold5Mainefat home70   
36185PeavyMinnie3Mainefat home70   
COL111WatermanGustavus21Brandenburgfclerk in dry goods store70lives w/ Peavythere were Bangor Jewish Watermans at this time  
COL112TallouMary17Canadafdomestic70nj; lives w/ Peavyprobably not Jewish 
33377BlumenthalEmanuel35BavariafRJ Dry Goods Dealer76owns real estate, is a U.S. citizenno independent evidence that these Blumenthals were Jewish 
33378BlumenthalHellen29Bavariafkeeping house76 no independent evidence that these Blumenthals were Jewish 
33379BlumenthalSarah1Mainefat home76 no independent evidence that these Blumenthals were Jewish 
33380BlumenthalLewis0Mainefat home76 no independent evidence that these Blumenthals were Jewish 
33381BlumenthalJoseph0Mainefat home76 no independent evidence that these Blumenthals were Jewish 
COL113DuslieSophia17Mainefdomestic76njprobably not Jewish 
COL114WoodsLydia49Mainennurse76njprobably not Jewish 
COL115GallertMark26Prussiafdry goods merchant RJ116has assets but no real estate (lives at hotel kept by Charles Smith); US citizenno independent evidence that Gallerts were Jewish

Methodological notes :

This data was culled from the original U.S. census manuscripts, as found on www.ancestry.com.
Jews are understood to constitute an ethnic group of Eastern and Central European origin characterized by common names and occupational pursuits, as well as a distinctive language.
This definition lends itself well to analysis of the data preserved in census records.
Two primary methods were used to identify Jews:
1. Individuals born abroad whose mother tongue is "Yiddish," "Jewish," or "Hebrew" were automatically included in the spreadsheet, as were all members of their families.
2. For individuals born abroad whose mother tongue was another Eastern or Central European language (e.g., Russian, Polish, German), or individuals born in the U.S. with one or more parents from Eastern or Central Europe, we examined surnames, given names within a household, and occupations in light of common Jewish characteristics. This method of analysis is, of course, subject to inaccuracy, as we may have excluded Jews with uncommon names or occupations or included non-Jews whose characteristics appear Jewish. Individuals listed with the annotation "nj?" in the far right-hand column are those whose Jewish ancestry is plausible but questionable.
This method of analysis easily misses Jewish households whose members' parents were all born in the United States. In 1930 Maine, however, such households were quite rare. Special efforts were made to identify households of this nature in Portland, where they constituted less than 1% of identified Jewish households.
All members of a household containing a Jew are included in the spreadsheet, with the exception of Jewish lodgers and servants, who are listed individually. Household members who are evidently not Jewish (such as non-Jewish servants and some spouses or in-laws) are listed with the annotation "nj."
Information on place of birth
Some people replied with the name of the place when they left; others replied with the name of place when the census was taken; in other cases it just seems that it was easier for the census taker to write ‘Russia’ rather than Lithuania, Ukraine or other unfamiliar country names.
And there is another reason to be skeptical of the accuracy of the place of birth information. Immigrants from the Pale had a very justified fear of the Russian and often local governments. One way to manage this reality was to tell government representatives what they expected they wanted to hear or what they thought would bring them the least trouble. This may well explain why a number of family members, who were clearly from Eastern Europe, may have answered ‘Maine’ or ‘New York’.

Last Updated : Jan 2 , 2021

Thank you to the Colby College Maine Jewish History Project (2011) and David M. Freidenreich for the information