17 September 2014

William Kile in Joliet Prison in 1860

1860 U S Census, Illinois, Will County, Town of Joliet, page 529;
digital image Ancestry.com

Prisoner William Kile was relatively easy to find in the 1860 census. He was enumerated at the Illinois State Penitentiary in Joliet, Will County, Illinois--right where he should be based upon other records that have been located on William. The enumeration also includes his year of incarceration and the crime for which he was committed. I'm not certain that enumerators were required to provide this information, but it is listed for every inmate at this institution in 1860. 

Just goes to show that one never knows what will appear on an enumeration until one actually sees it and details of this type are not items that get included in indexes and finding aids. He's listed as being sixty years of age, which may be slightly incorrect. The place of birth is right. 

I'm surmising that the information on William in this enumeration was provided from prison records. Because of that, the age and other information on his enumeration may not be correct. I doubt if the census enumerator visited each prisoner to obtain information. 

The year of his incarceration and crime were also contained in other records and those statements from the census are consistent with more reliable records. 

The fact that his age ends in a "0" does raise some speculation that it was simply an estimate.