Dickens of Hurricane Creek
Including: Maggart, Sullivans Bend, Elmwood, Chestnut Mound, Smith County, TN

John and Nancy Dickens
John               27 (37) M  TN
Nancy            27 (34) F    TN
Matilda          15 F           TN
Amanda        14 F            TN
Mitchell         12 M          TN
Felix              11 M          TN
Elija                8 M          TN
*Joshua          5 M           TN
Jasper            3 M           TN

John, Jr. and Nancy Dickens are my great, great, grandparents. Do you see anything in this record that looks improbable? I didn't at first. But when information from other sources didn't add up, I began diagnosing the Census record. John and Nancy were not 12 years old when their first child was born and so on down the list.

 John was 37 at Census time and 22 when Matilda was born. Nancy, in the home of her son M.A. in 1870, was reported to be 54. That makes her 34 in 1850. The error is in the original hand written census, not a later typo.  John died in 1862. Records of his Estate closure begin on Page114 of my Manuscript. Proceedings lasted from1865 into 1869.

Joshua and Manerva Dickens
Joshua             26 (29) M  TN
Manirva          26 (28) F    TN
Martha A          5 F          TN
John W             4 M         TN
Sam'l R.            4 M         TN
Clarissa             2 F          TN
Wm V.            7/12 M      TN   

Joshua is a brother of John (above). He became known as Joshua Sr.
According to his gravemarker he was born on December 24, 1820. Do the math and see that his census age of 26 is incorrect. Manirva (Manerva) was his first wife.  After she died in 1881, Joshua Sr. married Rachel Spiva of Jackson County.  Joshua Sr. and Jr. served in the Civil war together, on the Union side (a link is below).
Here's the puzzle created by the 1850 Census.

If John Jr. was born in 1813 and Joshua Sr was born in 1820, why doesn't Joshua Sr. appear in the 1820 census? Because Joshua Sr. was born on December 24, 1820, after the census was taken. Also, there is at least one more male child missing from the 1820 John Dickens, Sr. household. Edward Glover Dickens, b. July 15, 1815 is another story which is listed on my Site Map page.

I have copies of other records that show the two Joshuas in tax rolls and other documents but the only one that proves beyond any doubt the Sr.- Jr. relationship is the 1865 July Term court record appointing the elder Joshua as the legal guardian of the younger Joshua and his brother William Jasper (an uncle of my grandfather William Jasper).  
Joshua Sr. died November 5, 1904. He is buried beside Manerva in the existing Dickens Cemetery at Huricane
Creek. The Estate settlements and closures for Joshua and Rachel are in my Manuscript beginning on Page 116.