Thanks for you latest.I think the information on the 1880 census is pretty kosher.A few inconsistencies, but nothing major.Mike has knocked a few years off of his age while Mary keeps telling the truth about hers - now that's a bit of a switch.
The two that are questionable.The first is James (who should be in the place of Thomas - that might be a transcribing mistake that I will check when I get my eyes on the original census page rather than an indexed one).The second is Sarah, who wasn't in the 1870 census and has the same age as Tim.Other than that, everything matches very nicely.
Franklin County lies just to the east of Madison County, and Pleasant Township is in its lower western corner. Madison County has a Pleasant Township as well on its lower eastern side, and the two are right next to one another. In 1870, the family was working on Thomas Langen's farm, and probably living on it as well, in Union Township which is about 39 square miles. It is about 11 miles across at its longest part east to west, and about the same north and south.I wonder where the farm was.And moving to Pleasant Township in the lower west corner of Franklin County was not that much of a trip - probably no more than 20 miles away.I like to get a picture in my head about what the land looked like, what their environment consisted of.Since Michael was probably a farm laborer for most of his life, and the fact that he had a good sized family meant that he probably was not travelling far and wide to find work. So he probably would have stayed in the area unless something bad happened.