Your Quick Tips, 23 July 2007

Click Through to Next Page
I don’t know if you have mentioned this yet as you advertise that the Iowa State Censuses are available, but I have found that the 1925 year is extremely helpful. This census year asked for the names of the person’s parents (including mother’s maiden name), age, and place where they married. People may miss this valuable information if they don’t click to view the original page where their ancestor is found on the census. This is a great source of information–thanks for making it available.

Melissa Mailander Curristan

Unusual Census Spellings
An article about finding unusual spellings in the census reminded me of an experience. In the 1900 U.S. Census an ancestor’s name of Kubalski was spelled “Cowballski.” The same census taker used Smith for all the Schmidts in his area. This was in Wright County, Minnesota.

Mabel Loesch

How Many Children Living? An Important Question
I enjoyed your recent article in the Ancestry online newsletter about spicing up family history by adding interesting details about our ancestors’ lives. Your tip about using the 1900 and 1910 census info to find the number of children born to a woman versus the number of those still living was a good one. 

That info in the census was of great help to us as we researched my mother’s maternal side of the family. Before doing research on my wife’s family, we “knew” that her great-grandmother had nine children, which was not unusual for the late 1800’s. But we were surprised to learn that the 1900 census said she had fourteen, nine of whom were still alive that year! Upon further research, we learned from various birth, death, and internment records that she actually bore 15 children. We found that three of the children had died very young, 2 of them on the very same day, probably of diphtheria, although cause of death was not recorded.

We were able to locate birth records for twelve of the children, (including the fifteenth one who was born after 1900) and presume that the others, unnamed and unrecorded, died at birth or were stillborn. Without that census info, we would not have been aware of the travail that she and her husband must have gone through in losing so many little ones to early death. 

Ed Daniel,
Rockville, MD

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2 thoughts on “Your Quick Tips, 23 July 2007

  1. The unusual census spellings particularly made me laugh this week. I’ve had some unusual ones show up, but nothing more confusing than the one I found last week that made one family finally start revealing some of its mysteries.

    I learned that the mother had a few more children who had died (thanks to the “number of children/number living” entry in the census). But there was one person in that census I could not for the life of me make out. It looked like “Wah.” I thought maybe the handwriting was screwy, and he had written down the son’s name…Frank. But then I realized there was an F listed for sex. It was a daughter. Who was this?

    I found the son Frank in the California Death Index. I love the feature where I can look up mother’s and father’s last name. So I got smart and did a wide open search for his mother’s and father’s last names, and got another entry. His sister appeared, and her name was “Juanita.” They told the census taker that her name was “Jua,” and that’s what he wrote down alright!

  2. The 1925 Iowa census is great. I have found or confirmed many of the surnames for the wives of family members by using this census. The fact that it gives their parents names opens even more doors.

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